Bernd Mayer

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Bernhard-Michael Mayer, also Bernd Mayer (* July 25 1959 in Graz) is an Austrian pharmacologist and toxicologist. He is a professor at the University of Graz, Austria.

Since 2005 he has been working on the health aspects of electronic cigarettes and is publicly committed to the acceptance of these products as a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes, fighting pseudoscience in alternative medicine and its siblings in anti-vaping campaigns of tobacco control activists.

In September 2020 he published a popular science book on the subject. [1]


(ex.) After his studies in chemistry and physics in Graz and his dissertation at the University Children's Hospital under the supervision of Hermann Esterbauer at the Institute for Biochemistry, was awarded a Dr. phil. PhD.

Since 1987 he first worked as a university assistant at the Institute for Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, as well as research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and research assistant at the Institute for Pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin. He qualified as professor in biochemical pharmacology in Graz in 1991 where he was associate professor at the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology until 1998, and from 1997 to 2004 also headed the institute. In 1999 he was appointed full university professor of pharmacology and toxicology. From 1998 to 2002 Mayer headed the Graz section of the Austrian Society for Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology. From 2003 to 2012 Mayer was a member of the board of trustees in the Biomed department of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Since 2004 he has been head of the pharmacology and toxicology department at the then newly founded Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences in Graz.


Mayer's research concerns biological signal processing in blood vessels and in the heart. Its focus is on nitrogen monoxide (NO), NO synthases, cyclic GMP, oxidative stress, and organic nitrates.

Most notably,did he publish in 2014 a scientific research paper on the realistical lethal dose of [nicotine], ranging from 500 to 1000 mg as the lower limit for the lethal effect of orally ingested nicotine in humans based on recent poisoning cases with documented blood plasma levels for nicotine. He also identified the origins of the previously generally accepted lethal dose of nicotine (50–60 mg) in Rudolf Kobert's textbook on intoxications from 1906, which were based on questionable self-experiments in 1856 by the Viennese pharmacologist Karl Damian von Schroff.[2]


  1. ^ Die E-Zigarette: Fakten und Mythen. Delta X Verlag, 2020. ISBN 978-3-903229-22-8
  2. ^ B. Mayer: How much nicotine kills a human? Tracing back the generally accepted lethal dose to dubious self-experiments in the nineteenth century. In: Archives of Toxicology. Band 88, Nummer 1, Januar 2014, S. 5–7, DOI:10.1007/s00204-013-1127-0.

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