PharmDr. Lukáš Opálka, Ph.D.

Born: July 26, 1987 in Opava, Czech Republic

Current position:
Postdoc in the Skin Barrier Research Group, Department of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Charles University

Contact information:

  • Heyrovského 1203, 500 05 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • E-mail:

Research interests:

  • Synthesis of ceramides with ultralong and α-hydroxylated chains
  • Synthesis of ceramide derivatives (ceramide-1-phosphates, glucosylated ceramides, gangliosides)
  • Preparation of model lipid membranes mimicking the structure of skin barrier in human skin and the evaluation of their structure (IR spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, neutron diffraction) and permeability (flux of model drugs through the membrane, relative water loss through the membrane and electrical impedance measurements)
  • Preparation of lipid systems mimicking human transport vesicles (lamellar bodies) with the potential to regenerate damaged skin barrier


  • 2011 – 2016 Ph.D. study in the program Organic Chemistry, subject Bioorganic Chemistry, Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Charles University. Topic of the Ph.D. thesis: Synthesis of human ω-O-acylceramides and evaluation of their effects on barrier properties of skin lipid membranes.
  • 2006 – 2011 Master study in the program Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Charles University. Topic of the diploma thesis: Substituted benzoxazoles – synthesis and biological activity.

Teaching activities:

  • Since 2017 – seminars from Organic Chemistry for pharmacists
  • Since 2015 – seminars from General and Inorganic Chemistry for pharmacists
  • Since 2013 – practical exercises from Chemical laboratory techniques for pharmacists and for healthcare bioanalytics
  • Supervisor of MSc students (2, 1 defended)

Research grants (member of a team):

  • since 2016: Czech Science Foundation-German Science Foundation joint project 16-25687J (with Freie Universitaet Berlin): Interdependencies between Inflammatory Processes and Barrier Lipids in Diseased Skin
  • since 2013: Czech Science Foundation: Lipid membrane models – a new tool for studying pathophysiology of skin diseases at a molecular level (13-23891S)
  • 2011 - 2013: Czech Science Foundation: Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of skin ceramides and compounds targeting them (207/11/0365)
  • 2015 - 2017: Charles University: 88615 B-CH
  • 2014 - 2016: Charles University: 1868214 B-CH
  • 2013 - 2015: Charles University: 1404213 C-C3
  • 2012 - 2014: Charles University: 652412 B-CH

International experience:

  • 2015 – Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia – measurements of neutron diffraction of model lipid membranes containing acylceramides using the IBR-2 pulse reactor

Czech and international collaboration:

  • Michal Holčapek, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic – evaluation of the gangliosides in biological material using mass spectrometry
  • Yoshikazu Uchida, University of California, USA – signaling role of ceramide derivatives, mainly ceramide-1-phosphates
  • Yasuko Obata, Hoshi University, Japan – the behavior of ceramide-1-phosphates in liposomes
  • Roger Sandhoff, German Cancer Research Centre, Germany – identification of ceramides in rat model (Farber skin) using mass spectrometry
  • Nathalie Jonca, Université de Toulouse, France – study of the influence of PNPLA1 on human acylceramide biosynthesis


  • Since 2012 – Czech Chemical Society

Publications as a first author:

  • Opálka, L.; Kováčik, A.; Maixner, J.; Vávrová, K.: Omega-O-Acylceramides in Skin Lipid Membranes: Effects of Concentration, Sphingoid Base, and Model Complexity on Microstructure and Permeability. Langmuir 2016, 32 (48), 12894-12904. (IF 3,993)
  • Opálka, L.; Kováčik, A.; Sochorová, M.; Roh, J.; Kuneš, J.; Lenčo, J.; Vávrová, K.: Scalable Synthesis of Human Ultralong Chain Ceramides. Org. Lett. 2015, 17 (21), 5456-5459. (IF 6,732)

Publications as a coauthor:

  • Pichery, M.; Huchenq, A.; Sandhoff, R.; Severino-Freire, M.; Zaafouri, S.; Opálka, L.; Levade, T.; Soldan, V.; Bertrand-Michel, J.; Lhuillier, E.; Serre, G.; Maruani, A.; Mazereeuw-Hautier, J.; Jonca, N.: PNPLA1 defects in patients with Autosomal Recessive Congenital Ichthyosis and KO mice sustain PNPLA1 irreplaceable function in epidermal omega-O-acylceramide synthesis and skin permeability barrier. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2017. (IF 5,985)
  • Školová, B.; Kováčik, A.; Tesař, O.; Opálka, L.; Vávrová, K.: Phytosphingosine, sphingosine and dihydrosphingosine ceramides in model skin lipid membranes: permeability and biophysics. BBA-Biomembranes 2017, 1859 (5), 824-834. (IF 3,687)
  • Kováčik, A.; Opálka, L.; Šilarová, M.; Roh, J.; Vávrová, K.: Synthesis of 6-hydroxyceramide using ruthenium-catalyzed hydrosilylation–protodesilylation. Unexpected formation of a long periodicity lamellar phase in skin lipid membranes. RSC Advances 2016, 6 (77), 73343-73350. (IF 3,289)
  • Wallmeyer, L.; Lehnen, D.; Eger, N.; Sochorova, M.; Opalka, L.; Kovacik, A.; Vavrova, K.; Hedtrich, S.: Stimulation of PPAR alpha normalizes the skin lipid ratio and improves the skin barrier of normal and filaggrin deficient reconstructed skin. J. Dermatol. Sci. 2015, 80 (2), 102-110. (IF 3,739)
  • Vávrová, K.; Kováčik, A.; Opálka, L.: Ceramides in the Skin Barrier.  Eur. Pharm. J. 2017, 64 (1),1-8.

© Charles University, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Akademika Heyrovského 1203, 500 05 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
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