PharmDr. Lukáš Opálka, Ph.D.

Born: July 26, 1987 in Opava, Czech Republic

Current position:
Assistant Professor 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:
  • ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1379-1406

Research interests:

  • Synthesis of ceramides with ultralong and α-hydroxylated chains
  • Synthesis of ceramide derivatives (ceramide-1-phosphates, glucosylated ceramides, labeled 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 diffraction) and permeability (flux of model drugs through the membrane, 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
  • Lipid quantification in human stratum corneum using LC-MS/MS


  • 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 2013 – practical exercises from Chemical laboratory techniques for pharmacists and for healthcare bioanalytics
  • Supervisor of MSc students (5, 3 defended)

Research grants (member of a team):

  • 2019 – 2021: International project, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR-DFG 19-09135J): Ultralong chain ceramides in membrane models of healthy and diseased skin barrier
  • 2019 – 2021: Standard project, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR 19-09600S): Integrated design methodology of nanoformulation processes for (trans-)dermal delivery of actives
  • 2016 – 2018: International project, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR-DFG 16-25687J): Interdependencies between Inflammatory Processes and Barrier Lipids in Diseased Skin
  • 2013 – 2017: Standard project, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR 13-23891S): Lipid membrane models – a new tool for studying pathophysiology of skin diseases at a molecular level
  • 2011 – 2013: Standard project, Czech Science Foundation (GAČR 207/11/0365): Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of skin ceramides and compounds targeting them
  • Grant Agency of the Charles University projects (5 times)

International experience:

  • 2018: 6 months at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany in the scientific group of PD Dr. Roger Sandhoff. Topic: Analysis of human skin lipids in the patient with 3-ketodihydrosphingosine reductase disfunction
  • 2015: 2 weeks at Frank Laboratory of Neutron Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia in the scientific group of Dr. Norbert Kučerka. Topic: 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
  • 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
  • Jason Meyer, University of California San Francisco, USA - effects of oxidated acylceramides in human stratum corneum
  • Olga López, Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia-Spanish National Research Council, Spain – Ceramide formulations suitable for the use on skin
  • Zdeněk Spáčil, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic – Quantification of gangliosides in relationship with Alzheimer disease


  • Since 2012 – Czech Chemical Society
  • Examination Board for MSc and Bc Defenses, Department of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University (since 2018)
  • Member of the organizing committee of the 7th Lipidomic Conference (2020)


  • Best poster, Conference „6th Lipidomic Conference“, Prague, Czech Republic (2018)
  • Josef Hlávka Award (2017)
  • Best student oral presentation, Conference „4th European Joint Theoretical/Experimental Meeting on Membranes 2016“, Bratislava, Slovakia (2016)

Invited presentations:

  • Annual Symposium of Korean Society for Skin Barrier Research, web-conference (2020)
  • Congress of Practical Pharmacy, Olomouc, Czech Republic (2019)
  • Science Café in District 5, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic (2019)



  • Strati, F.; Neubert, R. H.; Opálka, L.; Kerth, A.; Brezesinski, G.: Non-ionic surfactants as innovative skin penetration enhancers: insight in the mechanism of interaction with simple 2D stratum corneum model system. Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 2021, 157, 105620 (accepted).


  • Engberg, O.; Kováčik, A.; Pullmannová, P.; Juhaščik, M.; Opálka, L.; Huster, D.; Vávrová, K.: The Sphingosine and Acyl Chains of Ceramide [NS] Show Very Different Structure and Dynamics That Challenge Our Understanding of the Skin Barrier. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59 (40), 17383–17387.
  • Opálka, L.; Kováčik, A.; Pullmannová, P.; Maixner, J.; Vávrová, K.: Effects of omega-O-acylceramide structures and concentrations in healthy and diseased skin barrier lipid membrane models. J. Lipid Res. 2020, 61 (2), 219-228.


  • von Gerichten, J.; Lamprecht, D.; Opálka, L.; Soulard, D.; Marsching, C.; Pilz, R.; Sencio, V.; Herzer, S.; Galy, B.; Nordström, V.; Hopf, C.; Gröne, H.-J.; Trottein, F.; Sandhoff, R.: Bacterial immunogenic α-galactosylceramide identified in the murine large intestine: dependency on diet and inflammation. J. Lipid Res. 2019, 60 (11), 1892-1904.
  • Pullmannova, P.; Ermakova, E.; Kovacik, A.; Opalka, L.; Maixner, J.; Zbytovska, J.; Kucerka, N.; Vavrova, K.: Long And Very Long Lamellar Phases In Model Stratum Corneum Lipid Membranes. J. Lipid Res. 2019, 60 (5), 963-971.
  • Sochorová, M.; Audrlická, P.; Červená, M.; Kováčik, A.; Kopečná, M.; Opálka, L.; Pullmannová, P.; Vávrová, K.: Permeability and microstructure of cholesterol-depleted skin lipid membranes and human stratum corneum. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2019, 535, 227-238.


  • Hájek, R.; Lísa, M.; Khalikova, M.; Jirásko, R.; Cífková, E.; Študent, V.; Vrána, D.; Opálka, L.; Vávrová, K.; Matzenauer, M.; Melichar, B.; Holčapek, M.: HILIC/ESI-MS determination of gangliosides and other polar lipid classes in renal cell carcinoma and surrounding normal tissues. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2018, 410 (25), 6585-6594.
  • Mauldin, E. A.; Crumrine, D.; Casal, M. L.; Jeong, S.; Opálka, L.; Vavrova, K.; Uchida, Y.; Park, K.; Craiglow, B.; Choate, K. A.; Shin, K.-O.; Lee, Y.-M.; Grove, G. L.; Wakefield, J. S.; Denis, K.; Elias, P. M.: Cellular and Metabolic Basis for the Ichthyotic Phenotype in NIPAL4 (Ichthyin)–Deficient Canines. Am. J. Pathol. 2018, 188 (6), 1419-1429.
  • Hruskova, K.; Potuckova, E.; Opalka, L.; Hergeselova, T.; Haskova, P.; Kovarikova, P.; Simůnek, T.; Vavrova, K.: Structure-Activity Relationships of Nitro-Substituted Aroylhydrazone Iron Chelators with Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2018, 31 (6), 435-446.


  • 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 26 (10), 1787-1800.
  • 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.
  • Vávrová, K.; Kováčik, A.; Opálka, L.: Ceramides in the Skin Barrier.  Eur. Pharm. J. 2017, 64 (1),1-8.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

© Charles University, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Akademika Heyrovského 1203, 500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
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