Prof. Bigalke received his graduate training in Medicine at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine, Surgery and Psychiatry at the Philips-University at Marburg in 1976. He received his doctoral degree in Pharmacology in 1978. The thesis dealt with the action of clostridial toxins on neurons in culture and was performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ernst Habermann from 1976 until 1978. From 1978 to 1980 he served as a post doc at the Rudolf-Buchheim-Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, again under the supervision of Prof. Habermann. In 1981 he spent 12 months at NIH in Bethesda and was trained in electrophysiology, and subsequently returned to the laboratory of Prof. Habermann, where he worked on the mode of action of tetanus toxin, started with the making of antibodies and the establishing electrophysiology. He received his Habilitation in 1986. Since 1986 he has been Professor and Vice-Chairman of Toxicology at the Medical School of Hannover, Germany. He directs a research group working on binding characteristics of botulinum toxins.
Prof. Bigalke has more than 80 relevant publications in the field and is an inventor on 4 issued or pending patents. He has written several reviews and chapters in textbooks of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Since 2008, he has been CEO of Toxogen GmbH, a spin-off of the Medical School. This company works on methods for the detection and quantification of botulinum toxins, has developed a test for the quantification of anti-botulinum toxin antibodies in human sera and performs research on protein- based peripheral muscle relaxants.