Background / Goal

  • Aberrant cell death is the hallmark of organ failure, neurodegenerative disease and cancer. The recognition of distinct regulated cell death pathways thus presents tantalizing possibilities for gaining control over life and death decisions made by cells to both prevent (age-dependent) degenerative diseases and to fight cancer. As such, understanding the metabolic and genetic determinants underlying these cell death modalities enables us to develop novel tools and drugs to specifically modulate cell death in order to prevent these often yet incurable diseases.


  • We are convinced that a detailed mechanistic understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying metabolic cell death or leaving a vulnerability to these forms of cell death will provide us unique opportunities to combat these often fatal diseases.


  • Our institute uses genome-wide genetic suppressor screens to unravel novel genes and players that essentially contribute to metabolic forms of cell death including ferroptosis lipotoxicity and others. This knowledge is key for the identification and preclinical development of novel small molecule compounds to target these key players of cell death. In vivo pharmacological approaches using genetic disease models of disease ultimately allow us to validate the in vivo relevance of pharmacological targeting of key nodes of cell death.