Scientific Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen is CECAD´s scientific coordinator.

After studying biology at the University of Utrecht The Netherlands, Carien Niessen obtained her PhD on the function of a6b4 in cell adhesion and in skin blistering diseases at The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam in the laboratory of Arnoud Sonnenberg. She received a Dutch Cancer Society fellowship to do her postdoc at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center in New York in the laboratory of Barry Gumbiner. Here she focused on cadherin cell-cell adhesion biology and the mechanisms that control positioning of cells within tissues. She then moved to the University of Cologne as a junior research group leader at The Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne. She presently is a tenured professor in the Department of Dermatology and CECAD Cologne (Cologne Excellence Cluster on Stress Responses in Aging-associated Diseases). Her group is focused on how regulation of cell architecture controls tissue formation and function in homeostasis as well as in aging and disease.

Deputy Scientific Coordinators are Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing, and Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hoppe.

Scientific Coordinator


Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen
Scientific Coordinator, Principal Investigator, Department Cell Biology of the Skin
 +49 221 478 89512

Dermatologische Klinik, Zentrum für Molekulare Medizin Köln (ZMMK)
CECAD Research Center
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
50931 Cologne

Vice Spokespersons


Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing
Principal Investigator, Clinic II for Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne
 +49 221 478 4480

Nephrologisches Forschungslabor
Uniklinik Köln
Kerpener Str. 62
50937 Köln


Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hoppe
Managing director, Principal Investigator, Institute for Genetics
 +49 221 478 842 18

Institut für Genetik
Universität zu Köln
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
50931 Köln