Negotiations for 3rd AvH professor to join CECAD have started

25.11.2021 | News and Calendar CECAD Projects

Jan Karlseder © Salk Institute

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has taken up appointment negotiations with biologist Jan Karlseder.

Professor Jan Karlseder has been selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the ‘Alexander von Humboldt Professorship - International Award’. The University of Cologne, which nominated him, is currently engaged in appointment negotiations with the biologist. If the negotiations are successful, Karlseder will become professor of ‘Telomere Metabolism in Aging and Cancer Initiation’ at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. With Karlseder, the number of AvH professorships at CECAD would increase from two to three.

Jan Karlseder currently holds the professorship of Molecular and Cell Biology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. An internationally recognized scientist, his research focuses on the function of telomeres in ageing and cancer. Telomeres are located at the ends of each chromosome, where they serve as protective caps. Telomeres play a central role in ageing and cancer, as their length and integrity regulate the process of cell division and mortality. He was nominated for the award by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Ageing Research at the University of Cologne.

‘I am excited that my laboratory’s work has been honoured with the AvH Award and I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities it offers,’ said Karlseder.

Karlseder began his scientific career in his native Austria, earning a doctoral degree in genetics in Vienna. In 1996, he continued his postdoctoral studies at Rockefeller University in New York City. He joined the Salk Institute in La Jolla in 2002, where his lab explores the synergies between telomeres, the DNA damage response, and cancer-protective proliferative boundaries. His future research will focus on the interaction between telomeres, inflammation and the prevention of carcinogenesis during the ageing process.

With Jan Karlseder, CECAD now has the opportunity to recruit a renowned and globally recognized expert for the third year in a row to the Cluster of Excellence, strengthening the entire ageing research hub in Cologne. Karlseder’s work recently shed light on how our genes are regulated and how programmes change during cell division. His research thus provides an important contribution towards understanding ageing and diseases like cancer which can be traced back to genetic mutations.

An Alexander von Humboldt Professorship can be awarded to internationally leading researchers of all disciplines who are currently working abroad. The award money of 3.5 million euros (humanities) and five million euros (natural sciences) is intended for the first five years, enabling the winners to conduct pioneering research at a German university.

With literary scholar Kate Rigby a second Alexander von Humboldt International Awardee is in current negotiations to join the University of Cologne – in Rigby's case, she would become professor of ‘Environmental Humanities’ at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Press and Communications Team:

Dr. Anna Euteneuer
CECAD Cluster of Excellence
+49 221 478 84043
anna.euteneuer[at]uni-koeln.de