Welcome to two new W3 Professors at CECAD

01.09.2021 | TopNews

Left: Filipe Cabreiro, Professor for 'Microbiota in Aging' | Picture: Michael Kodak, MedizinFotoKöln Right: Christian Frezza, Professor for 'Metabolomics in Aging’ | Picture: Neil Grant, MRC Visual Aids

Filipe Cabreiro and Christian Frezza start their work in Cologne

Filipe Cabreiro

As leading experts in the field of drugs and microbiota Filipe Cabreiro joined CECAD in July as professor for “Microbiota in Aging”.

The Cabreiro lab developed a unique experimental pipeline with the potential to unravel drug-diet-microbe-host interactions. By combining classical and advanced microbial genetics, high-throughput genomic and chemical approaches, targeted metabolomics and computational approaches, the Cabreiro lab studies both host and microbial physiology in very fine mechanistic detail. Over the years, the Cabreiro lab has made fundamental contributions to this growing field, by identifying signaling and biochemical pathways in bacteria regulating metabolite availability with the capacity to regulate host physiology and aging.

At CECAD, the Cabreiro lab will delve deep into the microbial dark matter to discover new biomolecules with great potential for treating aging.

For his important contributions to science, he has received a prestigious EMBO Young Investigator award and a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship from the Royal Society and Wellcome Trust. Filipe started his academic career as biochemist at Paris Diderot University (Paris VII) and did his post-doctoral studies in the UK at the University College London where he set up his independent lab in 2013. In 2018 he took up a Readership and MRC Investigator position at Imperial College London. The professorship at CECAD is now the next step.


Christian Frezza

The AvH awardee Christian Frezza starts on October 1 the professorship for ‘Metabolomics in Aging’. Christian is an internationally recognized scientist and leading expert in the field of cancer metabolism and metabolomics.

The Frezza lab investigates the role of dysregulated mitochondrial metabolism in cancer using a combination of computational, metabolomics, and biochemical approaches. Before, the Frezza lab provided a comprehensive investigation of the metabolic changes that occur in cancer cells and the first functional link between metabolic changes and epigenetic reprogramming to drive epithelial- to-mesenchymal transition, an event critical for cancer initiation and metastasis. In addition, the Frezza lab contributed to the elucidation of the role of succinate in inflammation and ischaemia reperfusion injury.

At CECAD, the Frezza lab will continue to explore the contribution of metabolism in aging associated disorders. In particular, they will focus on understanding the role of the mitochondrial tumor suppressor Fumarate Hydratase in renal cancer and how fumarate elicits transformation. They will also expand their approaches to study how the dysregulation of mitochondrial metabolism contributes to aging. 

Christian started his scientific career in his home country Italy, receiving his doctorate in Padova in 2008. An EMBO long-term grant from the European Molecular Biology Organization brought him to the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2012, he moved to Cambridge to conduct research as a program leader in the field of Cancer Metabolism at the MRC Cancer Unit. The award of the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship to and appointment of Christian Frezza is a huge success for Christian and the CECAD Cologne campus.


With Filipe and Christian as new W3 Professors we are looking forward to many exciting findings I the fields of microbiota and metabolomics in aging.