Contact information

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Silvia von Karstedt

Department of Translational Genomics

CECAD - Cluster of Excellence at the University of Cologne

Joseph-Stelzmann-Straße 26

50931 Cologne



Academic education

2003-2008         Undergraduate Studies in Biology, University of Hamburg (Pre-Diploma, grade “very good”) and Heidelberg (Diploma, grade= 1,0; “very good”)


Scientific degrees

03/2013 M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Biology, Imperial College London, UK; “DISC-dependent versus DISC-independent aspects of TRAIL biology” (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Henning Walczak)
09/2008 Diploma in Biology, University of Heidelberg


Scientific career

2021 - present W2 Professor at the Department of Translational Genomics/CECAD, University of Cologne, Germany
2017 - 2021 Max Eder Junior Research Group Leader, Department of Translational Genomics/CECAD, University of Cologne, Germany
2016 - 2017 Postdoctoral research fellow, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK (Group of Prof. Dr. Julian Downward)
2013 - 2016 Postdoctoral research fellow, University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute, UCL, UK (Group of Professor Dr. Henning Walczak)


Honors/ Awards/ Memberships

2020 - present Editorial board of Cell Death Discovery
2020 - present  Reviewer for Molecular Cell
2019 - present  Member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
2019 - present  Member of the European Cell Death Organization (ECDO)
2019 - present  Reviewer board for Cancers and Cells
2018 - present  Editorial advisory board of Encyclopaedia Life Science (eLS-Wiley)
2017 Max Eder Junior Research Group Award (Deutsche Krebshilfe)
2017 - present Reviewer board for Oncogene and Cell Death and Disease and Cell Death and Differentiation
2015 - present Member of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)
2015 F1000 prize for best short talk, 9th Tuscany Retreat on Cancer Research, Chiusi, Italy
2015 EACR Poster Prize 31st Genes and Cancer Meeting, Cambridge, UK
2014 Poster Prize UCL Cancer Institute 7th Annual Conference, UK
2014 “Prize for best contributing student or postdoc” Gordon Research Conference, Mount Snow, USA
2014 Prize for best selected short talk, 30th Genes and Cancer Meeting, Cambridge, UK
2013 Poster Prize UCL Cancer Institute 6th Annual Conference, UK
2013 Travel Award 14th International TNF-meeting, Quebec, Canada


  • A guide to ferroptosis in cancer

    Ferroptosis is a newly identified iron-dependent type of regulated cell death that can also be regarded as death caused by the specific collapse of the lipid antioxidant defence machinery. Ferroptosis has gained increasing attention as a potential therapeutic strategy for therapy-resistant cancer…

  • Ferroptosis response segregates small cell lung cancer (SCLC) neuroendocrine subtypes

    Loss of TP53 and RB1 in treatment-naïve small cell lung cancer (SCLC) suggests selective pressure to inactivate cell death pathways prior to therapy. Yet, which of these pathways remain available in treatment-naïve SCLC is unknown. Here, through systemic analysis of cell death pathway availability…

  • Dynasore Blocks Ferroptosis through Combined Modulation of Iron Uptake and Inhibition of Mitochondrial Respiration

    Ferroptosis is a form of regulated necrosis characterized by a chain-reaction of detrimental membrane lipid peroxidation following collapse of glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) activity. This lipid peroxidation is catalyzed by labile ferric iron. Therefore, iron import mediated via transferrin…

  • Ferroptosis in Cancer Cell Biology

    A major hallmark of cancer is successful evasion of regulated forms of cell death. Ferroptosis is a recently discovered type of regulated necrosis which, unlike apoptosis or necroptosis, is independent of caspase activity and receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIPK1) kinase activity. Instead,…

  • Ferroptotic pores induce Ca2+ fluxes and ESCRT-III activation to modulate cell death kinetics

    Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent form of regulated necrosis associated with lipid peroxidation. Despite its key role in the inflammatory outcome of ferroptosis, little is known about the molecular events leading to the disruption of the plasma membrane during this type of cell death. Here we show…

  • Potent pro-apoptotic combination therapy is highly effective in a broad range of cancers

    Primary or acquired therapy resistance is a major obstacle to the effective treatment of cancer. Resistance to apoptosis has long been thought to contribute to therapy resistance. We show here that recombinant TRAIL and CDK9 inhibition cooperate in killing cells derived from a broad range of…