Univ. Prof. Dr. Christian Frezza

Academic education

2004 - 2008 PhD in Biosciences, University of Padova, Italy
1997 - 2002 MSc in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Padova, Italy

Scientific degrees

2008 PhD: The role of Opa1 in mitochondria dependent apoptosis, University of Padova, Italy

Scientific career

2022 - present W3 AvH Professor of Metabolomics in ageing University of Cologne, CECAD
2003 - 2004 Research Fellow, Glaucoma Research Foundation USA, Dulbecco-Telethon Institute, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Supervisor Prof. Luca Scorrano
2017 – 2022 Program Leader, MRC Cancer Unit, Hutchison/MRC Research Centre, University of Cambridge
2004 - 2008 PhD fellow, School of Biosciences, program in Neurobiology, University of Padova, Italy, Supervisor Prof. Luca Scorrano
2012 - 2017 Program leader track, MRC Cancer Unit, Hutchison/MRC Research Centre University of Cambridge
2008 - 2012 Post-doctoral scientist, Tumour Metabolism Department, The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, Supervisor Prof. Eyal Gottlieb

Honors / Awards / Memberships

Editorial Activities
2019 – present Editorial Board Member of Nucleic Acid Research Cancer
2019 Guest Editor of British Journal of Cancer
2019 Guest Editor of Frontiers in Oncology
2017 Guest Editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms
2013 – present Member of the editorial board of Biochemical Journal
2014 – present Assistant editor of Molecular & Cellular Oncology
2020 Recipient of the Alexander Von Humboldt Professorship
2019 - 2025 Cancer Research UK Program Foundation Award (CRUK)
2019 - 2024 ERC Consolidator grant (EU)
2016 - 2019 Partner in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (EU)
2017 - 2019 DBT-MRC post-doctoral scheme
2016 - 2018 NCBS-inStem-Cambridge post-doctoral scheme
2016 - 2017 Cambridge Cancer Centre Pump Priming Award
2014 - 2017 Worldwide Cancer Research Grant (AICR)
2013 Cambridge Cancer Centre Pump Priming Award
2012 Medical Research Council Centenary Award (MRC)
2008 - 2010 Long Term Fellowship, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
2007 - 2008 2-year fellowship, Associazione Italiana Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC)
2017– present Scientific Adviser, Istesso, London, UK
2017– 2022 Scientific Advisory Board, Owlstone, Cambridge, UK

10 most relevant publications

  • Valcarcel-Jimenez L, Rogerson C, Yong C, Schmidt C, Yang M, Harle V, Offord V, Wong K, Mora A, Speed A, Caraffini V, Tran MGB, Maher ER, Stewart GD, Vanharanta S, Adams DJ, Frezza C. HIRA loss transforms FH-deficient cells. Science Advances Accepted for publication.
  • Ryan DG, Yang M, Prag HA, Blanco GR, Nikitopoulou E, Segarra-Mondejar M, Powell CA, Young T, Burger N, Miljkovic JL, Minczuk M, Murphy MP, von Kriegsheim A, Frezza C. Disruption of the TCA cycle reveals an ATF4-dependent integration of redox and amino acid metabolism. Elife. 2021 Dec 23;10:e72593. doi: 10.7554/eLife.72593.
  • Johnson, T. I., Costa, A., Ferguson, A. N., & Frezza C. (2018). Fumarate hydratase loss promotes mitotic entry in the presence of DNA damage after ionising radiation. Cell death & disease, 9(9), 913. doi:10.1038/s41419-018-0912-3 PMID 30190474.
  • Gaude E, Schmidt C, Gammage PA, Dugourd A, Blacker T, Chew SP, Saez-Rodriguez J, O'Neill JS, Szabadkai G, Minczuk M, Frezza C. NADH Shuttling Couples Cytosolic Reductive Carboxylation of Glutamine with Glycolysis in Cells with Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Mol Cell. 2018 Feb 15;69(4):581-593.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.01.034. PMID: 29452638; PMCID: PMC5823973.
  • Gonçalves E, Sciacovelli M, Costa ASH, Tran MGB, Johnson TI, Machado D, Frezza C, Saez-Rodriguez J. Post-translational regulation of metabolism in fumarate hydratase deficient cancer cells. Metab Eng. 2018 Jan;45:149-157. doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2017.11.011. Epub 2017 Nov 27. PMID: 29191787; PMCID: PMC5805855.
  • Gaude E, Frezza C. Tissue-specific and convergent metabolic transformation of cancer correlates with metastatic potential and patient survival. Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 10;7:13041. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13041. PMID: 27721378; PMCID: PMC5062467.
  • Sciacovelli M, Gonçalves E, Johnson TI, Zecchini VR, da Costa AS, Gaude E, Drubbel AV, Theobald SJ, Abbo SR, Tran MG, Rajeeve V, Cardaci S, Foster S, Yun H, Cutillas P, Warren A, Gnanapragasam V, Gottlieb E, Franze K, Huntly B, Maher ER, Maxwell PH, Saez-Rodriguez J, Frezza C. Corrigendum: Fumarate is an epigenetic modifier that elicits epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Nature. 2016 Dec 1;540(7631):150. doi: 10.1038/nature20144. Epub 2016 Oct 19. Erratum for: Nature. 2016 Aug 31;537(7621):544-547. PMID: 27760119.
  • Zheng L, Cardaci S, Jerby L, MacKenzie ED, Sciacovelli M, Johnson TI, Gaude E, King A, Leach JD, Edrada-Ebel R, Hedley A, Morrice NA, Kalna G, Blyth K, Ruppin E, Frezza C, Gottlieb E. Fumarate induces redox-dependent senescence by modifying glutathione metabolism. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 23;6:6001. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7001. PMID: 25613188; PMCID: PMC4340546.
  • Zheng L, MacKenzie ED, Karim SA, Hedley A, Blyth K, Kalna G, Watson DG, Szlosarek P, Frezza C, Gottlieb E. Reversed argininosuccinate lyase activity in fumarate hydratase-deficient cancer cells. Cancer Metab. 2013 Mar 21;1(1):12. doi: 10.1186/2049-3002-1-12. PMID: 24280230; PMCID: PMC4108060.
  • Frezza C, Zheng L, Folger O, Rajagopalan KN, MacKenzie ED, Jerby L, Micaroni M, Chaneton B, Adam J, Hedley A, Kalna G, Tomlinson IP, Pollard PJ, Watson DG, Deberardinis RJ, Shlomi T, Ruppin E, Gottlieb E. Haem oxygenase is synthetically lethal with the tumour suppressor fumarate hydratase. Nature. 2011 Aug 17;477(7363):225-8. doi: 10.1038/nature10363. PMID: 21849978.

Contact Information

Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Frezza SFB1399
Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Frezza

Professor (W3)

University Hospital Cologne

University of Cologne

CECAD Research Center

Curriculum Vitae (CV)