Univ. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Henning Walczak

Academic education

1991 - 1992: Diploma thesis work performed at Tumour Immunology Programme of (DKFZ)
1986 - 1991: Studies of Biology at the University of Bielefeld

Scientific degrees

June 1995: Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.) degree received from University of Bielefeld, Germany with “summa cum laude” for thesis work performed at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
1992 - 1995: Ph.D. thesis in the Department of Immunogenetics (Head: Peter H. Krammer), Tumour Immunology Programme, DKFZ; Title: Molecular and functional characterisation of the APO-1 ligand
June 1992: Diploma in Biology (Master‘s Degree) received from University of Bielefeld with grade: “very good”

Scientific career

2014 - present: Scientific Director of the Cancer Research UK-UCL Centre, Head of the Department of Cancer Biology, Group Leader: Cell Death, Cancer and Inflammation Research Group UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, UK
2013 - present: Scientific Director, Cancer Research UK – UCL Centre
2013 - present: Professor of Cancer Biology and Chair of Centre for Cell Death, Cancer and Inflammation, UCL Cancer Institute
2012 - 2012: Co-Head, Centre for Cell Signalling and Inflammation, Imperial College London
2007 - 2012: Professor of Tumour Immunology, Head of Tumour Immunology Unit, Imperial College London, London, UK
2000 - 2007: Head of the BioFuture Research Group “Apoptosis Regulation” within the Tumour Immunology Programme of the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
2002 - 2004: CEO/CSO of Apogenix, a biotech company dedicated to developing targeted pro- and anti-apoptotic therapeutics (during this period the position at DKFZ was part time)
1998 - 2000: Group Leader in the Department of Immunogenetics of the Tumour Immunology Programme of the DKFZ
1996 - 1997: Scientist (PostDoc Level) at Immunex Corp. in Seattle, WA, USA
1995 - 1996: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tumour Immunology Programme of the DKFZ

Honors/ Awards/ Memberships

2011: Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award
2011: ERC Advanced Grant
2001: Genius Biotech Award (1st Prize at an International Business Plan Contest)
1999: BioFuture Prize of the German Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF)
1996 - 2001: Fellowship by the German Ministry for Science and Technology (BMWT)

10 most relevant publications

  • Lafont, E., Draber, P., Rieser, E., Reichert, M., Kupka, S., de Miguel, D., Draberova, H., von Mässenhausen, A., Bhamra, A., Henderson, S., Wojdyla, K., Chalk, A., Surinova, S., Linkermann, A,, Walczak, H. (2018). TBK1 and IKKe prevent TNF-induced cell death by RIPK1 phosphorylation. Nature Cell Biology. Published online, ahead of print (2018).
  • Taraborrelli, L., Peltzer, N., Montinaro, A., Kupka, S., Rieser, E., Hartwig, T., Sarr, A., Darding, D., Draber, P., Haas, T.L., Akarca, A., Marafioti, T., Pasparakis, M., Bertin, J., Gough, P.J., Bouillet, P., Strasser, A., Leverkus, M., Silke, S., Walczak, H. LUBAC prevents lethal dermatitis by combined inhibition of TNF-, TRAIL- and CD95L-mediated cell death. Nature Communications 9: 3910, 2018.
  • Peltzer, N., Darding, M., Montinaro, A., Draber, P., Draberova, H., Kupka, S., Rieser, E., Fisher, A., Hutchinson, C., Taraborrelli, L., Hartwig, t., Lafont, E., Haas, T.L., Shimizu, Y., Böiers, C., Sarr, A., Rickard, J., Alvarez-Diaz, S., Ashworth, M.T., Beal, A., Enver, T., Bertin, J., Kaiser, W., Strasser, A., Silke, J., Bouillet, P., Walczak, H. LUBAC is essential for embryogenesis by preventing cell death and enabling haematopoiesis. Nature557: 112-117,2018.
  • Hartwig, T., Montinaro, A., von Karstedt, S., Sevko, A., Surinova, S., Chakravarthy, A., Taraborrelli, L., Draber, P., Lafont, E., Arce Vargas, F., El-Bahrawy, M.A., Quezada, S.A., Walczak, H. The TRAIL-induced cancer secretome promotes a tumor-supportive immune microenvironment via CCR2. Molecular Cell65: 730-742, 2017.
  • Lafont, E., Kantari-Mimoun, C., Draber, P., De Miguel, D., Hartwig, T., Reichert, M., Kupka, S., Shimizu, Y., Taraborrelli, L., Spit, M., Sprick, MR., Walczak, H. The linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex regulates TRAIL-induced gene activation and cell death. EMBO Journal36: 1147-1166, 2017.
  • Von Karstedt, S., Conti, A., Nobis, M., Montinaro, A., Hartwig, T., Lemke, J., Legler, K., Annewanter, F., Campbell, A.D., Taraborrelli, L., Grosse-Wilde, A., Coy, J.F., El-Bahrawy, M.A., Bergmann, F., Koschny, R., Werner, J., Ganten, T.M., Schweiger, T., Hoetzenecker, K., Kenessey, I., Hegedüs, B., Bergmann, M., Hauser, C., Egberts, J.H., Becker, T., Röcken, C., Kalthoff, H., Trauzold, A., Anderson, K.I., Sansom, O.J., Walczak, H. Cancer Cell-Autonomous TRAIL-R Signaling Promotes KRAS-Driven Cancer Progression, Invasion, and Metastasis. Cancer Cell, 27: 561-73, 2015.
  • Tuthill, M.H., Montinaro A., Zinngrebe, J., Prieske, K., Draber, P., Prieske, S., Newsom-Davis. T., von Karstedt, S., Graves, J., Walczak, H. TRAIL-R2-specific antibodies and recombinant TRAIL can synergise to kill cancer cells. Oncogene 34: 2138-2144, 2015.
  • Peltzer, N., Rieser, E., Taraborrelli, L., Draber, P., Darding, M., Pernaute, B., Shimizu, Y., Daboh, A., Draberova, H., Montinaro, A., Martinez-Barbera, J.P., Silke, J., Rodriguez, T.A. and Walczak, H. HOIP deficiency caused embryonic lethality by aberrant TNFR1-mediated endothelial cell death. Cell Reports9: 153-165, 2014.
  • Lemke, J., von Karstedt, S., Abd El Hay, M., Conti, A., Arce, F., Montinaro, A., Papenfuss, K., El-Bahrawy, M.A., Walczak, H. Selective CDK9 inhibition overcomes TRAIL resistance by concomitant suppression of cFLIP and Mcl-1. Cell Death and Differ 21: 491-502, 2014.
  • 10.Gerlach, B., Cordier, S.M., Schmukle, A.C., Emmerich, C.H., Rieser, E., Haas, T.L., Webb, A.I., Rickard, J.A., Anderton, H., Wong, W.W.-L., Nachbur, U., Gangoda, L., Warnken, U., Purcell, A.W., Silke, J., Walczak, H. Linear ubiquitination prevents inflammation and regulates immune signalling. Nature471:591-596, 2011.


  • “Improved Fc fusion proteins”
  • (Inventor: HenningWalczak)
  • European patent Nr. 1606318 (04 723 552.8) based on PCT/EP 2004/003239
  • Canadian patent application No. CA 20042520138
  • Australian patent application No. 2004224122
  • US patent application Nr. 10/551,004
  • Japanese patent application No. 2006-504877
  • “Receptor that binds TRAIL“
  • (Inventors: Charles T. Rauch, HenningWalczak)
  • US-Patent No. 6642358, 6569642, 6072047
  • “Inhibitors of Apoptosis” (one of many inventors):
  • German patent DE 4412177 and DE 4447484
  • European patent No. 0705278, accepted for AT, BE, CH, DE, DK, ES, FR, GB, IT, NL,SE; European Patent Application No. 03 026 898.1
  • “Methods for treating cancer”
  • (Inventors: Henning Walczak, S. von Karstedt)
  • UCL Businness PLC; publication date 08.01.2015; WO2015001345
  • “Combined Death Receptor inhibiton against autoimmune diseases”
  • (Inventors: Henning Walczak, Lucia Taraborrelli and Maria da las Nieves Peltzer)

Contact Information

Univ. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Henning Walczak SFB1399
Univ. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Henning Walczak

Professor of Biochemistry (W3)

University of Cologne

Director of Institute of Biochemistry I

Curriculum Vitae (CV)