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Welcome to the Walczak Lab

We are an international group with laboratories based at the University of Cologne and at University College London.

Research in the Walczak Laboratory is focused on the study of the functional interplay between cell death, ubiquitin and inflammation in cancer, (auto-)immunity and infectious diseases. The group is particularly interested in unravelling the mechanisms of how this functional interplay, when triggered by different death receptor-ligand systems, affects the (patho-)physiology in cancer, (auto-)immunity and the body’s response to infection. By gaining a better understanding of this functional interplay, the Walczak lab aims to devise novel therapies for these diseases.

Henning Walczak, PhD

Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Biochemistry, Institute of Biochemistry I, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne;

Professor of Cancer Biology, Centre for Cell Death, Cancer and Inflammation, UCL Cancer Institute University College London

Research Focus

Cancer biologist and immunologist Henning Walczak investigates cell death and ubiquitin in inflammation, cancer and immunity.

Human cancer cells undergoing TRAIL-induced cell death.

Selected publications

  1. von Karstedt S, Walczak H. An unexpected turn of fortune: targeting TRAIL-Rs in KRAS-driven cancer. Cell Death and Discovery, 6: 14. eCollection, 2020.
  2. Annibaldi A, Walczak H. Death Receptors and Their Ligands in Inflammatory Disease and Cancer. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 12(9):a036384, 2020.
  3. Peltzer N, Walczak HCell Death and Inflammation - A Vital but Dangerous Liaison. Trends in Immunology, 40: 387-402, 2019.
  4. 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 TL, Shimizu Y, Böiers C, Sarr A, Rickard J, Alvarez-Diaz S, Ashworth MT, 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. Nature, 557: 112-117, 2018.  
  5. 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. TBK1 and IKKε prevent TNF-induced cell death by RIPK1 phosphorylation. Nature Cell Biology, 20: 1389-1399, 2018.
  6. Taraborrelli L, Peltzer N, Montinaro A, Kupka S, Rieser E, Hartwig T, Sarr A, Darding M, Draber P, Haas TL, Akarca A, Marafioti T, Pasparakis M, Bertin J, Gough PJ, Bouillet P, Strasser A, Leverkus M, Silke J, Walczak H. LUBAC prevents lethal dermatitis by inhibiting cell death induced by TNF, TRAIL and CD95L. Nature Communications, 9: 3910, 2018.
  7. von Karstedt S, Montinaro A, Walczak HExploring the TRAILs less travelled: TRAIL in cancer biology and therapy. Nature Reviews Cancer, 17: 352-366, 2017.
  8. Zinngrebe J, Rieser E, Taraborrelli L, Peltzer N, Hartwig T, Ren H, Kovács I, Endres C, Draber P, Darding M, von Karstedt S, Lemke J, Dome B, Bergmann M, Ferguson BJ, Walczak H. LUBAC deficiency perturbs TLR3 signaling to cause immunodeficiency and autoinflammation. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 213: 2671-2689, 2016.
  9. von Karstedt S, Conti A, Nobis M, Montinaro A, Hartwig T, Lemke J, Legler K, Annewanter F, Campbell AD, Taraborrelli L, Grosse-Wilde A, Coy JF, El-Bahrawy MA, Bergmann F, Koschny R, Werner J, Ganten TM, Schweiger T, Hoetzenecker K, Kenessey I, Hegedüs B, Bergmann M, Hauser C, Egberts JH, Becker T, Röcken C, Kalthoff H, Trauzold A, Anderson KI, Sansom OJ, Walczak H. Cancer cell-autonomous TRAIL-R signaling promotes KRAS-driven cancer progression, invasion, and metastasis. Cancer Cell, 27(4):561-73., 2015.
  10. Draber P, Kupka S, Reichert M, Draberova H, Lafont E, de Miguel D, Spilgies L, Surinova S, Taraborrelli L, Hartwig T, Rieser E, Martino L, Rittinger K, Walczak H. LUBAC-recruited CYLD and A20 restrict gene activation and regulate cell death by exerting opposing effects on linear ubiquitin in signaling complexes. Cell Reports, 13, 2258-2272, 2015.

More publications