Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Hamid Kashkar appointed to W3 professorship in Molecular Immunology as of January 01, 2022


The newly established professorship is linked to the establishment of a dedicated Institute at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne.

Prof. Dr. Hamid Kashkar | ©Michael Wodak, MedizinFotoKöln

Professor Dr. Hamid Kashkar, previously at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene will receive a W3 professorship for Molecular Immunology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne as of January 1, 2022. The newly established professorship is linked to the establishment of a dedicated Institute at the Faculty of Medicine.

Hamid Kashkar's research, entitled "Cell Death and Immunity", focuses on the role of cellular death mechanisms in the pathogenesis of immune diseases and has a high impact for Cologne as a research location. Kashkar heading a research group at the Research Cluster CECAD as well at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) is involved in several Collaborative Research Centers (CRCs/SFBs) of the Faculty of Medicine and Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Cologne among others:

  • CRC 1218 - Mitochondrial regulation of cellular function
  • CRC 1403 - Cell Death in Immunity, Inflammation and Disease
  • CRC 1530 - Elucidation and targeting of pathogenic mechanisms in B-cell malignancies

His scientific career development benefited from the collaborative nature of the CMMC´s research funding strategies which supported his clinical-oriented and disease-relevant research.

"I am very much looking forward to the establishment of an Institute of Molecular Immunology with the aim of advancing the discipline in research and teaching and to enable the training of young scientists in this increasingly important field. The institute will serve as a catalyst for the development of novel and targeted therapies for the treatment of immune diseases, infection and cancer," Kashkar comments.

As an immunologist, Hamid Kashkar is interested in the impact of cell death on the immune system. Different forms of cell death release specific mediators that induce selective immune responses. Together with his research group, he was recently able to show that different types of cell death are molecularly linked to guarantee the death of a degenerated or infected cell. Caspase-8, a protein shear (protease), plays a central role in this process and dictates various tissue responses. The study "Caspase-8 is the molecular switch for apoptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis" was published in the prestigious journal Nature. Immunologist Kashkar's findings play an important role in understanding immunity to cancer and infection, including future therapeutic treatment options.

Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1968, Hamid Kashkar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Urmia University, Iran, in 1991. He then moved to the University of Cologne, Germany, and received his diploma in biology in 2000. In 2002, he received his PhD with Summa cum Laude in Biology/Genetics. He habilitated in Molecular Immunology in 2008 (award for the best habilitation) and was appointed apl Professor in 2015. From 2005 to 2010, he was a research group leader at the Cologne Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene (IMMIH). In 2011, Hamid Kashkar was honored with the CMMC Career Development Award and further qualified as an independent scientist. Since 2014, Hamid Kashkar has been conducting research as an independent research group leader at the CECAD Cologne as well as at IMMIH and is supported by the Individual Project Funding Program of the CMMC for several funding periods among others.

Prof. Dr. Hamid Kashkar
Institute for Molecular Immunology - University of Cologne
CECAD Research Center