Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Simon Pöpsel, Alessandro Annibaldi and Robert Hänsel-Hertsch - three young scientists awarded with the CMMC´s Junior Research Group Funding


to establish an internationally visible research group as independent leaders at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne.

Simon Pöpsel - Alessandro Annibaldi - Robert Hänsel-Hertsch (from left to right) Picture Fotomedizin Köln - D. Hensen

The CMMC awarded open positions as CMMC Junior Research group Leaders in the field of Molecular Medicine to Robert Hänsel-HertschSimon Pöpsel and Alessandro Annibaldi - three outstanding young scientists based on a highly international competitive recruitment procedure.

Since the structure of the genome changes significantly with increasing age and can play a role in the development of diseases such as cancer or degenerative diseases, Robert Hänsel-Hertsch (CMMC-JRG 10) is investigating so-called epigenomic structural changes.  For this purpose he uses genome editing tool methods to investigate the molecular relationships between changes in the genome and genome stability. This should show whether age- or cancer-related changes in the epigenome are of diagnostic and therapeutic value. For further information, please visit:  and

Simon Pöpsel (CMMC-JRG 11) is interested in mechanisms that regulate chemical changes in protein complexes that control the expression of genes. To elucidate the regulatory mechanisms, he will use cryoelectron microscopy to study high-resolution protein structures. The knowledge gained will form the basis for the development of new "tailor-made" drugs, which will enable him to intervene in processes that play a role in the development of cancer, for example. For further information, please visit: and

Alessandro Annibaldi's (CMMC-JRG 12) field of research is molecular mechanisms that regulate the various forms of cell death (including apoptosis and necrosis).  He is investigating which forms of cell death play a role in inflammation, infection, tissue damage and carcinogenesis and how they are regulated. A better understanding of these complex relationships will help to find new strategies to improve current treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. For further information, please visit: and

Information - Junior Research Group Program (JRGP) of the CMMC
Since the CMMC`s foundation in 1994 the JRGP foundation has been an integral part of support measures for junior reseachers`career. To this end, the Center provides funding for 3 internationally competitive JRGs, wich are comparable to the Emmy Noether-Program by the DFG with a running period of 5 (+3) years.