Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

CMMC CAP Awardess 2024

We are pleased to announce the researchers who were selected for this year’s CMMC Career Advancement Program (CAP) Award based on their research reports. The CAP awardees will receive support for a period of three years, with an annual funding sum of €10,800, which may be extended for a further two years, contingent upon a positive external evaluation of their progress reports after 2.5 years.

Ising, Christina - CECAD
CAP 29: Research Interest "Connecting cell death, senescence, & neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease and  other tauopathies"

Leidecker, Orsolya - Institue for Genetics
CAP 30: Research Interest "ADP-ribosylation signaling through two biomedically important PARP enzymes: PARP1 and PARP11"
Maleki, Hajar -  Institute for Inorganic Chemisry  
CAP 35: Research Interest "Development of functional porous materials to study the regulation of biomaterial-cell interactions to enhance the osteoconductivity, osteoinductivity of cells while providing anti-tumor or anti-bacterial functionalities"

Nüchel, Julian - Institute for Biochemistry II (Med. F.)
CAP 31: Research Interest "Investigating the effects of post-translational mechanisms on ECM homeostasis in human disease and aging and exploring potential modulations as therapeutic targets"

Piano, Valentiana - Institute for Human Genetics   
CAP 32: Research Interest "Molecular dissection of the cellular processes that control mitochondrial dynamics, particularly during cell division (mitochondrial dysfunction)"
Trentini,  Débora -  Med. Faculty / CMMC    
CAP 33: Research Interest "Understanding of how protein quality control factors work in concert to maintain proteome homeostasis (proteostasis"

Wolf, Anne - Experimental Immunology of the Eye    
CAP 34: Research Interest "Investigation of the mechanisms and precise triggers leading to a detrimental retinal immune response during AAV-based retinal gene therapy"

The Career Advancement Program (CAP) is a funding instrument that was established to further promote highly talented mid-career researchers and clinician scientists aiming for a full professorship in academia or equivalent leadership positions at non-university research institutions in the future.

The program has been proven to be extremely successful. The CMMC is particularly interested in promoting specifically female scientists. Therefore, the CMMC Executive Board decided to extend the CAP program to members of the Medical Faculty and the Science Faculty who would like to participate in the CAP Program.  Research proposals that meet the formal criteria and fit into one of the three research areas of the CMMC

A)    Mechanisms of tumor development: intrinsic and extrinsic control of cell proliferation and tissue invasion
B)    Principles of immunity, inflammation and infection
C)    Molecular mechanisms and metabolic control of tissue degeneration and regeneration

qualify for the scientific evaluation process performed by the members of the Executive Board of the CMMC.

Since its introduction in 2013, a total of 27 scientists have been honoured as CAP Awardees. 15 scientists have successfully completed the CAP Program and have been appointed to professorships or have taken up leading positions at non-university research institutions or in the industrial life science sector. Currently 12 scientists receive CAP funding. For further information, please visit:

Successful candidates will be awarded with 10.800 € CAP for three years with the possibility of additional two years funding after positive external evaluation in addition to lab space in the CMMC Research Building (if applicable) and mentoring and training options, among others.

  • Regular calls for submission of proposals and evaluation by the CMMC Executive Board.
  • Funding support of 10.800 € for flexible usage for consumables/personnel costs including 800 € travel expenses p.a. for three years plus two years.
  • CMMC membership and participation in all CMMC activities.
  • Extension of the CAP Funding for additional two years after positive external evaluation.
  • If applicable, laboratory and office space will be provided for the specific funding period in the CMMC Research Building.
  • Transferable skills training as well as hands-on mentoring options.
  • Access to the CMMC infrastructure including administrative support
  • For further information, please visit: Career Advancement Program
  • A strong interest in disease-oriented research is expected with a focus on molecular mechanisms in the three research areas of the CMMC.
  • Eligible candidates have to be members of the University of Cologne also including scientists employed via third party funding and do not hold a professorship (W1/W2/W3 professorship, “Stiftungs- und außerplanmäßige Professur”).
  • The candidate has to demonstrate that she/he is on a way of developing a successful career in the field of innovative molecular biomedical research and is not older than 40 years at the time of submitting the application.
  • Extramural funding is required: running project funded by the DFG including CRC projects, the German Cancer Aid or ERC funding at the time of submission. Intramural funding is not considered. Junior Research Groups funded by the CMMC or other intramural sources are excluded.
  • The submission of a subsequent CAP application is not possible; the maximum CAP funding period is 3 years plus additional 2 years after a positive external evaluation of the CAP progress report.

The CAP applications are evaluated by the members of the CMMC Executive Board and additional members of the Faculty of Medicine and the Science Faculty.

  • The research interest of the applicant should be molecular biomedical disease-oriented with scientific originality that integrates in one of the three research areas of the CMMC. The application must be of high scientific quality and should reflect the standards given by the German Research Foundation.
  • The research focus of the applicant in the mid-term of his/her academic career should reflect the significance for molecular medicine and sustainability in disease understanding
  • Prior scientific achievements of the applicant´s research group have to be demonstrated by the publication record and the acquisition of third-party funds of the applicant in peer-reviewed journals.

If you have further questions, please contact:

Dr. Debora Grosskopf-Kroiher (CMMC Scientific Coordinator)
debora.grosskopf-kroiher[at]  I   0221 478 5552