Univ.-Prof. Dr. Krishnaraj Rajalingam

Krishna received his Masters in Life sciences (M.Sc) from Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, India and he moved to Germany to work with Profs. Thomas Rudel and Thomas Meyer at the Max Planck Institute for Infections Biology (MPIIB) in Berlin. After obtaining his PhD, he continued at MPIIB as a scientist before moving to MSZ at the University of Würzburg to start with his own group. He subsequently moved to Frankfurt and was heading an Emmy Noether Group of the DFG at the Institute of Biochemistry II (IBCII), Goethe University. In 2013, he became a Senior group Leader and a PLUS3-Fellow of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation at the IBCII, Frankfurt. He was a Heisenberg professor (2015-2020) in Cell biology (W3) and since 2018, he is head of the Cell Biology unit at the University Medical center, Mainz. Since 2018, Krishna also holds a visiting research directorship at the IMCB, A*STAR Singapore. Krishna's scientific interests are in understanding the molecular signalling machinery controlling fundamental cellular processes like cell death/survival, migration and cellular differentiation. His team employs interdisciplinary approaches to unravel the underlying molecular determinants driving cancer and immune disorders with an aim to effectively translate the findings into clinical practice. To meet these goals, he has recently launched a biopharmaceutical company KHR Biotec GmbH in partnership with the Indivumed Group.

Academic education

  • 1995 - 2000: Masters in Life Sciences Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, India. Thesis advisors: Prof. Dr. K. V. Krishnamurthy and Prof. Dr. T. Rudel

Scientific degrees

  • PhD in Molecular Cell Biology, Max Planck Institut for Infections Biology, 2004; Thesis advisors: Prof. Dr. T. Rudel and Prof. Dr. T. F. Meyer

Professional career

  • 2021 - : Founder, MD, KHR Biotec GmbH, Germany
  • 2018 - : Distinguished Visiting Research Director, IMCB, Singapore
  • 2018 - : Head, Cell Biology Unit, UMC-Mainz
  • 2014 - 2020: Heisenberg professor in Cell Biology (W3), JGU, Mainz (tenured)
  • 2013 - 2014: BIF-PLUS3 fellow, Senior Group leader, Cell death signalling group, Institute of Biochemistry II, Goethe University School of Medicine, Frankfurt
  • 2008- 2013: Emmy Noether Group Leader, Institute of Biochemistry II, Goethe University School of Medicine, Frankfurt
  • 2006 - 2008: C1, Wissenschaflicher Oberassistent, Institute of Medical Radiation and Cell Research (MSZ), University of Würzburg, Würzburg
  • 2005 - 2006: Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin
  • 2004 - 2005: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Infections Biology, Berlin

Major Awards and Fellowships

  • 2018 -    Distinguished Visiting Research Director, IMCB, A*STAR, Singapore
  • 2018: Won Key Project grant under "ground breaking proposals" EKF
  • 2017: Best Alumni award, BDU, India
  • 2016 - 2019: Honorary adjunct professorship in IIT, Madras, School of Biotechnology, India
  • 2014: Spitzenforscher Grant - State of Rhineland Palatinate, Germany
  • 2014 -    Gutenberg Forschungskolleg (GFK)-fellowship from JGU, Mainz 2013 W3- Heisenberg Professorship in Cell Biology (DFG)
  • 2012: PLUS3 Fellow of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation (PLUS3)
  • 2010 - 2013: Rated as a top lecturer for consecutive years by medical students of Goethe University attending "Leben und Leiden" Seminars
  • 2008: BOGS Stipend of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina
  • 2007: Selected for the Emmy Noether Programme of the DFG (First south Asian ever to be selected)
  • 2005: AACR-AFLAC Scholar-in-Training award
  • 2000 - 2006: PhD and Postdoc fellowships from MPG
  • 1998: EMBO/FEBS/UNESCO fellowship
  • Editorial board member Cell death and Disease, Genetics and genomics next, Discovery Oncology, FEBSJ, and Translational Oncology.
  • Steering committee member FZI, Transmed Investigator.
  • Reviewer of major funding agencies including DFG, DKH, Wellcome trust, NHMRC Singapore, Genesis Oncology Trust, New Zealand, AKH, Austria.
  • Scientific Advisory board member, Indivumed Group.

International Patents

  • Prohibitin as a target for cancer therapy (PCT/EP2005/010339) (WO/2006/032528)
  • KRAS inhibitors (EP 18 200 610.6, PCT/EP2019/077916)
  • A method for the detecting clustering of RAS proteins (Singapore Provisional application 10202113656R)

Selected Original Articles

  • Bogucka-Janczi K, Harms G, Coissieux MM, Bentires-Alj M, Thiede B, Rajalingam K. ERK3/MAPK6 dictates CDC42/RAC1 activity and ARP2/3-dependent actin polymerization. Elife. 2023 Apr 14;12:e85167.
  • Renaud E, Riegel K, Romero R, Suryamohan K, Distler U, Tenzer S, Schad A, Musholt TJ, Rajalingam K. Multiomic analysis of papillary thyroid cancers identifies BAIAP2L1-BRAF fusion and requirement of TRIM25, PDE5A and PKCδ for tumorigenesis. Mol Cancer. 2022 Oct 10;21(1):195
  • Mooz J., Riegel K, Hari PS, Sadanandam A, Marini F, Klein M, Werner U, Roth W, Wilken-Schmitz A, Tegeder I, and Rajalingam K, ARAF suppresses ERBB3 expression and metastasis in a subset of lung cancers. Sci Adv, 2022. 8(11):p. eabk1538
  • Krishnan A, Berthelet J, Renaud E, Rosigkeit S, Distler U, Stawiski E, Wang J, Modrusan Z, Fiedler M, Bienz M, Tenzer S, Schad A, Roth W, Thiede B, Seshagiri S, Musholt TJ, Rajalingam K. Proteogenomics analysis unveils a TFG-RET gene fusion and druggable targets in papillary thyroid carcinomas. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):2056
  • Bogucka K, Pompaiah M, Marini F, Binder H, Harms G, Kaulich M, Klein M, Michel C, Radsak MP, Rosigkeit S, Grimminger P, Schild H, Rajalingam K. ERK3/MAPK6 controls IL-8 production and chemotaxis. Elife. 2020;9.
  • Riegel K, Schloder J, Sobczak M, Jonuleit H, Thiede B, Schild H, Rajalingam K. RAF kinases are stabilized and required for dendritic cell differentiation and function. Cell Death Differ. 2020;27(4):1300-15.
  • Buehler U, Schulenburg K, Yurugi H, Šolman M, Abankwa D, Ulges A, Tenzer S, Bopp T, Thiede B, Zipp F, Rajalingam K. Targeting prohibitins at the cell surface prevents Th17-mediated autoimmunity. EMBO J. 2018 Jul 26. pii: e99429. doi: 10.15252/embj.201899429
  • Yurugi H, Marini F, Weber C, David K, Zhao Q, Binder H, Désaubry L, Rajalingam K. Targeting prohibitins with chemical ligands inhibits KRAS-mediated lung tumours. Oncogene. 2017 Apr 17. doi: 10.1038/onc.2017.93.
  • Imre G, Berthelet J, Heering J, Kehrloesser S, Melzer IM, Lee BI, Thiede B, Dotsch V, Rajalingam K. Apoptosis Inhibitor 5 is an endogenous inhibitor of caspase-2. EMBO Rep.2017 DOI 10.15252/embr.201643744.
  • Juliane Mooz, Tripat Kaur Oberoi-Khanuja, Gregory S Harms, Weiru Wang, Bijay S Jaiswal, Somasekar Seshagiri, Ritva Tikkanen, Krishnaraj Rajalingam (2014) Dimerization of ARAF promotes MAPK activation and cell migration. Sci Signal. 5;7(337):ra73. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2005484.
  • Armelle-Natsuo Takeda, Tripat Kaur Oberoi-Khanuja, Gabor Glatz, Katharina Schulenburg, Rolf Peter-Scholz, Alejandro Carpy, Boris Macek, Attila Remenyi, Krishnaraj Rajalingam (2014) Ubiquitin dependent regulation of MEKK2/3-MEK5-ERK5 signaling module by XIAP and cIAP1. EMBO J.18;33(16):1784-801. doi: 10.15252/embj.201487808. Epub 2014 Jun 28.
  • Gergely Imre, Jan Heering, Armelle-Natsuo Takeda, Matthias Husmann, Bernd Thiede, Dagmar Meyer zuHeringdorf, Douglas R Green, F.Gisou van der Goot, Bhanu Sinha, Volker Dötsch, Krishnaraj Rajalingam (2012) Caspase-2 is an initiator caspase responsible for pore forming toxin-mediated apoptosis EMBO J.31(11):2615-28.
  • Tripat Kaur Oberoi* Taner Dogan*, Jennifer C.Hocking, Rolf-Peter Scholz, Juliane Mooz, Carrie L Anderson, Christiaan Karreman, Dagmar Meyer zu Heringdorf, Gudula Schmidt, Mika Ruonala, Kazuhiko Namikawa, Gregory S Harms, Alejandro Carpy, Boris Macek, Reinhard W Koester and Krishnaraj Rajalingam (2011) Inhibitor of Apoptosis proteins regulate the plasticity cell migration by directly targeting Rac1 for degradation EMBO J. 31(1):14-28.
  • Taner Dogan, Gregory S.Harms, Mirko Hekman, Christiaan Karremann, Tripat kaur Oberoi, Emad S.Alnemri, Ulf R Rapp, Krishnaraj Rajalingam. (2008) X linked and cellular IAPs modulate the stability of C-RAF kinase and cell motility. Nature Cell Biology 10(12): 1447-55.

Prof. Dr. Krishnaraj Rajalingam

Head Cell Biology Unit

06131 17-8051