Björn Schumacher

Status: Professor (W3)

Institute for genome stability in aging and disease, CECAD Research Center
University of Cologne
Joseph-Stelzmannstr. 26
50937 Cologne / Germany

Phone: +49 221/478 84202
Nationality: German




Studies in Biology (Diplomstudiengang Biologie) Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Germany; Intermediate Examination (Vordiplom) in Biology, University of Konstanz, 21 July 1997


Visiting scholar in the Master’s program of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, USA


Master of Arts Degree; Master’s Thesis ‘Regulation of Nucleotide Exchange on Ras by Inter- and Intramolecular Interactions’ with Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, SUNY Stony Brook, 30 July 1999


Graduate student in the PhD program in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, SUNY Stony Brook


PhD thesis work with Dr. Michael Hengartner and Dr. Anton Gartner, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA, on ‘DNAdamage Response in Caenorhabditis elegans


PhD student with Dr. Anton Gartner, Department of Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany; PhD project: ‘DNA-damage Response in Caenorhabditis elegans


PhD degree, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, 16 April 2004


Professional and Research Experience


Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Jan Hoeijmakers, Department of Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands


Tenure Track Independent junior research group leader in the Cologne Excellence Cluster “Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases” (CECAD) Research focus DNA damage response mechanisms in Cancer and Aging


Scientific Coordinator of the Research Area C (DNA damage response) within the Excellence cluster CECAD


 Coordinator of the Initial training Network on chronic DNA damage responses in ageing (FP7-ITN CodeAge)


 Full professor (W3) and Director of the Institute for Genome Stability in ageing and disease


 Acting Director of the CECAD Research Center


Scientific societies

Elected Member of the faculty council, faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne (since 2015)

Member of the German Society for Ageing Research (since 2014 President)

Member of the scientific advisory board, Frankfurter Zukunftsrat (Future Think Tank)


Awards and Prizes


 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher Grant


Innovation Prize of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia


EMBO long-term postdoctoral Fellowship and Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (from 2006)


List of the five most important publications

  1. Mueller M, Castells-Roca L, Babu V, Ermolaeva MA, Müller RU, Frommolt P, Williams AB, Greiss S, Schneider JI, Benzing T, Schermer B, Schumacher B. DAF-16/FoxO and EGL-27/GATA promote developmental growth in response to persistent somatic DNA damage. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Nov 24:16(12):1168–1179. doi: 10.1038/ncb3071
  2. Wolters S, Ermolaeva M, Bickel J, Fingerhut J, Khanikar J, Chan R, Schumacher B. Loss of C. elegans BRCA1 promotes genome stability during replication in smc-5 mutants. Genetics. 2014 Apr;196(4):985-99. doi: 10.1534/genetics.113.158295
  3. Ermolaeva MA, Segref A, Dakhovnik A, Ou HL, Schneider JI, Utermöhlen O, Hoppe T, Schumacher B. DNA damage in germ cells induces an innate immune response that triggers systemic stress resistance. Nature. 2013 Sep 19;501(7467):416-20. doi: 10.1038/nature12452
  4. Garinis GA, Uittenboogaard LM, Stachelscheid H, Fousteri M, van Ijcken W, Breit TM, van Steeg H, Mullenders LHF, van der Horst GTJ, Brüning JC, Niessen CM, Hoeijmakers JHJ and Schumacher B. Persistent transcription-blocking DNA lesions trigger somatic growth attenuation associated with longevity. Nat Cell Biol. 2009 May;11(5):604-15.
  5. Schumacher B, Hanazawa M, Lee M, Nayak S, Volkmann K,  Hofmann R, Hengartner M, Schedl T, Gartner A. Translational Repression of C. elegans p53 by GLD-1 regulates DNA damage induced apoptosis. Cell, 11 February 2005; 120: 357-368.