Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Immunology and Inflammation

Clinical Reader in Molecular Haemato-Oncology



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Dr Holger Auner is Clinical Reader in Molecular Haemato-oncology in the Centre for Haematology. He received his MD from Karl-Franzens University Graz, Austria, where he also trained in Internal Medicine/Haematology-Oncology and studied genetic instability in myeloid leukaemias in the laboratory of Professor Heinz Sill. He then joined the group of Professor Niall Dillon at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre as a Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Junior Research Fellow and obtained his PhD for work on plasma cell biology from Imperial College London. Subsequently, he was the Stem Cell Transplant Co-ordinator in the Centre for Haematology at Hammersmith Hospital. He was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2012 that allowed him to establish his research group. In 2019, he was awarded a Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship and became Head of Translational Research at Imperial's newly established Hugh and Josseline Langmuir Centre for Myeloma Research. Dr Auner’s primary research interest is to better understand the molecular mechanisms that coordinate protein degradation pathways with cellular metabolism in multiple myeloma and other cancers, with the ultimate goal of finding novel therapeutic approaches. His lab, the 'Cancer Cell Protein Metabolism' group, also investigates how proteomic and metabolic homeostasis depend on tissue physical properties and vice versa. Dr Auner is an active member of the European Myeloma Network (EMN), principal investigator for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust for national and international trials, and member of the UK Myeloma Research Alliance. 

***LAB NEWS***

11/2020 - on the clinical side, the global phase 3 BOSTON trial is published in THE LANCET - Selinexor added to once weekly Vd improves PFS compared to twice weekly Vd

01/2020 a very warm welcome to Dr Monica Roman-Trufero (joining us from the MRC LMS) and Marilena Christoforou MSc (joining us from UCL) who will both work on solving some metabolic mysteries of multiple myeloma cells. 

12/2019 congratulations to Sandra Loaiza on passing her PhD viva without corrections!

11/2019 -- work on the CRUK ACSF project officially starts; read an interview with Dr Auner here 

07/2019 -- we have started work on our CRUK Small Molecule Drug Discovery Project award, which is supported by SU2C, and welcome Dr Elena Lopez-Jimenez (previously at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Centre (CNIC), Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO), and Imperial/Surgery and Cancer) to the team!

01/2019 --- Parzych K et al, 'The coordinated action of VCP/p97 and GCN2 regulates cancer cell metabolism and proteostasis during nutrient limitation' is published in ONCOGENE

11/2018 --- Loaiza et al, 'An engineered, quantifiable in vitro model for analysing the effect of proteostasis-targeting drugs on tissue physical properties' is published in BIOMATERIALS, the leading journal in the field, and becomes a 'most downloaded article' on the journal webpage

10/2018 --- the Gentleman lab publish a paper to which we contributed in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (Ferreira et al, 'Bi-directional cell-pericellular matrix interactions direct stem cell fate')

Auner lab members (2020)

Monica Roman-Trufero PhD (post-doc)

Elena Lopez-Jimenz PhD (post-doc)

Paula Saavedra Garcia PhD (post-doc)

Marilena Christoforou MSc (Research Assistant)

Hibah Al-Sadah (PhD student)

Kristy Cheuk (BSc Medical Biosciences 2020/21)

Previous lab members (and subsequent destinations)

Ricardo Minaya-Sainz (MRes Cancer Biology 2019/20)

Jessica Hill (MRes Cancer Biology 2020)

Yirun Miao (BSc Medical Biosciences 2019/20)

Tomohito Shimada (TMDU exchange student, 2019)

Xiaobei Xiong (MRes Cancer Biology, 2019)

Lucy Penfold (maternity cover post-doc, 2018; --> post-doc @ MRC LIMS)

Katarzyna Parzych (post-doc, 2012-2018; --> Trials Coordinator @ UCLH)

Desislava Kuzeva (MRes Cancer Biology, 2016/17; --> PhD @ King's College London)

Dinusha Fernando (MRes Cancer Biology, 2017/18; --> Research Technician in Cancer Immunotherapy at UCL)

Angie Ruiz Tellez (MSc Molecular Medicine, 2017; --> Research Intern @ Imperial)

Noushin Masoudi (MSc in Genes, Drugs and Stem Cells, 2017; --> PhD @ Imperial)

Max Zi Chen (maternity cover post-doc, 2015; --> post-doc @ Imperial then in Cambridge)

Tamara Chinn (Whitaker Fellow; with Dr Eileen Gentleman, King's College London, 2014-2015; --> Medical School in the US)

Viktoria Holzmann (Erasmus/UROP BSc student, 2016; --> Masters/PhD in Vienna, Austria)

Research Collaborations

Professor Anastasios Karadimitris, Imperial College London

Professor Hector Keun, Imperial College London

Professor Matt Fuchter, Imperial College London

Professor Mauricio Barahona, Imperial College London

Dr Eileen Gentleman, King's College London

Dr Mariia Yuneva, Francis Crick Institute, London

Dr Eric Chevet, French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm), Rennes

Dr Martin Kaiser, The Institut of Cancer Research, London/Sutton

Professor Kwee Yong (UCL)

Professor Monika Engelhardt, Freiburg, Germany


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Grosicki S, Simonova M, Spicka I, et al., 2020, Once-weekly selinexor, bortezomib, and dexamethasone versus twice-weekly bortezomib and dexamethasone in patients with multiple myeloma (BOSTON): a randomised, open-label phase 3 trial, The Lancet, Vol:396, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:P1563-1573

Parzych K, Saavedra Garcia P, Valbuena G, et al., 2019, The coordinated action of VCP/p97 and GCN2 regulates cancer cell metabolism and proteostasis during nutrient limitation, Oncogene, Vol:38, ISSN:0950-9232, Pages:3216-3231

Loaiza S, Ferreira SA, Chinn TM, et al., 2018, An engineered, quantifiable in vitro model for analysing the effect of proteostasis-targeting drugs on tissue physical properties., Biomaterials, Vol:183, Pages:102-113

Ferreira SA, Motwani MS, Faull PA, et al., 2018, Bi-directional cell-pericellular matrix interactions direct stem cell fate, Nature Communications, Vol:9, ISSN:2041-1723

Ferreira SA, Faull PA, Seymore AJ, et al., 2018, Neighboring cells override 3D hydrogel matrix cues to drive human MSC quiescence, Biomaterials, Vol:176, ISSN:0142-9612, Pages:13-23

Auner HW, Yong KL, 2018, More convenient proteasome inhibition for improved outcomes, Lancet Oncology, Vol:19, ISSN:1470-2045, Pages:856-858

Auner H, Parzych K, Chinn TM, et al., 2015, Inadequate fine-tuning of protein synthesis and failure of amino acid homeostasis following inhibition of the ATPase VCP/p97, Cell Death & Disease, Vol:6, ISSN:2041-4889

Auner HW, Beham-Schmid C, Dillon N, et al., 2010, The life span of short-lived plasma cells is partly determined by a block on activation of apoptotic caspases acting in combination with endoplasmic reticulum stress, Blood, Vol:116, ISSN:0006-4971, Pages:3445-3455

Sabbattini P, Canzonetta C, Sjoberg M, et al., 2007, Novel role for the Aurora B kinase in epigenetic marking of silent chromatin in differentiated postmitotic cells, EMBO Journal, Vol:26, ISSN:0261-4189, Pages:4657-4669

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