Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Immunology and Inflammation

Clinical Reader in Molecular Haemato-Oncology



holger.auner04 Website




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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 and a Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2019, when he 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, using time-resolved omics approaches in a range of cross-disciplinary collaborations. 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 Translational Research Lead of the UK Myeloma Research Alliance. 

***LAB NEWS***

04/2021 - Saavedra-Garcia et al, 'Systems level profiling of chemotherapy-induced stress resolution in cancer cells reveals druggable trade-offs' is published in PNAS (

02/2021 - congratulations to Hibah Alsadah on passing her PhD viva! 

12/2010 - we are excited to welcome Camilla Cucinotta who will study the interplay between tissue stiffness and myeloma cell metabolism during her PhD, in collaboration with the Gentleman lab at King's.

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

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 (supported by SU2C)

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.

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 (2021)

Monica Roman-Trufero PhD (post-doc)

Abigail Gaffar MSc (Research Assistant)

Camilla Cucinotta (PhD student)

Kin Ming (Timothy) Wong (BSc Medical Biosciences/UROP)

Lok Io U (Cherry) (MRes Clinical Research)

Itziar Aranguren Abeigon (MSc Immunology)

Previous lab members (and subsequent destinations)

Paula Saavedra Garcia PhD (post-doc) --> Senior Postdoctoral Scientist @ KU Leuven (Belgium)

Hibah Al-Sadah (PhD student 2017 -2021; --> Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, College of Medicine at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia)

Marilena Christoforou (Research Assistant 2019-2021; --> PhD @ Queen Mary University of London)

Elena Lopez-Jimenez (post-doc, 2019-2020)

Jessica Hill (MRes Cancer Biology 2020)

Ricardo Minaya-Sainz (MRes Cancer Biology 2019/20 --> MSc Radiation Biology @Oxford)

Sandra Loaiza (PhD student, completed 2020 --> Head of Operations and Regulatory Affairs at the John Goldman Centre for Cellular Therapy, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust)

Yirun Miao (BSc Medical Biosciences 2019/20; --> MSc Integrated Immunology @ Oxford)

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

Auner HW, Gavriatopoulou M, Delimpasi S, et al., 2021, Effect of age and frailty on the efficacy and tolerability of once-weekly selinexor, bortezomib, and dexamethasone in previously treated multiple myeloma, American Journal of Hematology, Vol:96, ISSN:0361-8609, Pages:708-718

Saavedra-Garcia P, Roman-Trufero M, Al-Sadah HA, et al., 2021, Systems level profiling of chemotherapy-induced stress resolution in cancer cells reveals druggable trade-offs, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:118, ISSN:0027-8424

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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