Speaker Female Scientists and Diversity Committee

Prof. Dr. rer.-nat. Aleksandra Trifunovic

Institute of Mitochondrial Diseases and Ageing at CECAD Research Center
University of Cologne
Joseph Stelzmann Strasse 26, 50931 Cologne
+49 221 478 84292


Project leader

Scientific career

2022 Organizer of FEBS/EMBO Advanced Course: Mitochondria in life, death and disease, 27-30.09.2022, Budva, Montenegro

2021 Organizer of the Young Mito Investigator Symposium: Mitochondria in life, death and disease,, virtual meeting

2019 Organizer of FEBS/EMBO Advanced Course: Mitochondria in life, death and disease, 24-28.09.2019, Herceg Novi, Montenegro

2017 Organizer of 10th European meeting on Mitochondrial Pathophysiology; EuroMit 10 – Cologne, Germany, June 15th-19th, 2017

Since 2017 Associate Editor for PLoS Genetics

2016 – 2021 Coordinator of the initial training network REMIX – Regulation of Mitochondrial Gene Expression

Since 2016 Associate Editor for Cell Signaling

Since 2015 Associated Editor for Translation Medicine of Ageing

Since 2014 Full Professor (W3) for Mitochondrial Diseases and Ageing at the Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Germany


Prizes and honors

2013 -2016 Visiting Professor, Medical Faculty, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Since 2011 Associate Editor of Frontiers in Genetics of Aging

2010 Organizer of 61st Mosbach Colloquium ‘The Biology of Aging: Mechanisms and Intervention’ held on April 8th–10th, 2010

2009-2014 Tenure track junior research group leader, CECAD Excellence Cluster, University of Cologne, Germany

2009-2012 Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

2006-2009 Research Group Leader, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

2000-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, Prof. Dr. Nils-Göran Larsson, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Selected publications

  1. Croon M, Szczepanowska K, Popovic M, Lienkamp C, Senft K, Brandscheid CP, Theresa Bock T, Gnatzy-Feik L, Ashurov A, Acton RA, Kaul H, Pujol C, Rosenkranz S, Krüger M and Trifunovic A. FGF21 modulates mitochondrial stress response in cardiomyocytes only under mild mitochondrial dysfunction. Science Advances (2022) May 26;7(22):eabf0971.
  2. Rumyantseva A, Popovic M and Trifunovic A. CLPP deficiency ameliorates neurodegeneration caused by impaired mitochondrial protein synthesis. Brain (2022) 29;145(1):92-104.
  3. Kaspar S, Oertlin C, Szczepanowska K, Kukat A, Senft K, Lucas C, Brodesser S, Hatzoglou M, Larsson O, Topisirovic I, and Trifunovic A. (2021) Adaptation to mitochondrial stress requires CHOP-directed tuning of ISR. Science Advances May 26;7(22):eabf0971
  4. Szczepanowska K, Senft K, Heidler J, Herholz M, Kukat A, Höhne MN, Hofsetz E, Becker C, Kaspar S, Giese H, Zwicker K, Guerrero-Castillo S, Baumann L, Kauppila J, Rumyantseva A, Müller S, Frese CK, Brandt U, Riemer J, Wittig I, Trifunovic A. A salvage pathway maintains functional respiratory complex I. Nature Communication 2020 Apr 2;11(1): 1643.
  5. Herholz, M., Cepeda, E., Baumann, L., Kukat, A., Hermeling, J., Maciej, S., Szczepanowska, K., Pavlenko, V., Frommolt, P., and Trifunovic, A. (2019). KLF-1 orchestrates a xenobiotic detoxification program essential for longevity of mitochondrial mutants. Nature Communication 10, 3323.
  6. Becker C, Kukat A, Szczepanowska K, Hermans S, Senft K, Brandscheid CP, Maiti P, and Trifunovic A. (2018) CLPP deficiency protects against metabolic syndrome but hinders adaptive thermogenesis. EMBO Reports 2018 Mar 27. pii: e45126.
  7. Szczepanowska K, Maiti P, Kukat A, Hofetz E, Nolte H, Senft K, Becker C, Ruzzenente B, Hornig-Do HT, Wibom R, Wiesner RJ, Krüger M, Trifunovic A (2016) CLPP coordinates mitoribosomal assembly through the regulation of ERAL1 levels. EMBO Journal 35(23): 2566-83
  8. Dogan SA, Pujol C, Maiti P, Kukat A, Wang S, Hermans S, Senft K, Wibom R, Rugarli EI, Trifunovic A (2014) Tissue-specific loss of DARS2 activates stress responses independently of respiratory chain deficiency in the heart. Cell Metabolism 19: 458-69
  9. Edgar D, Shabalina I, Camara Y, Wredenberg A, Calvaruso MA, Nijtmans L, Nedergaard J, Cannon B, Larsson NG, Trifunovic A (2009) Random point mutations with major effects on protein coding genes drive premature ageing in mtDNA mutator mice. Cell Metabolism 10: 131-8
  10. Trifunovic A, Wredenberg A, Falkenberg M, Spelbrink JN, Rovio AT, Bruder CE, Bohlooly-Y M, Gidlof S, Oldfors A, Wibom R, Tornell J, Jacobs HT, Larsson NG. (2004) Premature ageing in mice expressing defective mitochondrial DNA polymerase. Nature. May 27;429 (6990):417-23.