Professor Andreas Strasser

Professor Andreas Strasser



Professor Andreas Strasser



MSc Basel PhD Basel FAA

Division Head

I am a cancer researcher trained in cell biology, immunology and molecular oncology. I have made major contributions to the discoveries that defects in cell death can cause cancer, autoimmune disease and impair the response of cancers to chemotherapy. 

My current work aims to reach a detailed understanding of the molecular control of programmed cell death. My team is exploiting this knowledge to develop novel treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases that directly activate the cell death machinery.

Research interest

My research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis, with a particular focus on leukaemias and lymphomas. To do this, we use gene-targeting technologies as well as biochemical and molecular biology tools.

This is answering important questions about: 

  • The regulation of apoptosis and other forms of cell death
  • How apoptosis and other forms of cell death are disrupted during development of haematopoietic and epithelial tumours, and autoimmune disease 
  • The contribution of impaired apoptosis and possibly other forms of cell death to chemoresistance
  • How we can manipulate apoptosis and possibly other forms of cell death for therapeutic benefit  
  • How the tumour suppressor p53 prevents tumour development and how it functions in cancer therapy

Our long-term ambition is to use this knowledge to develop new approaches to the treatment and prevention of cancer and autoimmune disease. 

My group has been set up to encompass a very broad technology base, bringing together expertise in: 

  • In vivo biology 
  • Transgenic and gene targeting technology
  • Molecular biology, including lentiviral and shRNA vector production as well as CRISPR mediated genome editing in cell lines, primary cells and in mice
  • Biochemistry
  • Yeast genetics
  • Monoclonal antibody production
  • Immunology and haematology

This allows us to tackle many important questions in cell death, molecular oncology and immunology and helped to establish our group at the forefront in our area of research.

MCL-1 team in the laboratory

Institute researchers have discovered that targeting a cell ‘survival’ protein could help treat some lymphomas, including those that are resistant to existing therapies.

Our researchers have discovered a promising strategy for treating cancers that are caused by one of the most common cancer-causing changes in cells.