Caroline Kumsta, Ph.D.

Caroline Kumsta's Research Focus

Aging-Related Diseases
C. elegans

Caroline's research aims to understand and prevent the harmful cellular changes that occur during the aging process that provide the basis for the development of age-related diseases. Specifically, Caroline is investigating the regulation of the cellular recycling process autophagy upon aging and stress and how autophagy contributes to maintaining cellular integrity and proteostasis throughout life and in neurodegenerative disease models. Understanding the coordination and regulation of these cellular processes is highly relevant for aging research and the development of strategies that can lead to health benefits.

Caroline Kumsta's Bio

Caroline earned her degree as a Diplom Biologist/M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She performed her thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Ursula Jakob at the University of Michigan. Caroline joined Sanford Burnham Prebys and the lab of Malene Hansen as a postdoctoral fellow in 2009. In 2018 Caroline was promoted to Research Assistant Professor.

 

Education and Training

  • 2016-2018: Staff Scientist, Development, Aging and Regeneration, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California, USA
  • 2009-2016: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Malene Hansen, Development, Aging and Regeneration, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California, USA
  • 2009: Postdoctoral Associate with Dr. Ursula Jakob, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  • 2005-2008: Doctor rerum naturalium (Ph.D.), magna cum laude Technical University of Munich, Germany Thesis research performed in the laboratory of Dr. Ursula Jakob at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
  • 1999-2005: Diplom-Biologin Univ. (M.S.), with honors Technical University of Munich, Germany

 

Honors and Recognition

  • 2015: Winner of the Biochemical Journal Best Oral Presentation Prize at the EMBO Workshop: The Regulation of Aging and Proteostasis
  • 2013: Winner of award for the best oral presentation at the 12th Annual Poster Symposium at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
  • 2012: Invitation and sponsorship from the Bavarian government to attend the first “Return to Bavaria” conference in Munich, Germany
  • 2011: Recipient of the 2011 career development award “Lenka Musafia Finci Award” in recognition for outstanding research with great potential to help mankind from the Fishman Fund at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
  • 2011: Grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds to attend the conference Protein Synthesis and Translational Control, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2008: Full fellowship from the Ellison Medical Foundation to attend Molecular Biology of Aging Laboratory Course, MBL, Woods Hole, MA
  • 2007: Grant from BIF to attend the conference Biology of Aging, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2006-2008: Ph.D. Fellowship from Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds 
  • 2006: Grant from BIF to attend the conference Molecular Genetics of Aging, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • 2004: Diploma Thesis Fellowship from the Bayerische Forschungsstiftung (Bavarian Research Foundation)

C. elegans

Publications

Getting under the skin: Cuticle damage elicits systemic autophagy response in C. elegans.

Kumsta C, Hansen M

J Cell Biol 2019 Dec 2 ;218(12):3885-3887

Mitochondrial Permeability Uncouples Elevated Autophagy and Lifespan Extension.

Zhou B, Kreuzer J, Kumsta C, Wu L, Kamer KJ, Cedillo L, Zhang Y, Li S, Kacergis MC, Webster CM, Fejes-Toth G, Naray-Fejes-Toth A, Das S, Hansen M, Haas W, Soukas AA

Cell 2019 Apr 4 ;177(2):299-314.e16

Spatiotemporal regulation of autophagy during Caenorhabditis elegans aging.

Chang JT, Kumsta C, Hellman AB, Adams LM, Hansen M

Elife 2017 Jul 4 ;6