Dr Christina Kiel

Dr Christina Kiel is a Science Foundation Ireland-funded Principal Investigator at the UCD School of Medicine in UCD Systems Biology Ireland.

Dr Christina Kiel + Mark Ferguson + President Michael D Higgins

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and Dr Christina Kiel, UCD Systems Biology Ireland at Áras An Uachtaráin on the occasion of Dr Kiel being awarded SFI President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award.

Prior to taking up her current position, Dr Kiel held a position as Staff Scientist in the Systems Biology Department of the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain. She obtained her PhD degree in the Structural Biology department of the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany, in 2003. For postdoctoral studies she moved to the department of Structural and Computational Biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Her major research area is the quantitative, systems and structural analysis of signaling pathways and protein interaction networks relevant in human diseases.


What we do

Network-centric approaches to drug development and cancer treatment have become essential in recent years. However, the function and biological output of signal transduction networks (STN) is context-dependent. My group will study how STN relevant in colon cancer are context- and tissues-specific quantitatively modulated in (patho)physiologically-relevant primary cells and organoids. We will study how STN control cellular phenotypes by investigating how they generate cell type-specific vs. -general functions, and how cancer mutations affect these interactions and outputs. Using protein engineering, we will generate mutations that rewire cancer-relevant STN in a designed fashion. This approach may provide better mechanism-driven diagnostics and treatments.

Key words

  • Colon cancer
  • 3D tissue models
  • Protein engineering
  • CRISPR-Cas9
  • Network rewiring
  • core signaling pathways

Recent Publications

Interaction dynamics determine signaling and output pathway responses.

Stojanovski K, Ferrar T, Benisty H, Uschner F, Delgado J, Jimenez J, Solé C, de Nadal E, Klipp E, Posas F, Serrano L, Kiel C. , Cell. Rep. 19, 136-149 (2017).

Simple and complex retinal dystrophies are associated with profoundly different disease networks.

Kiel C, Lastrucci C, Luthert PJ, Serrano L. , Sci. Rep. 7, 41835 (2017).

The yin-yang of kinase activation and unfolding explains the peculiarity of Val600 in the activation segment of BRAF.

Kiel C, Benisty H, Lloréns-Rico V, Serrano L., Elife 5, pii, e12814 (2016).

Dissecting the calcium-induced differentiation of human primary keratinocytes stem cells by integrative and structural network analyses.

Toufighi K, Yang J-S, Luis NM, Aznar Benitah S, Lehner B, Serrano L, Kiel C., PLoS. Comput. Biol. 11, e1004256 (2015).

Structure-energy-based predictions and network modeling of RASopathy and cancer missense mutations.

Kiel C, Serrano L. , Mol. Syst. Biol. 10, 727 (2014).

Protein conservation and variation of human signaling pathways suggests mechanisms of cell type-specific signaling modulation.

Schaefer M, Yang J-S, Serrano L, Kiel C., PLoS. Comput. Biol. 10, e1003659 (2014).

Integration of protein abundance and structure data reveals competition in the ErbB signaling network.

Kiel C, Verschueren E, Yang J-S, Serrano L. , Sci. Signal. 6, ra109 (2013).



To find out more about our work, to collaborate on a project or for postdoc, PhD and intern opportunities, contact Dr Christina Kiel.