People

Lucas Schirmer, MD

Lucas is a physician-scientist focusing on disease mechanisms in acute and chronic neuroinflammation. He holds a W3 Heisenberg Professorship for Translational Neurobiology at Heidelberg University and is Division Chief Neuroimmunology.

He studied medicine in Göttingen, followed by clinical training in Neurology in Munich and postdoctoral studies in San Francisco and Cambridge.

Research in his lab combines work with experimental models and human pathology aiming at decoding molecular and cell type-specific pathways in progressive neuroinflammation.

lucas.schirmer@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Julia Dyckow, DVM

Julia studied veterinary medicine at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. She is a PhD student in the lab focusing on experimental model systems and glial subtype-specific mechanisms during inflammatory demyelination. Julia has a major interest in utilizing complex transgenic model systems in combination with high-resolution imaging to dissect glial subtype functions during disease progression under inflammatory-demyelinating conditions.

 

julia.dyckow@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Iva Gašparović-Curtini, MD

Iva is a physician-scientist ans MS specialist combining work in our MS outpatient clinic with research focusing on clinical and basic science aspects of neuroimmunology. Iva studied medicine at the University of Rijeka and is a trained neurologist and with a long-standing expertise in the care of MS patients.

 

iva.gasparovic-curtini@umm.de

Celine Geywitz, M.Sc.

Celine is a PhD student in the lab and has a prime focus on unraveling specific therapeutic strategies to target neuron and glial cell types in the context of progressive neuroinflammation. Celine studied Biomedical Science at Hasselt University and did her master thesis in the lab of Gonçalo Castelo-Branco at Karolinska Institute.

 

celine.geywitz@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Niklas Grassl, MD

Niklas studied medicine at Technical University of Munich and did his MD thesis in the lab of Matthias Mann at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. He is a physician-scientist combining clinical training in Neurology with wet and dry lab work. His scientific focus is on deconvoluting immune-mediated mechanisms in glioma and autoimmune diseases. Niklas regularly utilizes cutting-edge high-dimensional proteomic approaches to decode spatially restricted neurological diseases.

 

niklas.grassl@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Annika Hofmann, cand. med.

Annika is a medical student at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim with a strong scientific focus on myeloid cell subtypes as drivers of disease progression under inflammatory-demyelinating conditions such as MS. In her thesis project, she utilizes high-resolution and large-area spatial transcriptomics to decode myeloid cell subtype diversity in MS.

 

annika.hofmann@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Marten Junge, MD

Marten studied medicine at Hamburg University and is a physician-scientist combining clinical training in Neurology with wet and dry lab work. Marten is currently involved in clinical trials in MS patients and a resident in Clinical Neuroimmunology seeing patients in our outpatient clinic for immune-mediated neuromuscular and central nervous system diseases.

 

marten.junge@umm.de

Hannah Kapell, cand. med.

Hannah studies medicine at the Medical Faculty in Heidelberg and focuses in her doctoral thesis on neuron subtypes and their response patterns towards inflammatory demyelination. She utilizes complex experimental model systems in combination with cell-type specific omics technologies to uncover neuron subtype vulnerabilities in MS and related model systems.

 

Hannah is supported by scholarships of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Hertie Foundation (medMS doctorate program).

 

kapell@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

 

Anna Kocharyan, MD

Anna is a physician-scientist and combines clinical work with bench work in the lab.

 

She studied medicine in Heidelberg and has a strong interest in decoding interactions between immune cells and tissue-intrinsic neuromuscular cell types in myositis and inflammatory demyelination. Anna utilizes high-resolution multiplex RNA and protein imaging as well as cutting-edge bioinformatics to uncover cell type-specific drivers of pathology in immune-mediated neurological diseases. 

 

kocharyan@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Michael Kutza, cand. med.

Michael is a medical student at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim and has a strong scientific interest in dissecting cell-type specific neuroimmune diversity in inflamed tissue niches in MS and neuroinfectious diseases. To address these questions, Michael utilizes cutting-edge cell-type specific RNA-sequencing techniques in combination with high-performance computing and spatial transcriptomics.

 

Michael is supported by a medMS Hertie Foundation scholarship.

 

kutza@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Celia Lerma Martin, M.Sc.

Celia studied biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and is a PhD student in the lab.

 

She combines wet with dry lab work focusing on spatial and cell type-specific multiplex technologies to decipher molecular key drivers of compartmentalized neuroinflammation. 

 

Celia is a member of the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS) and supported by DFG GRK 2727 (InCheck - Innate Immune Checkpoints in Cancer and Tissue Damage).

 

celia.lermamartin@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Mikail Öztürk, cand. med.

Mikail studies medicine at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim and is highly interested in understanding compartmentalized mechanisms that drive progression in MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, his focus is on decoding dysregulated patterns of gene expression related to gray matter areas under progressive disease conditions.

 

Mikail is supported by a scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

 

oeztuerk@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

 

Hans-Werner Rausch, MD

Hans-Werner studied medicine at the Medical Faculty in Heidelberg and is a physician-scientist and specialist Neurologist. His scientific interests are on immune-mediated mechanisms of neuromuscular diseases such as myositis and neuropathies. In particular, he is interested in rheumatological overlap syndromes and shared pathological mechanisms.

His clinical focus is complementary and circled around immune-mediated diseases of the peripheral nervous system. 

 

hans-werner.rausch@umm.de

Sophia Schwarz, cand. med.

Sophia is a medical student at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim and focuses in her thesis project on cell-type specific pathologies along the anterior visual system in MS. She utilizes large-area and high-resolution imaging techniques in combination with multiplex spatial transcriptomics to deconvolute neuroimmune dysfunction. 

 

Sophia is supported by a scholarship of the German Government.

 

sophia.schwarz@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Patricia Sekol, cand. med.

Patricia is a medical student of Mannheim Medical Faculty. She is supported by a scholarship of the DFG GRK 2727 (InCheck - Innate Immune Checkpoints in Cancer and Tissue Damage) and focuses in her work on myeloid cell subtypes under inflammatory-demyelination conditions with a specific emphasis on iron metabolism. Patricia also has a strong focus on disentangling spatially restricted patterns of compartmentalized immune pathologies in MS and beyond.

 

patricia.sekol@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Thomas Thäwel, cand. med.

Thomas studies medicine in Mannheim and is passionate about coding and bioinformatics.

He utilizes novel cell isolation and sequencing protocols to disentangle cell type-specific pathologies during inflammatory demyelination. One of his goals is to use in silico workflows to identify dynamic drivers of pathology along inflammatory and degenerative trajectories in MS and related diseases.

 

Thomas has been supported by the medMS Hertie Foundation program and Mannheim Medical Faculty.

 

thaewel@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Tim Trobisch, MD

Tim and is a physician-scientist combining work with patients with dry and wet lab work. 

 He studied medicine in Mannheim and has a strong interest in decoding cell-type specific gene expression changes in immune-mediated diseases such as MS. Tim focuses on specific tissue niches and regionally restricted pathologies. He is keen on applying latest high-performance computing tools to analyze multiome data.

 

Tim has been supported by a scholarship of the German Cancer Aid.

 

tim.trobisch@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Sven Wischnewski, cand. med.

Sven is a medical student at the Medical Faculty in Mannheim and has major scientific focus on immune-mediated myopathies. He regularly uses cutting-edge cell type-specific RNA-sequencing technologies in combination with high-resolution imaging to understand and decipher molecular key drivers of pathology in myositis. He also has a strong interest in overlapping transcriptomic features in MS and related diseases of the central nervous system. 

 

Sven has been supported by a scholarship of the Medical Faculty Mannheim.

 

s.wischnewski@stud.uni-heidelberg.de

Amel Zulji, M.Sc.

Amel studied molecular biology at the University of Zagreb and is a PhD student in the lab. He combines wet with dry lab work and aims at decoding cell type-specific molecular states in inflammatory-demyelinating diseases such as MS. By integration of single-cell genomics data from different lesion types and regions, he aims at breaking the genomic code underlying disease progression in MS.

 

Amel is a member of the Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS).

 

amel.zulji@medma.uni-heidelberg.de

Alumni

2019-2021 Tatjana Beutel, MD (Postdoc/Resident, to University Medical Center Ulm)

2021 Leonie Thomas, M.Sc. student

2020-2021 Nadja Pfirmann, MD student

2020-2021 Blerina Misiraj, MD student

2020-2021 Sophie Leer, MD student

2021-2022 Niko Stevens, MD-PhD student (to Quintana lab, Harvard University, Boston)

2022 Aaleya Talapatra, M.Sc.