Members of the Department

Our team

Amparo Acker-Palmer, Prof'in Dr. +49(0)69/798-42563acker-palmer(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Amparo Acker-Palmer, Prof'in Dr. Department Chief mail

María Rodríguez Aburto, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42578rodriguezaburto(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
María Rodríguez Aburto, Dr. Research Fellow Vessel guidance during developmental and tumor angiogenesis
The neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease
mail

I studied Biology at the 'Universidad Autónoma de Madrid' from 2001 to 2005. In 2006 I started my PhD Thesis in the Neurobiology of Hearing group, under the supervision of Prof. Isabel Varela-Nieto and Dr. Marta Magariños. In July 2011 I obtained my doctoral degree for my work concerning the regulation of cell death and survival during early vertebrate otic neurogenesis. Since March 2012 I am part of the vascular research team in Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer’s group.

Nathalie Bataille +49(0)69-798-42565bataille(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position contact
Nathalie Bataille secretary mail

Ursula Bauer +49(0)69-798-42578u.bauer(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Ursula Bauer technical assistant Project 1 mail

Tarek Belefkih +49(0)69-798-42578belefkih(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Tarek Belefkih technical staff mail

Diane Bissen +49(0)69-798-42570 bissen(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Diane Bissen PhD student Neural and Vascular Guidance group mail

BSc in Biology at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

MSc thesis in the group of Prof. Françoise Gofflot, Molecular and Cell Biology of Animals Laboratory, UCL. Topic: “Characterization of Hoxa5 expression pattern in the fetal, postnatal and adult murine brain by quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization.”

End-of-master research internship in the group of Dr. Susan Ackerman, The Jackson Laboratory, ME, USA. Topic: “Characterization of a gene involved in cerebellar ataxia in a mouse mutant strain –analysis of the gene expression pattern and the neural phenotype of the mutant strain.”

PhD student in Prof. Acker-Palmer’s group at the MPI of Brain Research. Member of the neuroscience team.

Peter Brendel +49(0)69-798-42033 p.brendel(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Peter Brendel technical assistant EphrinB-mediated Mechanisms in the Control of Neuronal Migration during Adult Neurogenesis mail

After completing my diploma thesis in May 1994 (Isolation of the soluble 5´-Nucleotidase from bovine brain and production of a polyclonal antibody) I started as a Technician in the same group (Professor Herbert Zimmermann, Neurochemistry) in November 1994. Since then I participated in different cell biological and biochemical projects in the field of neurochemistry and have been involved in multiple teaching projects, especially in practical courses. Since 2011 I have been a member of the “Neural and Vascular Guidance Group” of the new department of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology headed by Professor Amparo Acker-Palmer.

Florian Cop +49(0)69-798-42577 cop(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Florian Cop PhD student Vessel guidance during developmental and tumor angiogenesis

Bachelor in Biology at Goethe University Frankfurt

Master Thesis: ‘Molecular Players in Retinal Development’ in the group of Professor Acker-Palmer in the BMLS at Goethe University Frankfurt

Part of the vascular research team

Beatriz Furones Cuadrado+49(0)069/798-42570furonescuadrado(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Beatriz Furones Cuadrado PhD student mail

Angel Cuesta, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42576cuesta(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Angel Cuesta, Dr. Research Fellow Vessel guidance during developmental and tumor angiogenesis mail

I was born in Carabanchel, a genuine neighborhood in Madrid, Spain.

During my Medical Laboratory Occupational Training I discovered Immunology and its possibilities in cancer and other diseases, that´s the reason why I decided to get a Bachelor degree in Molecular Biology and experience what “Research” is.

From 1996 to 2003 I studied Biology (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) at the Autónoma University in Madrid. During the following 6 years I made my PhD Thesis working at the University Hospital Puerta de Hierro in Madrid. In June 2009 I got the Doctor degree with the work on “Multimerization strategies for the generation of recombinant antibodies with diagnose and therapeutic applications”.

After two years with a PostDoc position in Madrid I moved, in April 2011, to the Department for Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at the Buchmann Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

My work (mixed with lab organization and coordination as Lab Manager, teaching new PhD students, and managing the Animal House), has always been focused on Cancer Research: during my PhD I tried to create new recombinant antibodies for clinical applications, and nowadays, I am focused on understanding the behavior and development (growth, migration, proteins expression, invasion, and metastasis) of cancer cells in the brain and the involvement of the Eph/ephrin system on those processes. I hope our work helps to find some more efficient and specific therapies and give a longer and better quality of life in brain cancer patients. Furthermore, some nice collaborations, focused on the knowledge of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal transition from some carcinomas, are running together with the Institute for Neuropathology at the Justus-Liebig University in Gießen.

If you want to know something more, you can track my publications in PubMed just clicking here.

But, if you want to know much more, do not lose your time in Facebook, I have no account opened, sorry.

Enjoy!

Miriam Damm+49(0)69-798-42577damm(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Miriam Damm PhD student The function of vascular receptors in nervous system development and plasticity mail

Diploma in Biology at Goethe University Frankfurt

Diploma Thesis: ‘Molecular mechanisms of Reelin signaling in the nervous system’ in the group of Professor Acker-Palmer in the BMLS at Goethe University Frankfurt

Phd student in Amparo Acker-Palmer’s group since May 2012, part of the neurovascular research team

Franziska Foß+49(0)69-798-42572foss(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Franziska Foß PhD student Reelin signaling during nervous system development and plasticity mail

Bachelor of Science Biosciences ”at Goethe University Frankfurt

Bachelor Thesis: in the group of Professor Acker-Palmer

Master of Science Interdisciplinary Neuroscience”at Goethe University Frankfurt

Master Thesis: in the group of Professor Acker-Palmer

PhD student in Amparo Acker-Palmer‘s group since June 2012

Part of the neuroscience team

Karen Kristine Gampe, Dr. +49(0)69-798-42002k.gampe(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Kristine Gampe Research Fellow
scientific coordinator
lecturer
Reelin signaling during nervous system development and plasticity
Ectonucleotidases and Nucleotides in the Control of Neurogenesis
EphrinB-mediated Mechanisms in the Control of Neuronal Migration during Adult Neurogenesis
mail

My scientific career began as a student of biological science at the Goethe University Frankfurt in 1999. During my undergraduate years I enjoyed wonderful months working for the Galapagos islands national park and doing field research in Western Australia. Nevertheless, this time made me realize that I was not a field researcher but, instead, was rather intrigued by the way how molecular and cellular neurobiology identifies and describes the mechanisms that govern the functions of this most complex organ of ours, the brain.

I sharpened this focus during my PhD thesis in the group of Prof. Herbert Zimmermann at the Goethe University Frankfurt. How do adult neural stem cells manage to functionally integrate into an existing network of billions of cells? Which are the mechanisms and the factors that control the proliferation, differentiation, migration and, eventually, the survival of these cells? In cooperation with Prof. Magdalena Götz’s lab at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich I analysed the specific roles of growth factors and nucleotides like ATP and ATP-related molecules. These investigations led me to receive my doctoral degree in 2010 for the work “Adult mammalian neurogenesis: functional role of purinergic signalling and the growth factor EGF”.

Since 2011, my current position in the Department for Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology at the Buchmann Institute of Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS) and the Goethe University Frankfurt allows me to further investigate the roles that Eph/ephrin and purinergic signalling play in the postnatal and adult neural stem cell niche under physiological and pathological conditions.

In vivo approaches to address these questions include mouse brain surgery to induce cortical lesions as well as mouse brain ventricular infusions and injections and these methods are complemented by in vitro experiments utilizing primary neural stem cell cultures; both approaches comparing wild type to transgenic mice. Experimental analysis mainly involves immunochemistry followed by conventional and confocal imaging techniques.

Responsibilities in the organisational management of our lab include my position as a deputy project leader in matters of biological safety issues when working with genetically modified organisms. Furthermore, I revise and submit the applications for our groups animal experiments to the official regulatory organs. And last but not least I love to teach, to train students and to watch them develop their own understanding of research in life sciences. Teaching activities include bachelor courses and several modules for the master students (MSc CBP and MSc INS) as well as the supervision of bachelor and master theses. Are you curious about our course contents? Well, go there and have a look yourself…

Ricarda Härtl+49(0)69-798-42577haertl(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Ricarda Härtl PhD student The neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease mail

Diploma in Biochemistry at Goethe University Frankfurt

Diploma Thesis in the group of Professor Klein in the department of pharmacology at Goethe University Frankfurt

Phd student in Amparo Acker-Palmer’s group since April 2011

Part of the neurovascular research team

Kristin Happich+49(0)69-798-29830happich(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position contact
Kristin Happich technical staff mail

Bettina Kirchmaier, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42002kirchmaier(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position contact
Bettina Kirchmaier, Dr. Research Fellow, Coordinator of zebrafish research mail

Cardiovascular and neuronal development have fascinated me since my studies. People say “seeing is believing” and somehow for me it´s true, I was attracted since my diploma thesis to the zebrafish with its great in vivo imaging possibilities combined with the ease to perform forward and reverse genetics.

I performed my PhD thesis in Prof. Brand’s lab at the University of Würzburg where I analyzed the cardiovascular system in zebrafish with focus on arrhythmia. One of my key findings was that knockdown of popdc2 in zebrafish leads to severe arrhythmia. Accordingly, it was shown that mice deficient in Popdc1 or Popdc2 revealed severe sinus node dysfunction when subjected to physical or mental stress in an age-dependent manner. This finding is from high importance because stress-induced sinus node dysfunction affects many people later in life, causing physiologically inappropriate heart rates.

For my first Postdoc I chose Prof. Schulte-Merker’s lab at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, The Netherlands. My focus was vascular stability investigating one important form of an intracranial hemorrhage disorder which is called cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM). Cerebral cavernous malformations are defined as vascular lesions mostly localized in the central nervous system which give rise to seizures, focal neurologic deficits and hemorrhagic stroke. So far, in vitro studies propose involvement of CCM proteins in multiple vascular processes including adherens junction formation and stability, endothelial cell permeability, tubulogenesis and cell polarity, but the in vivo role still remains elusive. Therefore I established transgenic zebrafish lines tagging subcellular endothelial compartments. This enabled me to highlight in vivo changes in actin cytoskeleton and adherens junctions in CCM1 zebrafish mutants.

In Prof. Acker-Palmer’s lab I am linked to the neurovascular group and I am going to intensify my research in vessel/neuron interactions using the zebrafish as a model organism.

Lena Kurbel kurbel(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Lena Kurbel Technical staff mail

Melanie Laßek, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42034lassek(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Melanie Laßek, Dr. Postdoctoral Fellow The physiological function of APP at the hippocampal presynaptic active zone mail

Diploma in Chemistry; Goethe University Frankfurt/Main (2009)

Diploma Thesis in the Department of Pharmacology; “TRPC6-activation – a possible neurotrophic strategy in Alzheimer Dementia”; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. W. E. Müller

PhD in Biology; Goethe University Frankfurt/Main (2010-2014)

PhD Thesis in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology; “The impact of APP knockout on the presynaptic active zone proteome”; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. W. Volknandt

Laura Mohr+49(0)69/798-42572mohr(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Laura Mohr PhD student mail

Marta Parrilla Monge, Dr.+49(0)69/798-42578parillamonge(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Marta Parrilla Monge, Dr. Postdoc mail

LaShae K. Nicholson+49(0)69-798-42572nicholson(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
LaShae K. Nicholson PhD student The function of vascular receptors in nervous system development and plasticity mail

I received my Master's in Biomedical sciences and Technology from the University of Applied Sciences, Mannheim. My Master's thesis work, studying "Whole cell Dynamics of Protein Exchanges in Developing Neurons", was performed in the Schuman group at the MPI for Brain Research. Currently, I am a PhD student fellow of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Neuronal Circuits. I am pursing my PhD in the lab of Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer where I am investigating the function of the vascular receptor VEGFR2 in nervous system development and synaptic plasticity.

Denis Schmelzer+49(0)69-798-29830schmelzer(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position contact
Denis Schmelzer Technical staff mail

Marta Segarra, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42572segarra(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Marta Segarra, Dr. Research Fellow The neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease mail

Degree on Chemistry (1996) and Degree on Biochemistry (1998), Tarragona, Spain.

PhD in Biochemistry on vascular inflammation (2000-2006). Dr M.C. Cid’s Lab, Internal Medicine Dept., Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS-University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain).

Post-doctoral fellow on tumoral angiogenesis (2006-2011). Dr G. Tosato’s Lab, Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD, US).

Part of the neurovascular research team at Dr. A. Acker-Palmer’s Lab since September 2011.

Jennifer Stefani+49(0)69-798-42035stefani(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Jennifer Stefani PhD student Ectonucleotidases and Nucleotides in the Control of Neurogenesis mail

Diploma in Biology at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Diploma thesis: ‘The functional characterization of the NTPDase2 Knock-out mouse’. PhD student (since July 2012) in the group of Prof. Herbert Zimmermann, investigating the role of purinergic signalling in the control of adult neurogenesis.

Walter Volknandt, Prof. Dr.+49(0)69-798-42022volknandt(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Walter Volknandt, Prof. Dr. Group Leader mail

Lisa Waberer+49(0)69-798-42035waberer(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position contact
Lisa Waberer PhD student mail

Bachelor of Science "Biosciences" at Goethe University, Frankfurt.

Bachelor Thesis in the group of Professor Manfred Kössl, Communication and echolocation of Carollia perspicillata.

Master of Science "Interdisciplinary Neurosciences" at Goethe University, Frankfurt.

Master Thesis in the group of Professor Walter Volknandt, “Evaluation of the Zn2+-binding capacity of the synaptic vesicle protein SV31”.

PhD student in the group of Professor Walter Volknandt since November 2012.

Jens Weingarten, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42034weingarten(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Jens Weingarten, Dr. Postdoctoral Fellow The physiological function of APP at the hippocampal presynaptic active zone mail

Study of Biology and Chemistry (2001-2007)

Examination thesis and 1st national examination; “Development of a teaching concept for the grammar school sixth form dealing with the hominid evolution comprising the methodical topic 'learning at different stations'”; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Klein, Department of Didactics in Biosciences; Goethe University Frankfurt/Main (2008)

Internship for higher teaching post (Referendariat für das Lehramt an Gymnasien) (2008-2010)

PhD in Biology; Goethe University Frankfurt/Main (2010-2015)

PhD Thesis in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology; “Characterization of the presynaptic active zone proteome derived from distinct mouse brain regions – Impact of APP and APLP2 deletion on the hippocampal presynaptic active zone”; Supervisor: Prof. Dr. W. Volknandt

Herbert Zimmermann, Prof. Dr.+49(0)69-798-42036h.zimmermann(at)bio.uni-frankfurt.de

name position associated projects contact
Herbert Zimmermann, Prof. Dr. Prof. emeritus mail