Members of the Department

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

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Amparo Acker-Palmer, Prof'in Dr. Department Chief mail

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

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María Rodríguez Aburto, Dr. Research Fellow Vessel guidance during developmental and tumor angiogenesis
The neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease

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)

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Nathalie Bataille secretary mail

Ursula Bauer +49(0)69-798-42578u.bauer(at)

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Ursula Bauer technical assistant Project 1 mail

Tarek Belefkih +49(0)69-798-42034belefkih(at)

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Tarek Belefkih technical staff mail

Diane Bissen +49(0)69-798-42034 bissen(at)

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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)

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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)

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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)69/798-42035furonescuadrado(at)

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Beatriz Furones Cuadrado PhD student mail

Anna D'Errico, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42034derrico(at)

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Anna D'Errico, Dr. Research Fellow mail

Franziska Foß+49(0)69-798-42576foss(at)

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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

Jasmin Hefendehl, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42528hefendehl(at)

name position contact
Jasmin Hefendehl, Dr. Research Fellow mail

Dewi Husainie+49(0)69-8500332035husainie(at)

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Dewi Husainie PhD student Neurovascular coupling mail

MSc. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience

BSc. in Biotechnology

PhD candidate in the Neurovascular Interface group of Prof. Dr. Amparo Acker-Palmer

Guest scientist in the group of Prof. Dr. Gilles Laurent at Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt

Project: “Visualization of neuron structure using two-photon microscopy

Former student research associate in the group of Prof. Dr. Rohini Kuner at Pharmacology Institute of Heidelberg University


• Generation of mouse lines expressing halorhodopsin-EYFP (NpHR- EYFP) and channelrhodopsin-2-mCherry (ChR2-mCherry) in nociceptive fibres of dorsal root ganglia

• The murine protease inhibitor Serpina3n inhibits mechanical allodynia in a model of neuropathic pain

Tom Kay+49(0)69-798-42536kay(at)

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Tom Kay mail

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

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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.

Cecília Llaó Cid+49(0)

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Cecília Llaó Cid PhD student mail

I studied Biochemistry at the “Universitat de Barcelona” from 2010 to 1014. During the last year of my bachelor, I did an Erasmus internship in this group, led by Prof. Dr. Acker-Palmer, which was a fantastic experience.

Since I wasn’t sure yet to specialize into neuroscience, I studied a Master’s degree in Biomedicine, at the “Universitat de Barcelona” (2014-2015). There I did some practices in the group Lipidic metabolism-LPL led by Prof. Dr. Miquel Llobera, at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, where I enjoyed and I learned a lot.

For my Master thesis, I got a Eurolife scholarship to perform the Master Final Project in Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC), at Leiden (The Netherlands). I stayed six months there with the TGF-β Group, led by Prof. Dr. Peter ten Dijke, at Molecular Cell Biology department, in the LUMC.

In April 2016, I returned to Prof. Dr. Amparo Acker-Palmer’s group to start as a PhD student, being part of the neurovascular research team."

Laura Mohr+49(0)69-798-42577mohr(at)

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Laura Mohr PhD student mail

Marta Parrilla Monge, Dr.+49(0)69/798-42578parrillamonge(at)

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Marta Parrilla Monge, Dr. Postdoc mail

LaShae K. Nicholson+49(0)69-798-42572nicholson(at)

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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.

Blanca Peguera Carré+49(0)

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Blanca Peguera Carré PhD Student The neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease mail

I studied Biomedical Science at the University of Lleda in Spain (2010-2014) and I accomplish the bachelor thesis in the Molecular and developmental neurobiology group (Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida), under the supervision of Prof. Joaquin Egea.

The university program together with the practical experience in the lab lead to my increasing curiosity in nervous system. Hence, I decided to study a Master in Neuroscience at the University of Barcelona (2014-2015) meanwhile I was doing the master thesis in the Stem cells and regenerative medicine group (University of Barcelona), headed by Prof. Josep Maria Canals.

After finishing my studies, I was deeply interested in developmental neuroscience and I knew that I wanted to do research in this exciting field. Thus, I January 2016 I moved to Frankfurt in order to join Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer group. Currently I am doing my PhD in the lab, being part of the Neurovascular connection on developmental processes and disease team.

Denis Schmelzer+49(0)69-798-29830schmelzer(at)

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Denis Schmelzer Technical staff mail

Marta Segarra, Dr.+49(0)69-798-42576segarra(at)

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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.

Olga Tschesnokowa+49(0)69-798-42572tschesnokowa(at)

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Olga Tschesnokowa mail

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

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Walter Volknandt, Prof. Dr. Group Leader mail

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

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Herbert Zimmermann, Prof. Dr. Prof. emeritus mail