Our Team

Prof. Dr. Christina Zielinski, Group leader

Christina Zielinski studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), at Harvard University (USA) and Duke University (USA). Her MD thesis research was performed at Yale University as a scholar of the German National Merit Foundation where she focused on the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of lupus erythematosus. Christina performed her postdoctoral training as a scholar of the German Research Foundation in the lab of Federica Sallusto in Switzerland where she deciphered the regulatory cues that drive distinct functionalities of human Th17 cells. She then started her own research group as a clinical scientist at the Department of Dermatology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. Christina also completed her clinical specialization in dermatology and Allergology at the University of Tübingen and the Charité in Berlin. In 2015, Christina was appointed professor at the German Center for Infection Research at the Technical University of Munich. Since 2021, she is the Chair of Infection Immunology at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology and the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, where she will continue to work on the regulation of human T cells and their translational impact in autoimmunity, infections, and cancer.

Emailchristina.zielinski@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-7143

picture of Gustavo
Dr. Gustavo Almeida

Gustavo Almeida studied Biological Sciences at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, where he also obtained his master’s degree in Molecular Biology. After that, he carried out his doctoral studies in the Biomedical Center at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Through Next Generation Sequencing techniques, Gustavo investigated an epigenetic mechanism of transcriptional silencing in the context of early mouse embryonic development and B cell differentiation. For his postdoctoral research at TUM, he will employ bioinformatic methods to characterize T cell heterogeneity at the single-cell level.

Emailgustavo.almeida@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-9118

Ying-Yin Chao, PhD Student

Ying-Yin Chao received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from National Taiwan University in Taiwan (NTU), where she has worked on the development of dendritic cells with Dr. Chien-Kuo Lee. Ying-Yin is a Ph.D. student in the Translational Medicine Program at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). She is interested in the role and molecular regulation of novel human T helper cell subsets and their impact on human health and diseases. Ying-Yin obtained her PhD in October 2020 in the Zielinski Lab and is now continuing as a postdoc.

Emailyingyin.chao@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Chang-Feng Chu, PhD student

Chang Feng received his B.Sc. degree from Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan, and his M.Sc. degree from the National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. In his Master´s Program, he characterized the progression of thymocyte apoptosis in Dr. Ivan Dzhagalov’s laboratory. Now, Chang Feng performs his doctoral studies at the Technical University of Munich, focusing on the elimination and replacement of the tissue-resident memory T cells in human peripheral tissues.


Emailchang-feng.chu@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Foto_Shan Sun

Shan Sun received her B.Sc. degree from Nanjing Normal University, China, and her M.Sc. degree from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. In her Master´s Program, she investigated the interaction intestinal T cells and the microbiota. Now, Shan performs her doctoral studies at the Technical University of Munich, focusing on the crosstalk of microbial antigens with tissue resident T cells in peripheral human tissues.

Emailshan.sun@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-4127


Gianna Rapp, MD Student

Gianna Rapp started her Medical School at LMU/TUM in 2015. Before studying medicine, she spent a year in a laboratory in Hamburg, working on hepatitis viruses. Since 2018, she has been investigating the distribution and function of T cells in the human skin for her MD thesis.

Emailgianna.rapp@tum.de | Phone: 089/4140-4127


Tonio Brinkschmidt, MD Student

Tonio Brinkschmidt has been a Medical Student at the Technical University of Munich and LMU since 2015. He is a scholar of the German Academic Merit Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes). Tonio is studying the dynamics of  human T-cell regulation in cancer patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Emailtonio.brinkschmidt@tum.de  | Phone: 089/4140-4127


Sophia Mädler received her B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Bonn. Currently she is a Master student of Biochemistry at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich.  She has been in the Zielinski Lab at TUM for an 8-week internship and is now performing her Master thesis in the lab to investigate tissue-resident T-cells using single-cell sequencing technology and CyTOF.

EmailSophia.maedler@tum.dePhone: 089/4140-9118

Su-Ho Park received his B.Sc. degree of Biotechnology from Soonchunhyang University (Korea), and he studied Molecular immunology at Konkuk University (Korea) for his M.Sc. degree. He then obtained a PhD degree from Korea University (Korea) as a “Regulatory mechanisms on the balance of Th17/Treg differentiation”. After that, he had an experience of an international research internship at the QIMR Berghofer Research Institute (Australia). For his postdoctoral research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), he is interested in the function of inflammasome-related factors in human T cells.

EmailSuho.park@tum.dePhone: 089/4140-9118

Jeremy Yap, PhD student

Jeremy received his B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees from the International Medical University, Malaysia. In his Master’s research, he worked with Dr. Ben Pickard from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, to uncover the biological pathways underlying neuronal inflammasome activation in Alzheimer’s disease. Jeremy is a PhD student the the Zielinski Lab where he investigates human tissue-resident memory T cells and explores novel therapeutic targets for their pathogenic memory in peripheral tissues in settings of autoimmunity and cancer.

Emailjeremy.yap@tum.dePhone: 089/4140-9118

Amy Burrel

 Amy Burrell completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) in the field of Biomedical Science. In 2019, Amy was awarded the SBMS-Ludwig Maximilians University Honours Scholarship. In the Enard team at LMU, she established NOMe-seq in PDX-AML cells to quantify epigenetic heterogeneity in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Now, Amy is employed as a Research Technician involved in our scRNAseq and epigenetic projects.

EmailAmy.burrell@tum.dePhone: 089/4140-4186

Julia Matthias, MD

Julia Matthias has been in the Zielinski Lab in Berlin and then at the Technical University of Munich working towards the role of ionic signals in the regulation of human immunity. For her doctoral work in the Zielinski Lab she received the Egon Macher Prize 2020 for her outstanding contributions to a better understanding of Atopic Dermatitis and the Young Investigator Award for Multiple Sclerosis of the Eva and Helmer Christoph Lehmann Foundation 2020.

Anastasia Litinetskaya

Anastasia Litinetskaya is doing her Master´s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich. She also obtained a degree in Mathematics at Moscow State University. She is supporting our interdisciplinary and translational team as a part-time researcher with computational modelling and high-dimensional data analyses of single-cell data sets.

Email: Anastasia.litinetskaya@tum.de| Phone: 089/4140-9118


Florian Sabath is a a medical student working on his doctoral thesis in the lab. He is a scholar of the Max Weber Program. Florian is the hero of our COVID-19 study. He works on the question why people develop either a severe or mild course of COVID-19.



Karoline Lutz studies bioinformatics at the Technical University of Munich and assists the team with NGS data analysis.

Andrew Carr studies Molecular biotechnology and is assisting ongoing projects in the lab that address the characterisation of human tissue resident T cells. 

Mari del Carmen Martos Contreras joined the lab with a DAAD scholarship. She is a bioinformatician and supports the team with high-dimensional data analysis.

Lena Hackl studies Computer Science at TUM and is working on scRNAseq data analysis.

Arina Danilina studies Bioinformatics at TUM and LMU and is supporting the team with bioinformatic data analysis.



David Frieser was a Master Student in Biochemistry at the Technical University of Munich. David performed several lab rotations in the Zielinski lab and then continued to explore the regulation of the inflammasome with novel imaging technologies for his master thesis in the Zielinski Lab. He also supported the lab as a student assistant for more than two years.

Sonja Heine performed her master thesis in Biology in the Zielinski lab.

Claudia Beerweiler performed her master thesis in Biology in the Zielinski lab.

Hanna Meinl studied medicine at the LMU and TUM in Munich and was a postdoc in the Zielinski Lab from 2017 to 2019.

Subarna Palit joined the lab as a bioinformatician under shared supervision between the Zielinski Lab and the Institute for Computational Biology (Helmholtz-Center). She engaged in single-cell analyses of human immune cells with novel bioinformatic tools.

Michelle Klesse performed her master thesis in the Zielinski Lab in 2019. She was a Master Student of the Medical and Immunosciences and Infection program at the University of Bonn.

Christoph Heuser studied Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Bonn where he also started his PhD. He was a research assistant in the Zielinski Lab from 2018 to 2019.

Petra Hadlova received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in immunology from Charles University in Prague. She joined the lab for an internship under the Erasmus+ Recent Graduate program in 2019.

Andrea Werner was a lab assistant for the group for two years.

Bachelor students: Lena Träger, Hin-Man Tai and Viola Siegert performed their Bachelor theses in the Zielinski Lab. Viola continued to support the team as a student assistant.