Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Christina Zielinski

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, where she continues to work on the regulation of human T cells and their translational impact in autoimmunity, infections, and cancer.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4134


Hanna Meinl

Hanna Meinl studied medicine at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich, at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and at the University of Malta as a scholar of the German Academic Merit Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes). For her MD thesis, she worked previously at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology as a scholar of the Förderprogramm für Forschung und Lehre (FöFoLe) of the LMU. There she focused on the activation of the cytosolic pattern recognition receptor retinoic acid inducible gene I (RIG-I) in combination with a specific gene knockdown via siRNA as an approach to AML therapy. Hanna is now a postdoc at the TUM, where she works on the characterization of human T helper cell subsets. | Phone: 089/4140-9118

Christoph Heuser
Christoph Heuser

Christoph Heuser studied Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Bonn. After an internship at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, he returned to Bonn and pursued his PhD at the Institute of Experimental Immunology in the lab of Christian Kurts. There, he investigated the role of NFκB signalling for the homeostasis of regulatory T cells and developed an approach to conditionally deplete Natural Killer T cells to obtain deeper insights into the cross-priming of CD8+ T cells. As a postdoc at TUM, Christoph is now dissecting basic properties and specialized functions of human T helper cells in the skin.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-9118

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.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-9118

PhD Students

Ying-Yin Chao

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 now 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.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Bingni Chen

Bingni Chen received her B.S. and M.Sc. degrees from Shenzen University in China where she previously worked on the molecular mechanisms of IL-37 signaling in immune cells in rheumatoid arthritis. Bingni is now a Ph.D. student at the Technical University of Munich where she works on the role and regulation of human tissue resident T helper cell subsets.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Subarna Palit

Subarna Palit did her B.Tech in Biotechnology from the West Bengal University of Technology, India followed by Masters in Bioinformatics from the University of Bonn, Germany. In her Master thesis, she applied Bayesian statistics and unsupervised learning techniques to investigate transcriptional regulatory activities in breast cancer by analyzing mRNA and miRNA sequencing data and regulator-target interactions. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. project at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), focusing on modeling T cell heterogeneity in humans using single-cell technologies.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-9119

Technical Assistant

Andrea Werner

Andrea Werner is the lab manager of the group.

Email:  | Phone: 089/4140-4186

MD Students

Tonio Brinkschmidt

Tonio Brinkschmidt started studying medicine at LMU/TU Munich in 2015. He is currently doing his MD thesis at TU Munich and 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.

Email:| Phone: 089/4140-9119

Luca Meucci

Luca Meucci started studying medicine at LMU/TU Munich in 2015. He is currently doing his MD thesis at TU Munich. Luca is studying the dynamics of  human T-cell regulation in cancer patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-9119

Gianna Rapp

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

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Master Students

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David Frieser

David Frieser received his B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is now a Master Student in Biochemistry at the Technical University of Munich. David explores the regulation of the inflammasome (“wheel of death”) with novel imaging technologies.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4186

Petra Hadlova

Petra Hadlova joined the lab for her internship under the Erasmus+ Recent Graduate program. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from Charles University in Prague, where she majored in immunology with particular focus on detection of activated T cells and the potential use of flow cytometry to stratify oncological and infectious patients. She is going to investigate the antigen-specific T cell response and activated T cell phenotype.

Email:, | Phone: 089/4140-9119

Student assistant

Franziska Füchsl started her medical studies at LMU/TUM in autumn 2016 and became member of the Max-Weber program of the German Academic Merit Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) at the same time. While continuing her clinical studies at the TU Munich, she joined the team as a student assistant in November 2018. | Phone: 089/4140-4127

Julian Reinhard is a bioinformatician in the lab who is working on scRNAseq data analysis and multidimensional CyTOF data analysis. | Phone: 089/4140-9119