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

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

Paulina Ferrada Ernst

Paulina Ferrada Ernst is a Chilean Biochemist who got her degree at the Universidad Austral in Chile (UACh). She is doing her Ph.D. thesis at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in the field of T cells in peripheral tissues in the functional characterization of tissue-resident T cells. Previously she did an internship in the field of diagnostic of Primary Immunodeficiencies at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) and she worked in the field of Rare Diseases at the Kinderklinik und Kinderpoliklinik in Dr. Von Haunerschen Kinderspital.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4186

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: 089/4140-4186

Rodrigo Carrasco

Rodrigo Carrasco Leon is a Chilean Biochemist who received his degree at the Universidad Austral (UACh) in Chile. He started his Ph.D. thesis at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) focusing on dissecting human T cell heterogeneity by single-cell RNA sequencing and by high-throughput technologies for the detection of T cell antigen specificities. His previous laboratory experience was a one-year internship in the field of Primary Immunodeficiencies Diseases (PIDs) at Seattle Children’s Hospital Research in the USA. He also worked in the area of rare diseases at the Kinderklinik und Kinderpoliklinik in Dr. Von Haunerschen Kinderspital in Munich.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4186

Technical Assistant

Anne Küchler | Phone: 089/4140-4186

MD Students

Sophie C
Sophie Wolff, SFB1054

Sophie Wolff started studying human medicine in 2013 at LMU/TU Munich. She is now doing her MD thesis in the field of T cell research at TU Munich. In the course of studying human medicine, she has spent two months in the Department for Infectious Diseases of the Hospital de Clínicas in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her previous studies have included philosophy, sociology and contemporary history.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4186

Daniela Simson, DZIF scholar

Daniela Simson started studying human medicine in 2014 at LMU/TU Munich. She is currently working on her MD thesis at the TU Munich as a scholar of the “Translational Medizin” program of the TUM. Her focus is the characterization of tissue-resident memory T-cells in human skin.

Email: | Phone: 089/4140-4186

Master Students

Email -
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

Sonja Heine

Sonja Heine received her B.Sc. degree in Biopharmaceutical Science at the Provadis School of International Management and Technology in Frankfurt a. M.  She gained practical experience in the immunohistochemical and molecular biology field through the work as a technician before and during her bachelor studies. Sonja is now studying biology at the TUM and will focus on the role and molecular regulation of novel human T helper cell subsets in her master thesis. | Phone: 089/4140-4186