Prof. Dr. Thomas Korn
Thomas Korn obtained his MD from Würzburg University Medical School, Germany, and received a postdoctoral training with Vijay Kuchroo at the Center of Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He is a board-approved Neurologist and senior physician at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich. He holds a professorship in Experimental Neuroimmunology at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He studies the biology of pathogenic and regulatory T cells in the context of autoimmune inflammation in the central nervous system.
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Dr. Ali Afzali
Ali Afzali is a clinical scientist who joined the lab in 2018, shortly after he began his residency in Neurology at the University Hospital “Klinikum Rechts der Isar”.
With the end of his medical studies at the “Westfälische-Wilhelms Universität” (WWU) in Münster in late 2016, Ali completed his medical doctoral thesis in the context of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies in the lab of Prof. Dr. Dr. Sven Meuth. For this, he received the award for the best medical thesis at the WWU and the young researcher award from the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Muskelkranke e.V.” (DGM).
Currently, he is investigating tolerance mechanisms against Aquaporin-4 in mouse models of Neuromyelitis optica in collaboration with the Klein lab from the LMU with a special focus on T cell negative selection. Other research interests include the investigation of retinal pathology in the context of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
Dr. Lilian Aly
Lilian Aly studied medicine at the Universities of Hamburg and Zurich and started her residency in 2014 at the Department of Neurology and the Klinikum Rechts der Isar (Technical University Munich) focusing on neuroimmunology.
She completed her MD thesis at the Institute of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis in Hamburg with the characterization of JC virus-specific CD4+ T cell epitopes in healthy individuals. During this time, she participated in the graduate School “Inflammation and Regeneration” and received scholarships by the German national academic foundation and the YAEL-foundation. Further devoting herself to human T cell immunology, she investigated FTY720 effects on regulatory T cells in healthy individuals and multiple sclerosis patients for six months in Howard Weiner’s laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) after completing medical school.
Lilian Aly joined our group in 2015 as a clinician scientist. She is currently investigating the role of dendritic cells in germinal center responses and receptor expression patterns across distinct T cell subtypes.
Tereza Chadimová did her Master’s in Immunology at the Charles University in Prague. She was introduced to the world of science in the lab of Dr. Ondřej Štěpánek where she studied the role of Tregs in the suppression of CD8+ T-cell mediated autoimmunity. In November 2019, she joined our lab as a PhD student working towards characterizing pathogenic Th17 T cells.
Helena Dominguez graduated in Physics at the University of Sevilla (Spain), obtaining a double degree involving also the University of Münster (Germany). She obtained her master degree in Biophysics at the University of Frankfurt am Main (Germany), where she investigated the dynamic effects of apoptosis-inducing drugs in three-dimensional cancer cell cultures applying light sheet fluorescence microscopy.
Currently she is finishing her PhD project in Molecular Biology at the University of Munich (Germany), where she is investigating epigenetic differences between diagnosis and relapse in acute myeloid leukemia, aiming to find regulatory pathways which could be further investigated as potential targets for developing new therapeutic strategies.
In our group she is working in establishing the ATAC-seq protocol for epigenomic analysis and is also involved in the bioinformatic analysis in several of our projects.
Renato Dávila studied Biological Sciences and Neurobiology at the Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy). Since November 2019, he is a Technician in our group and attends to lab organization, media preparation and animal husbandry. Currently, he also conducts flow cytometric studies of Treg cells from human CSF and PBMCs of patients with several neurological diseases.
Dr. Garima Garg
Garima Garg graduated from Amity University (India) in 2008 with a Bachelor in Biotechnology and then completed her MSc in Immunology at King’s College London (UK) in 2009, working on IL2RA variations in Type I diabetes. She attained her PhD in Biomedicine from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (Braunschweig) in 2014 where her research focused on molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to epigenetic modifications in CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs).
Since 2015 she is working as a Postdoctoral Scientist in our group, where she aims to investigate the mechanisms and cytokine signaling pathways that induce effector Tregs during CNS autoimmunity.
Dr. Sylvia Heink
Sylvia Heink studied biology at the University of Leipzig and the University of Campinas, Brazil. In 2000, she joined the Institute for Biochemistry at the Charité University Medical Center Berlin for her PhD studies and characterized the biogenesis / turnover dynamics of immunoproteasomes. In 2004, she started to work on T lymphocytes causing CNS autoimmunity as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Immunology in Jena.
Since 2010, she is a postdoc in our group and continues to analyze factors like the cytokines IL-6, IL-12 and IL-23 in modulating the differentiation / stability of encephalitogenic Th17 cells.
Michael Hiltensperger studied technical biology at Stuttgart University (Germany) from 2009 to 2015. He performed his Master’s Thesis at Yale School of Medicine (United States) on the role of the gut microbiota in lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. Since September 2015, he is a PhD student in our group and is working on immune cell trafficking in the context of CNS autoimmunity.
Veronika Husterer received her vocational training at the BBZ Ingolstadt and worked for a few years in a microbiology lab. She joined our group in 2012. Besides genotyping and lab organization her main areas of expertise are mouse preparations, cell culture and various special methods in immunology and molecular biology.
Dr. Ravi Kant
Ravi Kant obtained his Master’s degree in Medical-Biotechnology from the All India Institute of Medical Science (New Delhi) in 2008 and his Doctorate degree in Life Science from the National Institute of Immunology (New Delhi) in 2014. Thereafter, he extended his work in the area of autoimmunity at the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) until 2016. He joined Scripps Research Institute (USA) in 2016. At Scripps he focused his work on vascular remodeling during autoimmune neuro-inflammation and explored the role of integrin α5β1 therein.
Since 2019, he has been working as a postdoctoral fellow in our group, contributing to several projects in T cell pathogenicity and immune cell trafficking to the CNS during autoimmune neuro-inflammation.
Dr. Gildas Lepennetier
Gildas Lepennetier studied Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Poitiers (France) and Bioinformatics at the University of Nantes (France). From November 2012 to March 2017, he completed his PhD concerning the “Evolution of gene architecture in Eukaryotes” at the University of Münster (Germany). Since then he is working as a postdoctoral fellow in our department.
Gildas Lepennetier is involved in several of our projects, and takes care of the data processing and statistical analysis. He is additionally working with Dr. Kowarik for the characterization of human B-cell repertoires from deep-sequencing, and with Dr. Lehmann-Horn for mice B- and T-cell repertoires characterization.
Dr. Meike Mitsdörffer
Meike Mitsdörffer studied medicine at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA) and Stellenbosch University (South Africa).
In 2004 she completed her MD thesis characterizing the role of HLA-G in gliomas and inflammatory myopathies at the University of Tübingen. In the same year she started her residency in Neurology at the University hospital Tübingen. From 2007 to 2010 she took a break from clinics for a postdoctoral fellowship in Vijay Kuchroo’s Lab (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA). At that time she started to focus on the role of B cells in the pathogenesis of CNS autoimmunity. Subsequently, she continued her residency in Neurology, initially in Zurich (Switzerland) and since 2011 at the Department of Neurology of the Technical University hospital in Munich.
She is now working as a clinician scientist and is particularly interested in the pathogenesis and treatment of Multiple sclerosis. To further understand the differential role of B cell in CNS autoimmunity she employs a spontaneous and B-cell dependent EAE model.
Dr. Andreas Muschaweckh
Andreas Muschaweckh studied Biochemistry (B.Sc.) and Molecular Biotechnology (M.Sc.) at the Technical University Munich (TUM). After graduating from TUM in 2008, he pursued his doctoral degree at the Institute of Virology (TUM/Helmholtz Center Munich) studying the mechanisms governing the local generation of tissue-resident memory CD8+ T cells after acute viral infection of the skin. Since 2013, he also worked in a collaborative project with the Department of Experimental Neuroimmunology investigating the role of α4-integrins in the CNS trafficking of protective T helper cells during viral encephalitis.
Since 2015, he works as a postdoctoral scientist in the Department of Experimental Neuroimmunology, where his research currently focuses on understanding the regulation of peripheral γδ T cells during homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. He is also interested in CNS-resident memory T cells and their contribution to CNS autoimmunity.
Monika Pfaller studied at the University of Regensburg where she obtained a B.Sc in Biology. She started working at Klinikum rechts der Isar in 2016 when she joined the Translational Neuroimmunology group of Klaus Lehmann-Horn. She specializes in B cell receptor chain sequencing, molecular biology and mouse research. In March 2020, she joined our group to refine her expertise in neuroimmunological methods and is currently supervising lab organization.
Christopher Sie studied Molecular Medicine at the University Medical Center Göttingen where he specialized in immunology by working on diabetic T cell metabolism with Holger Reichardt at the Institute for Molecular Immunology, on Melanoma immunosuppression with David Schrama at the University Hospital Würzburg, and on T cell migration in preclinical EAE with Alexander Flügel at the Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research.
He received his Master’s degree in 2011 and joined our lab in 2012. His doctoral work was supported by a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowship. For his thesis, he analyzed the role of alpha4 integrin in DC migration. He is currently investigating cytokine regulation in encephalitogenic T cells.
Sofia Tyystjärvi studied Biochemistry (B.Sc.) and Molecular Systems Biology (M.Sc.) at the University of Turku (Finland) from 2013 to 2019. During her studies she worked as a research assistant and focused on the developmental origin of macrophages in the mammary gland and ovaries. She did her Master’s thesis at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) on macrophage targeted cancer immunotherapy. She joined our group in January 2020 as a PhD student and is currently investigating T cell priming and trafficking in the animal model of multiple sclerosis.
- Dr. Veit Rothhammer
- Dr. Franziska Petermann
- Dr. Christina Heinemann
- Dr. Christian Peter
- Dr. Benjamin Knier
- Anna-Lena Vogel