Our team is comprised of genuinely gifted scientists.

Marino Zerial
Group Leader

Marino Zerial

Marino has dedicated countless hours elucidating the mechanisms that govern intracellular trafficking.

Marino received his PhD in 1982 from the University of Trieste in Italy. His journey then took him from Paris to EMBL Heidelberg before becoming one of the founding fathers of the MPI-CBG in Dresden in 1998. During his successful career, Marino and his group have dedicated countless hours to the mechanisms that govern intracellular trafficking; work that was recognized with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 2006. For more information and a detailed CV, please visit Marino´s profile on the institute´s website.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Maarten Bebelmann
Postdoc

Maarten Paul Bebelman

Maarten studies the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocyte polarization during liver development.

Maarten obtained a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at VU University Amsterdam in 2015. He performed his PhD research in the Medicinal Chemistry group of Prof. Martine Smit and the Exosome Research Group of Dr. Michiel Pegtel at the VU University in Amsterdam. In the Zerial lab, Maarten is studying the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocyte polarization during liver development. In his free time, he likes to cycle in the beautiful surroundings of Dresden and Saxon Switzerland.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Émeline Bonsergent
Postdoc

Émeline Bonsergent

After a PhD in Paris on extracellular vesicles, Émeline decided to move to Dresden to look at what is happening to vesicles inside the cell.

Bonjour! After a PhD in Paris on extracellular vesicles, Émeline decided to move to Dresden to look at what is happening to vesicles inside the cell. Her project is focused on their biology, to understand how to use them to increase molecule delivery to cells. In her free time, she is also involved in environmental sustainability following Zero Waste Europe.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Matt Bovyn
ELBE-Postdoc Zerial/Haas

Matthew Bovyn

How do living things work? Matt uses tools from physics and math to make models which encapsulate our ideas about what’s going on.

How do living things work? Matt uses tools from physics and math to make models which encapsulate our ideas about what’s going on. He grew up in Arizona, USA and did his PhD at UC Irvine in Southern California. In the lab, he is currently working on understanding the mechanics of bile canaliculi.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Federica Cardonna
PhD student

Federica Caradonna

Federica is a biochemist who works on the in vitro reconstitution of the endosomal machinery.

Federica landed in Dresden from the warm southern Italian coast. She is a biochemist PhD student and works on the in vitro reconstitution of the endosomal machinery. Scientists say biochemistry is like cooking, if you enjoy the first one you would like the second one as well. Come to visit my bench(es) work.
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Postdoc

Julien Delpierre

Julien’s passion is developmental biology - but also scientific outreach where he is heavily involved inside and outside the institute.

Ok, but how did it form in the first place? Julien’s passion is development. How cells come together and build an organ. After studying the distribution of metabolic functions in the fly larvae he joined the lab to study how the main metabolic organ, the liver, acquires its architecture.
Julien loves scientific outreach and is always happy to contribute to activities through a variety of channels, such as blog articles, talks and events.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Till Dirschnabel
Student Assistant (HiWi)

Till Dirschnabel

Till is a computer science student at TU Dresden and works with the computer science team to analyze our microscopy data.

Till is a computer science student at the TU Dresden and working with the computer science team to analyze our microscopy data.
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Apprentice Biologielaborant

Maik Gutmann

Already in the final month of his apprenticeship at the institute, Maik joined team Zerial to live the real life on-hand lab experience.

Already in the final month of his apprenticeship at the institute, Maik seized the opportunity and joined the Zerial group to deepen the skills gained during his training. He moved from Rhineland-Palatinate to Saxony to become a technical assistant, never shy of chasing the best chances - just as his job as part of team Zerial.
This photography shows Ina Hollerer.
Postdoc

Ina Hollerer

Where is the RNaseZap? An RNA-enthusiast from the beginning, Ina is studying the interaction of RNA and RBPs with endosomes.

Spending her postdoc years in Berkeley, California, made her not only fall in love with big-scale screens but also National Parks and the occasional IPA. Outside of the lab, the native Austrian likes skiing and playing volleyball, crafting and hanging out with fellow parents at diverse playgrounds.
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Lisa Johnsen
Scientific Project Manager

Lisa Johnsen

Can I tweet this? Lisa has chosen a desk over the bench in the name of scientific writing, communication and science management.

Can I tweet this? Lisa has chosen a desk over the bench in the name of scientific writing, communication and science management. Responsible for grant applications, scientific reporting, the website and Twitter, she manages the internal and external communication needs of the lab. Born and raised in Germany, she fell in love with the Mediterranean way of science during her PhD in Barcelona.
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Research Scientist

Yannis Kalaitzidis

Yannis is our computational science team leader and lead-developer of the image analysis software MotionTracking.

Motion tracking can do this! Yannis is our in-house Physicist and computational science team leader. He holds a PhD in Physics from Moscow State University and joined the institute in 2009 to develop the group's proprietary image analysis software. If you need to analyze your microscopy data, Yannis is your man!
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Aparajita Lahree
Postdoc

Aparajita Lahree

Aparajita is a microscopy aficionado and loves to see how life works through molecular machineries.

Aparajita is a microscopy aficionado and loves to see how life works through molecular machineries. She is currently studying mechanosensing and mechanotransduction in the liver. She did her PhD in Malaria molecular parasitology at Lisbon, Portugal and has an Engineering degree in Biotechnology from India. Outside work, she loves to learn new languages, is a trained classical dancer and an anime fan.
Predoc

Carlotta Mayer

I got new livers! Raised on the interdisciplinary campus in Tübingen, she couldn’t resist the spirit of MPI-CBG and is now doing the splits between basic science and translational medicine.

I got new livers! Scientifically (and non-scientifically) raised on the interdisciplinary campus in Tübingen, she couldn’t resist the spirit of MPI-CBG and is now doing the splits between basic science and translational medicine. By studying liver structure and function in health and disease, she’s aiming to answer key questions in understanding basic cell biology and pathophysiology.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Postdoc

Christina Nadler

Cooking up stuff - in the lab or in the kitchen. Christina is an organic chemist with a keen interest in bioresponsive materials.

Cooking up stuff - in the lab or in the kitchen. Christina is an organic chemist with a keen interest in bioresponsive materials.. She is using her skills in biomolecular synthesis for the development of new drug delivery systems for macromolecules - taking molecular ideas all the way to in vivo applications. Outside of the lab she enjoys exploring the great outdoors by trail running and hiking.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Guest Scientist

Gabriela Pereira dos Santos

Directly from Brazil, Gabriela is carrying out her PhD thesis work with Prof. Hanno Glimm at the NCT in Dresden in close collaboration with the Zerial group.

Gabriela is a versatile researcher who believes that with the right balance of hard work, perseverance, and imagination, it is possible to achieve great things, and make real changes. Directly from Brazil, she is carrying out her PhD thesis work in the research group of Prof. Hanno Glimm at the NCT in Dresden with a focus on experimental translational oncology in close collaboration with the Zerial group.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Nuno Pimpao
Predoc Zerial/Jug

Nuno Pimpao Martins

From patterns to numbers. Nuno leads a double life as a shared predoc between the Zerial and the Jug group at Human Technopole in Italy.

From patterns to numbers. Nuno leads a double life as a shared predoc between the Zerial and the Jug group (Human Technopole, IT). In a former life, he worked as an Imaging Specialist/Microscopy technician and therefore, has a passion for problem solving and answering challenging questions via image analysis. He has a background in developmental biology but since early had developed a knack for technology.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Lisa Redlingshöfer
Postdoc Zerial/Grill

Lisa Redlingshöfer

Between the groups of Stephan Grill and Marino Zerial, Lisa combines protein biochemistry and biophysics in reconstitution assays to study the Rab5 membrane fusion machinery.

Between the groups of Stephan Grill and Marino Zerial, Lisa combines protein biochemistry and biophysics in reconstitution assays to study the Rab5 membrane fusion machinery. When she is not working on these complicated assays at the bench, she is working on her electric bass guitar skills.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Ramona Schäfer
Technician

Ramona Schäfer

Ramona is the go-to person for all questions around biochemical assays in the lab.

As a real veteran, Ramona is the go-to person for all questions around biochemical assays in the lab. She manages all organizational needs in the lab from ordering to stock solutions and is an expert in biochemical in vitro assays. Apart from that, she is also insanely cool - she rides a motorcycle.
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Assistant to Marino Zerial

Sandy Schneider

Don't panic! As the director's assistant for many years, Sandy is the interface between science and administration.

Don't panic! As the director's assistant for many years, Sandy is the interface between science and administration. She keeps track of everything that is going on, supports the group members and also has a piece of advice at hand when needed. Furthermore, Sandy has gained a lot of experience in event management and knows what matters.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Karl-Ludwig Schuhmann
Predoc Schlierf/Zerial, PoL

Karl-Ludwig Schuhmann

Karl works in the framework of the cluster of excellence Physics of Life in both, Schlierf and Zerial groups on the entropic collapse mechanism of the endosomal membrane tether protein EEA1.

Karl is working on a collaborative project in the framework of the cluster of excellence Physics of Life in both Schlierf and Zerial groups. His project focuses on elucidating the entropic collapse mechanism of the endosomal membrane tether EEA1, specifically by using biophysical methods to learn more about the dynamics of the coiled-coil fold. As a studied Bioengineer and - wait for it – winemaker, he knows how to get the best out of what nature has to offer.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Sarah Seifert
Technician

Sarah Seifert

Experiments on the liver? Go ask Sarah! She is a liver tissue and cell culture expert and always lends a helping hand to struggling scientists.

Born and raised in Dresden, she explored Western Germany for higher education and also worked in a pharma company for a bit. She is a liver tissue and cells expert and contributed to the establishment of the 3D sandwich collagen culture of primary hepatocytes in 24 and 96 well format.Sarah is an integral part of the team and always has a helping hand for struggling scientists.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Postdoc

Anupam Singh

Build Break Breakthrough! Anupam enjoys learning about living systems and is always open for discussions. Interested in time-scales and all other scales.

Build Break Breakthrough! Anupam enjoys learning about living systems and is always open for discussions. Interested in time-scales and all other scales.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Aleksandra Sljukic
Predoc Zerial/Huch

Aleksandra Sljukic

Aleks serves two masters as a joint Ph.D. student between the Huch and Zerial lab establishing organoids as a novel experimental system.

Aleks serves two masters because she joined the lab as a Ph.D. student between the group of Mertixel Huch and ours. Her work is focused on establishing organoids mimicking certain liver functions as a novel experimental system in our group. She then will query the system for certain organizational subunits that could be important for liver function. If she is not at the bench, she is in charge of lab life documentation. Cheese!
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Joan Antoni Soler Blasco
Wrapping Up Postdoc

Joan Antoni Soler Blasco

Joan's research advances our understanding of the mechanism of membrane tethering and fusion combining protein biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and biophysics.

Joan's research advances our understanding of the mechanism of membrane tethering and fusion combining protein biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and biophysics. Originally from Spain, Joan did his BSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Barcelona and then came to Dresden for a MSc in Molecular Bioengineering. Impressed by the quality of research and the collaborative approach to science in Dresden, he decided to stay on as a pregraduate researcher and is currently finalizing his work as a postdoc.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Postdoc

Alice Spadea

Alice feels most at home in the areas of nanomedicine and drug delivery. She joined the lab to continue her studies on intracellular trafficking, in particular on the endosomal escape process.

Alice feels most at home in the areas of nanomedicine and drug delivery. As an Italian Biologist, she moved to the University of Manchester in the UK to obtain a Ph.D. where she discovered her love for cell biology and drug delivery. She joined the lab to continue her studies on intracellular trafficking, in particular on the endosomal escape process, which represents the bottleneck hindering the efficient delivery of RNA therapeutics. When she is not playing with nanoparticles, she is probably singing with her band or riding her mountain bike in the countryside.
José Valenzuela
Postdoc

José Ignacio Valenzuela Iturra

What looks messy for a German, may look perfectly ordered to this Chilean. José is obsessed with understanding the hidden order inside the disorder.

What looks messy for a German, may look perfectly ordered to this Chilean. José is obsessed with understanding the hidden order inside the disorder. Developing a multi-lineage cell culture system, José dreams to unravel how liver cells navigate through the mess and self-organize into functional structures. It’s all about keeping good communication, he says. Where there is mess, there is beauty!
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.
Dog Flash
Mascot

Flash

Yahhhhhhhwn….science is so boring. What about snacks and cuddles?

Flash works part-time as the lab mascot and sleeps through most of his meetings. As a most senior team member (in dog years), his favorite activities are riding the elevator and tranquil walks around the institute. Although Flash is quite social, he has no love for small white fluffy conspecifics.
Portrait copyright: MPI-CBG.

Alumni

  • Heidi McBride Professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Stefano De Renzis Group Leader at EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Jochen Rink Director at Max-Planck-Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences, Göttingen, Germany
  • Varadharajan Sundaramurthy Group Leader at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore,  India
  • Lucas Pelkmans Group Leader at the University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Annette Schenck Professor at Radbound University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Anja Zeigerer Group Leader at IDC Institute for Diabetes and Cancer, Munich, Germany
  • David Murray Group Leader at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom
  • Christian Franke Professor at Jena University, Germany
  • Savvas Christoforidis Group Leader & Director of BRI-FORTH and Professor of Biological Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ioannina, Greece
  • Cecilia Bucci Professor at Salento University, Italy
  • Philippe Chavrier Team Leader at Institute Curie, Paris, France
  • Harald Stenmark Group Leader and Professor at Oslo University Hospital, Norway
  • Marta Miączyńska  Group Leader and Professor at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland
  • Carol Murphy  Group Leader at BRI-FORTH, Ioannina, Greece
  • Hisanori Horiuchi  Professor at Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan