An enormous diversity of antibodies protects us from various infectious diseases by binding and neutralizing pathogens. During an infection, B cells undergo maturation processes including the acquisition of beneficial mutations followed by subsequent selection to increase the potency of antibodies. However, for some diseases the body’s immune system fails to induce natural protection. We study antibody maturation to understand how diversity is generated and which determinants are important to elicit potent protection.
Using high-throughput cellular and molecular screening methodologies, in vitro cultivation methods, and functional studies, our laboratory seeks out novel applications for B cells and antibodies to preserve human health.
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CoViPa is a joint research initiative of 7 Helmholtz institutes and 3 university partners. Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Wessling) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ, Heidelberg) we aim develop targeted immunomodulatory strategies by means of AI-based robotic platforms.
The goal of this program is to develop and study innovative approaches for two challenges of translational immunology: cellular vaccines for improved humoral immunity and the use antibodies to modulate T cell responses.
This research project aims to develop novel strategies for B cell engineering exploiting natural DNA-breaks to generate antibodies that surpass common reactivity profiles.
The project aims to study a new layer of antibody diversity that is generated by integration of large DNA inserts in the antibody heavy chain locus.
2018 – 2022
PhD thesis: “Towards novel active and passive vaccine design strategies that target the interaction with viral entry receptors”
Subsequent position: Postdoc, Immunological synapse formation of T cells and dendritic cells, Biotechnologie Institut Thurgau, Switzerland
March 2023 – July 2023
Project title: Identification of splice enhancer sequences to support exon integration in engineered primary human B cells
February 2023 – May 2023
September 2022 – March 2023
Master thesis on “Profiling DNA Repair in the switch region to predict the efficiency of DNA-repair in individuals”
Subsequent position: self-employed science journalist and blogger
Subsequent position: PhD student, department of pediatric oncology and hematology, Charité Berlin, Germany
Subsequent position: PhD Student, protein engineering, EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Switzerland
April 2019 – August 2019
Subsequent position: PhD student, biotechnology and immunology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
September 2018 – April 2019
Master thesis on "A method to detect transchromosomal insertions in immunoglobulim transcripts."
Subsequent position: PhD students program IMPRS at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany