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Team Members

Valeryia Drobyshava (PhD student)

Valeryia studied Medical Biology at the Belarusian State University in Minsk / Belarus. For her Master thesis, she moved to Korea and did her Master of Bio-Medical Science & Technology at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Center for Biomaterials in Seoul / South Korea.

In 2022, she joind the Lab for her PhD studies.

Severin Gütter (Post-Doc)

Severin studied biology at the University of Regensburg and received his master’s degree there, as well.

For his PhD, he worked at the Chair of Experimental Medicine and Therapy Research (Prof. Christoph Klein) in the research group of Melanie Werner-Klein. He studied the molecular basis of metastasis of malignant melanoma. In particular, he investigated the interaction of disseminated cancer cells with the immune system in the lymph node.

Now, his research focus is to uncover how EGFR mutants contribute to metastasis formation.

Florian Heigl (Research Assistant)

Funded by DFG funding, Florina has been working in our lab since October 2023. He studied biology at the University of Regensburg and also completed his master's degree there. Following his studies, he then worked at Lophius BioScience and Mikrogen GmbH.

Morteza Heydari (PhD student)

Morteza attained his undergraduate degree in Biology from Razi University situated in Kermanshah, Iran. For his postgraduate research, he studied Biochemistry at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (IBB) of the University of Tehran, in Iran. In the September 2023, he joined the Lab.

Financed by research grant from the German Research Council (DFG), his research focuses on the role of the EGF-like growth factors, Amphiregulin and HB-EGF, in immune regulation and tissue homeostasis during Graft versus Host (GvH) Disease.

Lisa Michaelis (Research Assistant in maternity leave)

Lisa completed her training as a medical-technical laboratory assistant at the BBZ Ingolstadt and received her degree in 2015. She then worked at the Institute for Human Genetics at the University of Regensburg, performing fundamental research into retinal diseases. In May 2022 she accepted the position of an RA in the Lab.

Saumitra Shaligram (PhD student)

Saumitra received his B.Sc. and his Masters in Microbiobiology from Abasaheb Garware College, India. He also received a Masters of Clinical Immunology from the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.

He works together with the group of Professor Abken and develops regulatory T-cell based therapies against allergies.

Ulrike Stöckl (Research Assistant)

Ulrike has been working in our laboratory since the beginning of 2023. She has been employed at our university since 1978, interrupted by a 3-year employment in a biotechnology company.

Kimaya Tekade (PhD student)

Kimaya received her bachelor's and master's in Biological Sciences from IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research), Mohali, India. She joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in 2022.

Sabina Vancikova (PhD student)

Sabina grew up in Slovakia and studied molecular biology and biochemistry at Charles University in Prague, where she also completed her master theses in immunology and social epidemiology.

Since September 2023 she is doing her PhD in the laboratory, focusing on the role of the EGFR and its ligands in the field of tumor immunology.

Dietmar Zaiss (PI)

Dietmar studied Cell & Molecular Biology, in Germany at the Philipps University in Marburg and in the USA, at Syracuse University. He received his PhD in Cell Biology from the Humboldt University in Berlin / Germany, before he moved to the Lab of Tim Mosmann at the University of Rochester in Upstate New York, where he discovered that the EGF-like growth factor Amphiregulin is a Type-II cytokine, involved in worm rejection.

As a Group Leader at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, he then showed that Amphiregulin enhances regulatory T-cell function, and at the University of Edinburgh, where he held a faculty position from 2013 till 2023, he demonstrated that Amphiregulin is mediating its effect via the local activation of latent TGFβ complexes.

Since Fall 2021, he holds a professorship for Immune Cell Communication at the University of Regensburg in Germany and focuses his research on utilizing this knowledge for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat inflammation-associated diseases.

Trips with the Lab