> People


  • Christian Schmitz-Linneweber, PhD
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093-49700 (Room 1209)
    E-mail: christian.schmitz-linneweber[at]rz.hu-berlin.de

    Christian tries to be group leader and pester the real working guys as little as possible.
    Further duties: teaching, grant writing.

  • Carola Rocks, secretary
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49702 (Office Rm. 1206)
    E-mail: carola.rocks[at]hu-berlin.de

    Carola is shouldering the burden of the administrative duties in our group. Manages our funds, human resources stuff, some things else, and is your contact for web-related issues.

  • Julia Legen, PhD
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217) / -49706 (Office Rm. 1214)
    E-mail: legenjul[at]staff.hu-berlin.de

    Julia's main interest is understanding the localization of chloroplast RNAs in tissue contexts. Using in situ techniques she hopes to identify local distortions in chloroplast expression patterns as a response to developmental gradients and various signals.

  • Hannes Ruwe, PhD
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49706 (Office Rm. 1214)
    E-mail: hannes.ruwe[at]hu-berlin.de

    Hannes is from Berlin's infamous first excellence University. He claims that real science has to involve biochemstry. Therefore, he tries to identify RNA binding proteins the old-fashioned way by RNA affinity chromatography.

  • Nadine Saul, PhD
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49707 (Office Rm. 1216)
    E-mail: NadineS1976[at]aol.com

    Achtung! In diesem Projekt ist der Wurm drin!
    Nadine has managed to tap EU resources to study health span versus life span in the nematode C. elegans. She connects molecular biology with clever behavioural tests to determine when a worm is beyond its prime. She brings a completely new flavour to our group, and, in fact, some say the flavour (and odour) of worm feed is totally beyond what
    plant people can tolerate....

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  • Shumon Chakrabarti, tech
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: shumon.chakrabarti[at]gmail.com

    Shumon is an „old hand” in the worm business, therefore, he is working together with Nadine on the EU-project. He is responsible for the well-being of the nematodes, for the preparation of behavioural and transcriptomic assays as well as for the reduction of chaos in the worm-lab.

  • Irina Passow, tech
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217)
    E-mail: irina.passow@web.de

    Irina is a specialist for cell culture methods, but has expanded in the last year into molecular biology. Mostly working with Julia, she has become a wizard in analyzing transplastomic plant mutants. You want to get the job done? Get Irina involved!

  • Cornelia Stock, tech
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: cornelia.stock[at]rz.hu-berlin.de

    Conny works with Hannes on various mutants of plastid RNA binding proteins. She beats any genotyping machine in swiftness and precision.

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  • Rabia Acar, bachelor student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: rabiakrbck46[at]gmail.com

    Despite her career aims in biophysics, Rabia found her way to the worm lab (no-one can resist the charm of C. elegans…). During her bachelor thesis she will find out how age and certain gene knock-downs will change the transcriptional response of the nematodes to pathogenic stress.

  • Esther Behrsing, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217)
    E-mail: estherbe[at]zedat.fu-berlin.de

    Esther is trained by the FU Berlin as a scientific nomad: as part of her curriculum in biochemistry, she wanders from lab to lab to learn various techniques and work cultures. In our team, she tries to localize mRNAs by fluorescence in situ hybridisation together with Julia.

  • Robin Benter, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217)
    E-mail: robin.benter[at]yahoo.de

    Robin is back after an earlier bachelor project with Arne to now do some mechanistic analyses of cpRNPs and their ribosome friends during his master thesis stay in our lab. He asks: Are cpRNPs just waiting in their lair for ribosomes to be kicked off from mRNAs once things get rough in the chloroplast due to stress and then pounce on the freed messages?

  • Henrik Chrzanowski, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: henrik.chrzanowski[at]gmx.de

    Henrik participates in the ambitious search for “the fountain of youth” and wants to identify genetic key players responsible for ageing and health. Since genetic modifications in humans are quite, let’s say, delicate and challenging, he decided to start with the more convenient organism “C. elegans”; not least because these worms are genetically remarkably similar to humans but with the advantage of reaching retirement age already after a few days ...


  • Nora Fresmann, student research assistant
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: n.c.fresmann[at]googlemail.com

    Nora is one of the quieter members of the lab, which is fortunate, because she works on a top-secret project. But we can reveal that jello is her favorite dessert. Obviously you want to have the best of the best working on sensitive issues, which is why Nora has to do the secret stuff. Next to being Nora Bond, and as part of a cover-up identity, she performs as a Hiwi. Here, Nora is taming bunches of undergrads in the Bio8 course and makes the rest of the lab happy with buffers and media.


  • Stephanie Gathmann, graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: gathmans[at]cms.hu-berlin.de

    Stephanie is investigating the location of ribonucleoprotein complexes in plant cells.

  • Franziska Gräger, bachelor student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: f.graeger[at]live.de

    Mostly, when a wild and lonely bioinformatician shakes up data (quote: “I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth”), the resulting hypotheses are soon forgotten and lost in time (quote: "like tears in rain, time to die"). But when Gongwei established an intriguing in silico link between a peculiar sRNA in the chloroplast and a PPR protein, Franziska decided to help him out with experiments (quote: “make PPRs great again”) to test whether the link holds true in the face of the crushing grip of experimental reasoning (quote: “research and love are so unpredictable”).


  • Arne Hillebrand, graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49714 (Lab Rm. 1223) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: arne.hillebrand[at]cms.hu-berlin.de

    After some bodging around with plants, Arne decided that he needs to work with a more simple genome fitting a more simple mind. He therefore turned to the tiny organellar genomes of Apicomplexans and started maltreating unicellular parasitic cells to extract their secret organellar RNA life. He learned quickly that plants may have some advantages over his current bugs (they can eat sunlight and poop out air for instance instead of feasting on human blood like your average vampire), but so far this did not keep him from going back to autotrophous organisms.


  • Marie-Kristin Lehniger (vormals: Lampe), graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: marie-kristin.lehniger[at]hu-berlin.de

    How can we monitor the processing state of an mRNA across its entire lifetime? What is first, processing or translation? These are some of the questions that Marie tries to answer during her time as a PhD fellow of the "Einstein graduate school on single RNA biology".

  • Benjamin Lenzen, graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49704 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: benjamin.lenzen[at]hu-berlin.de

    This is what happens, when you try to get away from the bench and rather get fully immersed in bioinformatics. You end up in the largest omics screen performed on chloroplast gene expression to date. Which includes for Ben the application of a novel protocol for protein-RNA interactions. So bench-work good-bye for Ben? Funny how life is ...

  • Christopher Nicol, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217)) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: christopher.nicol92[at]gmail.com

    In the lab of the venerable Masahiro Sugiura, cpRNPs have been demonstrated to associate preferentially with unspliced versus spliced tRNA-L/tRNA-G transcripts. Christopher intends to check, whether such a preference for unprocessed RNAs holds true on a transcriptome-wide scale.

  • Marius Rehanek, student research assistant
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49708 (Lab Rm. 1217)
    E-mail: Marius-Rehanek[at]t-online.de

    Marius ranks amongst the top Hiwis in this country. He'd win any Hiwi tournament if there only were any... He combines the smooth effectiveness of a swiss army knife with the stunning speed of a TGV and the stealth of the cunning chameleon. Ever be amazed about how overnight your house elves got rid of the mess you made last evening when you hung out with your local homies? Right, that's approximately what Marius does with our lab once a week ...


  • Florian Rösch, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: florianroesch[at]gmx.net

    "They never come back" may be true for Ali, but not for Florian. Florian returned to the lab after a former bachelor journey into the weihevolle cpRNP expression business. Now, as his master thesis project, he uses the ultimate gene killer, CRISPR-Cas9 to knock-out selected cpRNPs in tobacco.

  • Gabriele di Rosa, guest scientist
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: gab.dirosa[at]gmail.com

    After practicing as a medical doctor in Italy, Gabriele decided to switch to a much more exciting topic: The well-being of nematodes. Now he pampers the worms with the finest olive oil ingredients to minimize their burdens of old age. In the process, he hopes to find some indication of the beneficial effects of olive oil constituents on human neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

  • Birte Steinhöfel, grad. student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49714 (Lab Rm. 1223) / -49704 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: birtesth[at]gmail.com

    Description is soon to follow ...

  • Marlene Teubner, graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49704 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: marlene.teubner[at]biologie.hu-berlin.de

    Marlene is trying to understand the role of cpRNPs in early seed development of Arabidopsis and determines RNAs bound by cpRNPs at nucleotide resolution.

  • Kasia (Katarzyna) Tomaszewski, bachelor student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221)
    E-mail: tomaszka[at]student.hu-berlin.de

    Kasia is experienced in pharmaceutics, biology and chemistry. Now, she wants to add some nematode skills to her CV. She will stress the worms in different ways and will (*keep fingers crossed) discover some new genes responsible for higher stress resistance. Finally, this will end up in a great (*keep fingers crossed again) bachelor thesis.

  • Nicola Vallon, master student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49703 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: nickivallon[at]web.de

    Nicola was persuaded that working with C. elegans is at least as pleasant as working with plants. Now she slowly realizes that she was tricked. However, she doesn’t give up and tries to find some natural substances which enhance the nematodes’ (and hopefully also her own ...) stress resistance and sensory perception.

  • Gongwei Wang, graduate student
    Tel.: +49-(0)30-2093 -49710 (Lab Rm. 1221) / -49704 (Office Rm. 1211)
    E-mail: convey.wang[at]gmail.com

    Gongwei is investigating the properties of chloroplast RNA binding proteins by modifying their target RNA sites in the tobacco plastid chromosome using trans-plastomic approaches.