Our lab members
Jasmin studied Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart where she received her Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in 2016. She completed her master thesis at Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation in Boston, MA where she focused on the production of hybrid and biocompatible inks for 3D bioprinting for improving osteointegration in hip prostheses. In November 2016 she was the first student to join the newly established G.E.R.N. group. Under the leadership of Prof. Rolauffs, she is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. Her Ph.D. project focuses on controlling the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and the disease state of primary cells by applying defined cytoskeletal stress through micro-patterned adhesion sites (funded in part by the Volkswagen foundation). Her expertise includes cellular shape engineering, inducing MSC differentiation, as well as state-of-the-art techniques such as Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) and In-Cell Western.
Marita is the Lab Manager of the Rolauffs/Hart lab. Marita has been part of the G.E.R.N. team since September 2017. Her expertise extends across molecular biology such as Droplet Digital PCR and immunochemistry techniques, and also live cell imaging. At present she is classifying chondrocyte disease stages for establishing a novel method of early osteoarthritis diagnosis. Additionally, she helps overseeing the lab and she introduces project-related techniques to new students. She loves to laugh, and in her free time, she spends time working on music and painting.
Christine completed her bachelor degree with honors in Microbiology and Biochemistry in 2007. Then she worked as Senior Lab Technician in the first internationally accredited (AABB) cord blood bank in Egypt for 9 years, where she mastered advanced techniques such as separating and cryopreserving stem cells applying AutoXpress (AXP), Sepax and Bio-archive systems. She successfully completed her studies in the Precision Medicine Diagnostics (formerly MDT) Master program at the Furtwangen University. In August 2019, she joined G.E.R.N. center for her Master thesis, which will focus on controlled delivery of anti-inflammatory cytokines in a human in vitro cell model by using microspheres. She speaks 4 languages, loves traveling, reading books, and she enjoys spending personal time with friends. Since 2022 Christine is a Ph.D. candidate at G.E.R.N. and the Faculty of Biology. Together, we received a Rosa-Luxemburg fellowship to support her as Ph.D. candidate.
Mischa studied Applied Biology at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology where he received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in June 2015. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. degree at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Faculty of Biology, at G.E.R.N.. Focusing on quantitative biology and bioinformatics, he is currently investigating how biophysical cues can be utilized for controlling cell shape and function. In August 2017 Mischa joined the G.E.R.N. lab for his master thesis, which focused on developing a machine-learning tool for identifying cell morphology in complex experimental conditions. In his free time he likes climbing and running as well as spending time with family and friends.
Bianca joined the G.E.R.N. as a technical assistant in the Bernstein group in July 2020. Prior to her bachelor’s degree in Medical Biotechnology, she has worked for eight years in the field of aquatic ecotoxicology in Rostock where she collected ocean water samples. Bianca then spent another eight years in medical research and also in routine diagnostics at the University Hospital in Freiburg. In her personal time, Bianca still enjoys the sea and also creative handicraft work. She is passionate about exploring local medicinal herbs.
Sergej studied applied physics at the Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev, where he received his Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in 1998. In his Ph.D. thesis he worked on the nano-structuring of polymer and metal films and the development of nano-lithography at the University of Wuppertal. After his Ph.D. thesis, he continued his career at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena working on biomaterials and surface coatings with the focus on the improvement of biocompatibility, osseointegration and antibacterial properties of implant materials. Sergej joined G.E.R.N. team in Mai 2019 as postdoctoral researcher, where he is working on the long-time stability of total knee replacements.
Maria is a medical student at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and joined the G.E.R.N. team in April 2022 for her doctoral thesis. She investigates the biocompatibility as well as the mechanical characteristics of a novel zinc alloy to assess its potential as a bioresorbable implant for osteosynthesis.
Ann-Kathrin is a medical student at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. She joined G.E.R.N. in September 2021 for her experimental doctoral thesis. In her experiments she treats cartilage explants with different cytokines to detect effects in the concentration and location of certain transcriptions factors in nucleus vs. cytoplasm. In her personal time she enjoys playing soccer, improvisational theatre, hunting, and many outdoor activities.
Marlene studied Dentistry at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and graduated in July 2020. She joined G.E.R.N. in September 2020 for her doctoral thesis on investigating the anti-inflammatory effects of IL-10 released from gelatin microspheres in a bovine cartilage tissue ex vivo post-traumatic osteoarthritis model. In her personal time, she likes the gym, running and baking.
Haibin finished his three-year orthopaedic training at Xiangya Hospital in China. He then joined G.E.R.N. in February 2021 for his doctoral thesis. His research focuses on the effect of mechanical stimulation on the cell cytoskeleton. In his free time, he likes to spend time with friends, traveling, and learning about different cultures.
Ruiqiang studied Orthopaedic Surgery at Jilin University in China and received his master’s degree in 2018. He then worked in the Jilin University Medical Center as a surgeon for over 2 years. In March 2022, he became a member of our group and is pursuing his M.D. at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. His research focusses on the effects of biomechanics on cell proliferation and differentiation. He likes to travel and swim in his spare time.
Chengqiang graduated from Taishan Medical University in China. He received his Master of Medicine degree in 2014. He worked as a surgeon in orthopaedic surgery in China from 2014 – 2022. In June 2022, he joined G.E.R.N. in order to pursue his M.D. at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. His research focuses on utilizing geometrically defined, microcontact-printed cell adhesion sites to control the response of human chondrocytes.
Lorenz is a medical student at the Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg. He joined G.E.R.N. in August 2020 to start his experimental doctoral thesis investigating different variables in cell homogenization and their effects on quality of RNA isolation. In his personal time Lorenz plays field hockey and likes to spend time with his family and friends.
Enrico is a medical student at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg and joined G.E.R.N. in April 2020 for his experimental doctoral thesis. In his project, Enrico investigates whether defined applications of biomechanical tensile forces lead to mechanically induced differentiation and to altered expression levels of mechano-sensitve molecules. In his personal time Enrico loves to travel. He enjoys various types of sports as well as spending time with family and friends.
Mirjam studies Life Science Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin (HTW Berlin). She joined G.E.R.N. for her bachelor thesis, which focuses on the quantitative analyses of dopaminergic-mediated cell cytoskeletal properties in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental areas of the brain in Sprague Dawley control rats and a Flinders Sensitive Line depression model. In her personal time, she enjoys singing, painting and swimming. During her time here in Freiburg, she is looking forward to exploring all the beautiful nature surrounding the city.
Diana studied Biomedical Engineering in the University of Guadalajara, Mexico and is currently studying Biomedical Sciences in the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and the University of Buenos Aires. She joined the G.E.R.N. team for a lab rotation and then started her master thesis that focusses on the control of human mesenchymal stem cell morphology and differentiation.
Lisa is a student of dentistry at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg and joined the G.E.R.N. team in August 2019 for an experimental thesis. She investigates the effects of growth factors on injured cartilage explants in terms of cell viability, survival and proliferation. In her personal time she likes attending modern dance classes, loves baking as well as visiting and spending time with her family back home in Austria, and she studies the Swedish language.
Hui is a student at Nanjing Medical University in China, where he received his Master of Medicine degree in 2018. In December 2018, he joined G.E.R.N. in order to pursue his M.D. at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. His research focuses on using biochemical and biophysical stimuli to control cell phenotype to induce articular cartilage cell proliferation with enhanced regenerative capabilities.
Andrea graduated in 2015 as a dental laboratory technician in Karlsruhe and decided to subsequently study dentistry at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. She graduated in July 2020 and joined the G.E.R.N team in September 2020 to investigate fibroblast-biomaterial interactions in her doctoral thesis. She focuses on the response of gingival fibroblast to monolytic CAD-/CAM ceramics for dental implant suprastructures. Since 2016 she volunteers at the medical care section of a public disaster control and civil protection organisation in Freiburg. In her spare time she enjoys playing music, studying Welsh, or, whenever it is possible, traveling.
Franziska studied Dentistry at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and graduated in July 2020. She joined G.E.R.N. in September 2020 for her doctoral thesis on the modulation of human osteoblasts trough topographic and physiochemic chracteristics of implant surfaces. In her personal time she enjoys reading, hiking, visiting and spending time with her family back home in Vienna, and she likes to do trekking tours, using her folding kayak.
Max studied human medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and joined the G.E.R.N. in 2019 for his doctoral thesis. Here, he investigates histological and biomechanical changes of the degenerative menisci. In his free time, he likes to spend time with friends or touring with a motorbike.
Lucas has been studying medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg since 2015. He joined G.E.R.N. in October 2018, where he is investigating controlled release of antibiotics and growth factors from a composite material consisting of microporous beta-TCP and ADA-gelatin.
After passing his final exams in Human Dentistry at the Medical University of Varna in May 2019, Konstantinos joined the G.E.R.N. section “Cell Biology-inspired Bone Regeneration” of Dr. Altman. He is working with chip-based 3D cultures of osteoblasts in microfluidic bioreactors, focusing on the differentiation induction of osteoblasts via their biomechanical microenvironment. In his personal time Konstantinos enjoys playing the piano, playing tennis, and sailing.
Julian is currently studying medicine at the University of Freiburg in his final year before graduation. He graduated in 2007 as physiotherapist. His thesis investigates the dual release kinetics of growth factors and antibiotics. After his graduation he will specialize in orthopedic and trauma surgery.
Eugen completed his training as a physiotherapist in 2011. He then studied medicine at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg. Parallel to his studies, he worked as a lecturer in anatomy and physiology. In his dissertation, he investigates using thin, degradable coatings for optimizing osteo-integration and infection prophylaxis. After graduation, he plans to specialize in orthopaedic and trauma surgery.
Nina studied dentistry at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and graduated in February 2022. She joined the G.E.R.N. team in August 2022 for an experimental thesis. In her thesis she investigates the toxic effect of antibiotics on chondrocytes. In her free time she enjoys going on long walks and plays the flute.
Marco studied Biology (B.Sc.) at the Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen until 2018 and is currently enrolled in human medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. He joined the G.E.R.N. team in October 2022 for his doctoral thesis on the qualitative and quantitative changes in monocytes and growth factors within microporous beta-tricalcium phosphate ceramics that were pretreated with platelet-rich plasma.
Toni is an Applied Biology Bachelor student at Furtwangen University. She is part of our team since September 2022. Her work focuses on finding clusters in data sets and which features have the most impact on the clustering. In the coming summer term she will start her bachelor’s degree at G.E.R.N.. In her free time she likes to go dancing and engages in politics.
Long-Quan is a medical student at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg and joined the G.E.R.N. team in August 2022. In her experimental doctoral thesis, she investigates the degradation, biocompatibility and antimicrobial effects of novel implant coatings. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano and the gym, as well as baking.
Tanja is a medical student at the University of Freiburg and joined the GERN team in November 2022 for her doctoral thesis, investigating the compression strength and biocompatibility of different beta-tricalcium-phospate implants intended for bone replacement. She spends most of her free time at the ice rink.
Elisa studies Applied Biomechanics at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. During her studies she also trained to become a physiotherapist. She graduated in September 2022 and joined G.E.R.N. in October 2022 for her bachelor thesis on the influence of architecture in 3D-printed bone tissue engineering constructs to improve the mechanical stability of scaffolds made of calcium phosphate cement. In her spare time she enjoys Judo.
Fahimeh graduated from her vocational training as a chemical laboratory assistant at the research laboratory of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology at the University Hospital Freiburg in January 2023. She joined the G.E.R.N. team in February 2023 as a lab technician for a DFG-funded project. In her spare time, she spends time working out and being out and about. Fahimeh is a skilled craftswoman and enjoys building and painting. “Perfection takes its time” is her motto. She always welcomes a good movie and nothing is more enjoyable to her than an exciting book on a gloomy Sunday with gourmet coffee.
Désirée is a student at the Medical Technician Academy of the University Medical Center located in Freiburg. She will graduate in September 2023 and joined the G.E.R.N. team for a six months internship. During this time she will work on the quality control of COVID-19 vaccines. In her free time she enjoys spending time horseback riding and baking.
Corinna is a student at the academy for medical professions in Freiburg. She joined the G.E.R.N. team in January 2023 for a 6 month internship. She is working on the interaction of 3D printed biomaterials with bone and oral gingival cells.
Sophia is a student at the Medical Technician Academy of Freiburg and will graduate in September 2023. She joined the G.E.R.N. team as an intern for six months. She is currently working on her projects in the cartilage field. In her free time, she likes to play the clarinet and listen to music.
Luise is currently studying at the academy for medical professions in Freiburg to become a medical technician. She joined the G.E.R.N. team for a six month internship before graduating in September 2023. She is working on cartilage-related projects.
Yuto Takemoto is a PhD candidate at Nagoya University, Japan, at the Kato Laboratory, Department of Cellular and Molecular Informatics, Division of Drug Discovery Biosciences. He joined the GERN team in October 2022 for a collaborative research project. His research is on the development of a non-invasive cell quality evaluation model using image analysis and machine learning. In his free time he enjoys watching audition TV shows and movies.
Marina studied Biomedical Engineering at Minho University in Portugal and graduated in July 2020. After graduation, she started studying for a master’s degree in Medical Electronics. She joined G.E.R.N. in November 2021. In her master’s thesis, she focuses on the process development for the 3D-printing of thermoplastic collagen as a potential delivery device in the context of bone infections. In her free time, she enjoys running, cycling, traveling, watching movies at the cinema, and spending time with friends and family.
Theodor is a medical student at the University of Freiburg and joined GERN in May 2020. He is currently pursuing his doctoral thesis focusing on the development of a human organ model for bone infections. Deploying this new model he investigates the effects of an antibiotic-releasing microporous material on healthy and infected bone tissue. In his personal time he loves producing and listening to music, travelling and various types of sport.
Franz is a medical student at the University of Jena (Thuringia). He took 2 semesters of leaf of absence to join the G.E.R.N. lab in March 2018 in order to focus on his thesis project, namely to investigate a novel strategy for regenerating traumatized human cartilage at the site of trauma. Currently, he is expanding his knowledge of state-of-the-art experimental techniques. As a member of the Teakwondo club Franz is fascinated by martial arts. He also enjoys exploring Freiburg on his self-built bamboo-bike. After graduation, Franz plans to specialize in orthopedic and trauma surgery.
Philip is in his last year as medical student of the University of Freiburg. His research focuses on biomechanical studies and specifically on the impact of various very thin coatings on the osteointegration and stability of bone implants.
Thomas is studying Medicine at the University of Freiburg and he is currently in his 10th semester. He joined GERN in summer 2017 and has dedicated a semester to his experimental medical thesis. His thesis consists of 2 projects: developing a new method to produce cartilage discs with a precise thickness, and also testing a substance aimed at preventing post-traumatic osteoarthritis. He is passionate about bodybuilding and powerlifting.
Alan is an undergraduate student who studies Biomechanics at Offenburg University. From September 2019 to January 2020 Alan is spending his internship at G.E.R.N.. He is working on the mechanical and corrosive evaluation of additively manufactured total knee replacements.
Jennifer studies Applied Biomechanics at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences since October 2016. During her studies she also trained as a physiotherapist. She graduated in September 2020 and joined G.E.R.N. in October 2021 for her bachelor thesis on the modification of 3D-printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds made from calcium phosphate cement.
I am Chiara and 21 years old. I am currently a student at the MTA School of the University of Freiburg Medical Center. I will graduate in August. Our last course element is a 6 months internship, which I am lucky enough to experience at G.E.R.N.. Currently, I test the biocompatibility of different new ceramic foams for bone implants in cell culture. I like to spend my free time with dogs and my friends.
I’m a student of the Medical Technician Academy of Freiburg. I joined G.E.R.N. for my six month internship. During my time here I’m working on how biophysical signals can be used to control the shape and function of cells. In my free time I like to play Volleyball, meet my friends and listen to a lot of music.
I'm a student of the Medical Technician Academy of Freiburg and I will graduate in September 2022 after my internship at G.E.R.N. During these 6 months at G.E.R.N. I will test the behavior of mesenchymal stroma cells from the mesoderm in different biophysical conditions, using nanofiber scaffolds. In my free time I love to play the guitar and being outside on a walk.
Johannes is studying Medicine at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg and he has spent an external semester at the Université Grenoble Alpes, where he gained clinical experience at the Centre Universitaire Hospitalier. He joined the G.E.R.N. team in December 2017 for his doctoral thesis investigating the role of the meniscus in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. His leisure activities include playing volleyball, tennis, skiing, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Robert just passed his final exams in Human Dentistry at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. He now is pursuing his thesis at G.E.R.N.; therefore, he is working with isolated human chondrocytes and their responses to specific growth factors for enhancing their proliferative and chondrogenic capacity. He loves to work in a team where his colleagues will become friends over time and, according to his opinion, this is given at G.E.R.N. He absolutely enjoys every kind of sports and at the moment he is training for his next goal, which is a triathlon. Also, he is fan of good food and books.
Pia studies ‘Biomechanics’ at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. She joined G.E.R.N. in October 2018 for her internship. Currently, she is working on her Bachelor thesis, in which she develops a perfusion chamber for observing cellular responses to applied mechanical forces.
Anton graduated as B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and M.Sc. in Engineering Structures with the focus on numerical simulations at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Parallel to his courses at KIT, he studied medicine at the Medical University of Vienna. Currently, he spends his final practical clinical year (PJ). Anton joined the G.E.R.N. center to pursue his medical doctoral thesis on numerical simulations of 3D-printed osteoblast-seeded scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications.
Alina is a master student at Furtwangen University in Villingen-Schwenningen. In October 2020, she joined G.E.R.N.. Her research focuses on developing new drug delivery devices for bone healing. In her personal time, she enjoys cycling, hiking, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Nils joined GERN in August 2020 for his Bachelor’s thesis in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Major Life Sciences. His work aims at applying machine learning algorithms to microscopy images for classifying the state of degeneration of cell and tissue cultures based on cell morphology. This could eventually lead to an automated tool for assessing tissue degeneration in vivo in human patients. Apart from his interest in computational biology, he plays multiple musical instruments and enjoys being a teaching assistant at the University College Freiburg. Nils graduated in 2021 and currently pursues a Master of Science in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics at the ETH Zürich in Switzerland. He continues to work with G.E.R.N..
Logan studies Liberal Arts and Science (B.Sc) at the University College Freiburg (UCF) with a specialization in Life Sciences. He is currently working on a practical Bachelor's thesis at G.E.R.N since August 2020. His project centers on the polarization of macrophages to either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory phenotypes. Once activated, these cells are then placed in a co-culture model to investigate how pro versus anti-inflammatory macrophages contribute to cartilage degradation in Osteoarthritis. Outside of the Lab Logan also works as a teaching assistant in the LAS program. Aside from university Logan is an avid home cook and fermentation enthusiast. He also enjoys hiking and camping in the Schwarzwald. Logan graduated in 2021 and continues his education as Master student in Dresden.
Saman studied Electrical Engineering (Associate Degree) at the Islamic Azad University of Islamshahr in Iran. In 2013, he began to study Libera Arts and Sciences (B.Sc.) at the University College Freiburg (UCF) and specialized in Life Sciences. He continued his academic career in Biomedical Engineering (M.Sc.) at the University of Furtwangen and joined G.E.R.N. in January 2020 for his Master Thesis. His project is about characterizing the effect of inflammatory cytokines on the cellular morphology of human and bovine chondrocytes under various conditions. Additionally, he investigates the effect of lignin on chondrocytes in 3D hydrogels and its effects on cellular characteristics. Besides working at G.E.R.N., Saman is a beekeeper and loves mixing cocktails. He is also a fitness enthusiast and likes listening to autobiographies. In his personal time, he likes to travel, play video games, cook exotic food, and parties with friends.
Weiping studied pathophysiology at Jilin University where she received her Master of Science (B.Sc.) in June 2011. After her master she started as a Ph.D. student in neuroscience at Heidelberg University, worked on the topic of the electrophysiological function of Ca2+-activated-Cl- channels in the mouse brain, and received her Ph.D. in 2016. She continued this neuroscience topic as a research assistant until she joined G.E.R.N. in April 2018 as a post-doctoral researcher. She is focusing on microchip-based 3D culture for inducing in vitro differentiation of osteoblasts. Weiping left G.E.R.N. in 2021.
Franziska Schäfer started her dentistry studies in 2015 at the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen and continued in 2017 at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. She joined G.E.R.N. in March 2019 and is investigating the mechanically induced differentiation of human stem cells using cyclic tensile forces. In her spare time she enjoys various types of sports and spending time with her family and her French bulldog.
Daniel is studying medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg since 2013 and he is currently in his final year. Daniel joined G.E.R.N. in April 2017 for his thesis project, which includes immunohistochemical analyses of the mechanoreceptors in anterior cruciate ligament transplants.
Lucas is an undergraduate student who studies Biomechanics at Offenburg University. From March to July 2019 Lucas is spending his internship at G.E.R.N.. He is working on optimizing parameters for 3D-printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds. In his spare time he enjoys his racing bike and hiking.
Artem is a Biomechanics student at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. From April to October 2020 Artem is working on his Bachelor’s thesis at G.E.R.N.., in which he investigates methods to improve the osteoconductivity and biocompatibility of 3D-printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds. In his spare time he enjoys coding, OSINT and traditional kickboxing.
Reena has received her Master degree (M.Sc.) in Pharmaceutical Analysis in India. Currently, she is pursuing another Master degree at the Furtwangen University in Medical Diagnostic Technologies. Her Master thesis at G.E.R.N. investigates cytoskeletal proteins involved in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. In her personal time she likes reading books and travelling.
Nelli is a BTA since 2005 and also a biotechnician. She worked for 8 years as a TA at La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, focusing on the fermentation of antibodies. She also worked for 5 years at Roche Diagnostics in Penzberg on producing antibodies using CHO cells. She joined G.E.R.N. in June 2018 in order to develop her skills and scientific experience in the Altmann group. Nelli loves her family and cycling to work.
Rojiar studied Cellular and Molecular Biology (B.Sc.) at the Islamic Azad University in the Tehran Medical Branch in Iran. Currently, she is a student at the University of Furtwangen where she studies Medical Diagnostic Technologies (M.Sc.). She is currently working on her Master thesis with the aim of a controlled delivery of anti-inflammatory cytokines in a bovine cartilage tissue ex vivo post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) model, using microspheres at G.E.R.N in Freiburg. In her personal time, she enjoys running, reading books, watching movies and being social with friends, e.g. brunching with friends. Rojiar left G.E.R.N. in winter 2020/21 to pursue a Ph.D. in the US.
Johanna studies dentistry at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. In autumn 2017 she started working on her thesis about bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw. In her spare time she likes spending time with her friends and with her horse.
Florian studied Bio- and Process Engineering at the Furtwangen University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 2017. He is currently a Master student in Biochemistry at the Ulm University pursuing his master project at G.E.R.N.. Florian was one of the first students to join the newly established G.E.R.N. lab as Bachelor student and was then part of our team from February to September 2017. His Bachelor work focused on comparing the effects of stiffness and materials on quantitative shape descriptors from chondrogenic differentiating vs. non-differentiating mesenchymal stromal cells isolated from human bone marrow to freshly isolated articular cartilage chondrocytes. His Master thesis focuses on CRISPR-Cas9 editing of chondrocytes. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, diving and reading novels. Florian left G.E.R.N. in fall 2020 for a position in Industry.
Sergio got the certificate of Higher Education in 2004 as Pathological Anatomy and Cytology Technician in Madrid, Spain. He specialized in neuroscience working mainly for the “3D Lab: Development, Differentiation and Degeneration” at CIB (Biological Research Center), CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) and for the Neurodegeneration Unit at CNM (National Microbiology Center), ISCIII (Institute of Health Carlos III). He joined the KOU-MFL as scientific laboratory technician in March 2014 and G.E.R.N. in 2016 when the KOU-MFL joined G.E.R.N.. Sergio left in May 2020 to pursue neuroscience. Thank you for your time sat G.E.R.N.
Anastasija joined the G.E.R.N. team in February 2018 and is working with Sergio Hernandez Latorre. Her technical expertise includes methods in the context of molecular biology and bacteriology questions and also quantitative and digital PCR. Previously, she helped investigating NRAS & KRAS mutations via the BEAMing method. In her current project she teamed up with Dennis Bünte to investigate 3D-printing procedures for knee replacements (AGENT3D), and she also helps investigating monocyte cell cultures. In her personal time she loves to be in the sunny nature around Freiburg and to do assemble tricky origami figures.
Anja worked as technical assistant for 3 years before she started to study biology at the Albert-Ludwig-University Freiburg in 2005. She received her diploma in 2014, while she had 2 children in the meantime. In her diploma thesis she characterized the differentiation of podocytes. In February 2015, she joined the group of PD Dr. Susanne Proksch located at the Center for Dental Medicine, Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology and moved with her to G.E.R.N. in 2017. In her free time she enjoys sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.
Kathrin studied Human Dentistry at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. After her finals she spent two months in Bolivia as a clinical trainee. In January 2019 she joined G.E.R.N. to start her thesis on the anti-inflammatory effects of lignin on gingival keratinocytes and human chondrocytes. She enjoys doing things outside such as skiing and hiking. In her free time she also likes playing clarinet, cooking and spending time with friends.
Johanna is an undergraduate student who studies Biomechanics at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. From March to July 2020 she works as an intern at G.E.R.N. Johanna works on zinc alloys for investigating joint replacement materials. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities with her friends.
Thomas is an undergraduate student who studies Biomechanics at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. From March 2020 to August 2020 Thomas currently works on his Bachelor thesis, in which he conducts biomechanical investigations of composites of β-TCP and ADA gels and their degradation behavior.
Morvena studied Biology at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. She graduated with a Bachelor degree (B.Sc.) and completed her thesis project at the Interfaculty Institute of Cell Biology. She is studying Translational Biology (M.Sc.) at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. In July 2018 she joined the G.E.R.N. to begin her Master thesis project, which focuses on the analysis of specific protein levels in chondrocyte disease stages. In her leisure time, she enjoys cooking, doing DIY, and spending time with friends.
Sophie studied pharmacy at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg. During her practical year she works at G.E.R.N. on her diploma thesis, which has the aim to develop a dual drug delivery system for antibiotics and growth factors from composite ß-TCP ceramics, hydrogel and gelatine nanoparticles, for the treatment of bone infections.
David is a Biomechanics student at the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences. From December 2020 to Mai 2021 David worked on his Bachelor’s thesis at G.E.R.N. on the influence of pressure parameters to control the stability of PCL frameworks for potential bone replacements. In his spare time he enjoys playing football, hiking, skiing and the guitar.
Jan-Hendrik is an undergraduate student who studies Biomechanics Offenburg University of applied sciences. From September 2019 to January 2020 Jan-Hendrik is spending his internship at G.E.R.N., He is working on optimizing parameters for 3D-printed bone tissue engineering scaffolds. In his free time he enjoys practicing many types of sports.
Anna Carmela graduated from the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in July 2015 and received her license to practice as a dentist. In addition to her dental work, she joined G.E.R.N. in October 2015 to work on her doctoral thesis. She is investigating the effect of the bisphosphonate Zoledronate on the bone structure of osteoporotic sheep. In her personal time she enjoys sculpturing wood and mountain hiking.
Jessica worked as a chemical-technical assistant at a medical care center in Freiburg for three years before she decided to study process engineering with a focus on biotechnology at the University of Offenburg. She joined G.E.R.N. in January 2019 to pursue her bachelor thesis. Her project focusses on investigating the response of chondrocytes to simulated inflammatory conditions such as IL-17.
Judith studies Life Sciences within the Liberal Arts and Sciences degree at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. She is currently working on her Bachelor thesis with the aim of improving a post-traumatic osteoarthritis injury model on tissue and cell levels to ultimately investigate a novel treatment method using anti-inflammatory cytokines and microspheres. In her free time she enjoys brunching with friends, going for a run, and reading books.
Dahlia is a licensed pharmacologist who graduated from Oman Medical College in 2018 and received her biomedical science diploma at the University of Freiburg in 2019. She joined G.E.R.N. in January 2019 to gain practical experience as a scientific trainee, as she is planning to continue her career in the Life Sciences and Medical Research. She is currently investigating the differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells into neuro-striated muscle cells.
Clara is a medical doctor who graduated from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. After receiving her Diploma of Medicine in 2017, she enrolled in the International Master in Biomedical Sciences (IMBS), which is a joint program between her home university and the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg. She is now working on her master thesis project at G.E.R.N. with Prof. Rolauffs. The project consists in controlling human mesenchymal stromal cells morphology and function by utilizing the dose-dependent mechano-response of the cells. She is passionate about developing new strategies for tissue engineering and translational medicine. One of her favourite movie is Kill Bill, she loves opera and Italian culture, and she likes spending her free time writing or taking singing courses.
Annick is a student at the University of Furtwangen, where she successfully completed her Bachelor degree in Molecular and Technical Medicine (MTZ). Thereafter, she is continuing her education with a Master degree in Medical Diagnostics Technologies (MDT). At the moment, she is working on her thesis project at the G.E.R.N. in Freiburg. Her focus is the response of mesenchymal stromal cells to chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation media on chondrogenically vs. osteogenically stimulating biomaterial nanoscale stiffnesses. In her leisure time, she loves reading, travelling, and cooking.
Svenja is studying Biomedical Science at Reutlingen University and she has received her Bachelor of Science in February 2019. Svenja joined G.E.R.N. in September 2018 to pursue her thesis on focusing on the characterization and biocompatibility of 3D printed ceramic scaffolds.
Anna studied Biology (B.Sc.) at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg with a focus on immunology and biochemistry. She finished her bachelor thesis in structural biology at the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Freiburg. She remained at the University of Freiburg to study Translational Biology (M.Sc.). For her master thesis she joined the G.E.R.N. lab from January 2018 to December 2018 and was interested in cartilage and inflammation. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading books and baking.
Kai studied at the University of Adelaide (Australia) where he was awarded a Bachelor Degree with First Class Honours in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2015, with a focus on protein biochemistry and spectroscopy. He is currently studying a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biophysics in Freiburg, where he is writing his Master thesis on the topic of MSC differentiation via cyclic stretching.
Dennis studied Mechanical Engineering (Dipl.-Ing) at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) during which he worked on nonlinear fluid mechanics (Ekman-Couette shear flow). He continued in this field working as a research assistant focusing on nonlinear ocean waves and structural dynamics. In 2013 he continued his career as a research assistant in the Biomechanics Department at TUHH, characterizing and understanding tri-biologically induced corrosion mechanisms within conical taper junctions of modern hip replacement designs. In 2017, Dennis completed his PhD "Fretting-Corrosion in Total Hip Replacements" and joined the G.E.R.N. group as a post-doctoral research fellow from January 2018 to March 2019. During this time he focused on the translation of 3D-printing procedures for total knee replacements (AGENT3D).
Jules was born in Cameroon where he received his Baccalauréat D in the 'petit séminaire sainte Thérèse de l’enfant Jesus’ in Jaunde, which is comparable to a high school degree in mathematics and physical sciences. He then visited the Université de Yaoundé from 2012 to 2014, followed by pursuing his Bachelor’s degree at the Furtwangen University in biotechnology and process engineering. He joined G.E.R.N. to assemble his Bachelor thesis on lignin-agarose hydrogels.
Xinwei studied Materials Science and Engineering (B.Sc.) at Beijing University of Technology, China. She is currently studying Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (M.Sc.) at IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria. In January 2018, Xinwei joined the G.E.R.N. Lab for her master thesis for production and optimization of microspheres from various biomaterials which could be applied in tissue engineering. In her leisure time, she enjoys doing fitness and playing piano as well as spending time with her family and friends.
Mathäus received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in 2016. For his thesis he worked on optimizing the purification and crystallization of a cytochrome c maturation protein from E. coli. He joined the G.E.R.N. lab in October 2017 as part of his master’s program Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Albert Ludwig University. In cooperation with the Faculty of Physical Chemistry, he established an atomic force microscopy-based (AFM) method for nanomechanical testing of human osteoarthritic cartilage. He is also focusing on using AFM as a tool to illuminate the cellular and biophysical changes of cartilage in early-onset osteoarthritis. In his spare time he likes to dance Lindy Hop and Charleston, work out in the gym and play the guitar.
Dominik studied Medicine at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He joined the G.E.R.N. team in the spring of 2017. He is currently working on his medical thesis investigating a novel approach for inducing striated muscle differentiation in adult mesenchymal stromal cells.
Since 2016 Max is studying Biology at the University of Freiburg. He joined G.E.R.N. in May 2018 to pursue his Bachelor thesis in the Rolauffs lab. His work focusses on investigating the role of actin branching and polymerisation in the adherence of human chondrocytes to microcontact printed fibronectin patterns. Since many years Max enjoys working out in the gym, but he also enjoys hiking and camping in his personal time.
Virginia is enrolled at Offenburg University in the field of Applied Science as an undergraduate student in Biomechanics. From March to September 2018 Virginia is spending her internship at G.E.R.N., and her project is the mechanical evaluation of 3D-printed individualized total knee replacements.
Julia studied Medical Engineering at the Furtwangen University and will receive her Bachelor of Science in august 2018. Julia joined G.E.R.N. in March 2018 to complete her bachelor degree. Her bachelor thesis focuses on the behavior of Alendronate in PE-molded padding and how it interacts with MG-63 cells or human osteoblasts.
Katrin studied medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and she received her professional license in Mai 2016. She started working as a trauma surgeon for the Dept. of Trauma Surgery at a maximum care hospital near the Black Forrest. In her medical thesis, she investigates the immunohistochemical and histological differences of human anterior crucial ligament grafts during remodeling. In her free time she enjoys running, skiing and spending time with family and friends.
Gesine studied Medicine at the University of Freiburg, graduated from medical school in 2016 and started her residency at the University of Heidelberg in the Dept. of Gynecology and Obstetrics with the focus on Gynecological Oncology. Her doctoral thesis focusses on the release of antibiotics from porous calcium phosphate-based ceramics for the treatment of bone infections. She is also working on developing an anti-metabolite treatment for bone metastases. In her personal time she enjoys her plants and flowers on her balcony, takes singing lessons, and likes to explore the woods and hills of her hometown.
Sophie studied human medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. She graduated in July 2018. Her thesis focused on thin degradable coatings for improving implant osteointegration while simultaneously preventing infection. In her personal time she loves to swim, paint and all kinds of handicrafts.
Martha studied Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the IMC FH Krems University of Applied Sciences in Austria. She will receive her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering in June 2018. From August 2017 to February 2018 she completed a practical training semester at the G.E.R.N lab doing her bachelor thesis where she focused on the development of an algorithm for cell shape analysis and cell segmentation. In addition to that she also investigated the influence of biomaterial stiffness on chondrocyte cell shape and gene expression. Her leisure activities include skiing, skating and jigsaw puzzles.
Pascal studied Bio- and Process Technology with a focus on Biotechnology at the Furtwangen University, Germany and will receive his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in March 2018. Pascal is one of the first batch of student’s who joined G.E.R.N. in March 2017 to complete his Bachelor degree. His bachelor thesis focused on using fluorescence-activated cell sorting for isolation of adult human pericytes from patient-matched lower extremity adipose and muscle tissues to induce muscle differentiation for musculoskeletal regenerative medicine.
Pascal passed away on April, 26th, 2018. His plan was to continue his work in G.E.R.N. as a Technical Assistant. He is greatly missed.
Aline studied medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and she graduated in May 2016. During her studies she already worked at the Dept. of Trauma Surgery at the Freiburg University Medical Center. Her thesis focused on carbon fiber-reinforced SiC composites, perhaps usable as an alternative material for joint replacement. After her thesis defense Aline started working at the Dept. of Plastic and Handsurgery at the Schwarzwald Baar Hospital in Donaueschingen. In her personal time she plays volleyball and she enjoys reading and skiing.
Steffen studied medicine at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. He worked at the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology and at the Epilepsy Center before he joined G.E.R.N. for his medical doctoral thesis. In his project he investigated drug delivery devices for growth factor applications to improve bone healing. Since 2015 he is a forensic pathologist in Switzerland.
Julius studies human medicine at the Technical University of Munich since 2015. He joined G.E.R.N. in September 2017 to investigate the effects of osteoarthritis on human cartilage biomechanics and histology.
Our P.I. alumni
Professor Anke Bernstein, Ph.D.
Deputy Director of the G.E.R.N. Research Center
Dept. of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery Freiburg University Medical Center
Section Head, Musculoskeletal Biomaterials
Habilitation at the University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry), University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery, University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Susanne was P.I. at G.E.R.N. until December 2019
Assoc. Prof. (PD) Susanne Proksch, M.D.
Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology Freiburg University Medical Center
Habilitation at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany
Doctorate at the Technical University Dresden, Germany
Dental Medicine at Ludwigs-Maximilians University Munich, Germany
Université Paris Descartes, France