Our lab members
Michael studied Bio-Engineering at Martin Luther University in Halle. He received his Diploma in April 2010. After his Diploma he started to work for the Department of Trauma Surgery at the Medical Center of the University in Freiburg. In his PhD thesis, he continued his work on porous calcium phosphate based ceramics as drug delivery devices for bone healing. After his PhD thesis, he worked as a post doctoral researcher at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg on several projects. Michael is currently a post doctoral researcher at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg where he is developing new drug delivery devices for bone healing. In his free time he enjoys cycling, reading, e-guitar playing, the festival summer as well as spending time with friends and family.
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.
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, G.E.R.N., as scientific laboratory technician.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.