Team PMI

Pathogen-Mediated Modulation of Innate Immunity

Preliminary evidence suggests that pathogenic microorganisms can exploit functional innate immunity networks of the host to aid immune evasion, and that de-regulation of those same networks might contribute to pathology in chronic inflammatory diseases. The team is interested in identifying key molecular and cellular mechanisms at the pathogen-host interface which could be exploited as potential targets for the treatment of multiple chronic inflammatory diseases.

  • Mentors
    • Dr. Stefan Pflanz
      Director Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation at Boehringer Ingelheim, Biberach, Germany (Industry mentor)
    • Prof. Dr. Adelheid Cerwenka
      Head of Clinical Immunomonitoring at Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany (Academic mentor)
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Our Team Members

Dr. Bachir El Debs

Group Leader

  • Short Bio
    • 2013-2017: Post-doc in pathogen-host interactions with Dr. Athanasios Typas at the EMBL-Heidelberg, Germany
    • 2011-2013: Post-doc in single-cell analysis and microfluidics with Dr. Christoph Merten at the EMBL-Heidelberg, Germany
    • 2008-2011: PhD in microfluidics with Dr.Christoph Merten in the Laboratory of Prof. Andrew Griffiths, University of Strasbourg, France
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Dr. Jamie Frankish

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Short Bio
    • 2016-2017: PhD side project working on the characterisation of zika virus infection induced activation of innate immunity in human neuron progenitor cells, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
    • 2014-2017: PhD project in the German Cancer Research Center working on the characterisation of the regulation and dynamics of early viral infection and innate antiviral responses, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
    • 2013-2014: Masters in immunology, working on the development of phage display technology for the production of single chain antibodies (Nanobodies), TCD University, Dublin, Ireland
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Dr. Benjamin Mielich-Süß

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Short Bio
    • 2012-2017: Ph.D. with Dr. Daniel Lopez at the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany
    • 2015: Visiting Scientist at the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
    • 2007-2012: Undergraduate Studies (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) at the University of Würzburg, Germany

    Recipient of a PhD fellowship of the Graduate School of Life Science (University of Würzburg)

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Mathieu Gendarme

Research Associate

  • Short Bio
    • 2014-2017: Research Associate, Metabolism and Signaling in Cancer, BioMed X, Germany
    • 2010–2013: Master of Science in Biotechnology, European School of Biotechnology Strasbourg, France
    • 2008–2010: Bachelor degree in biology, mathematics, chemistry, University of Strasbourg, France
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Anastasia Demshina

Research Assistant

  • Short Bio
    • 2017-2019: Master of Science in Biotechnology with focus on Biomedical Science and Technology, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Mannheim, Germany
    • 2012-2016: Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology, Dmitry Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow, Russia
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Annika Lambert

Research Assistant

  • Short Bio
    • 2017-2020: Master of Science in Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany
    • 2013-2016: Bachelor of Science in Biosciences, TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
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