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Biomembranes and more

Former members

Shreya Pramanik

PhD student

Max Planck School Matter to Life

(Sept 2019 - Dec 2023)

From giant vesicles to smart membrane compartments

(cosupervision with R. Lipowsky and J. Steinkühler)

Carmen Remde

Chemical engineer

(Jan 2005 - Jul 2023)

Maintenance of the confocal microscopes and other equipment in the lab

Lea Pašalić

DAAD-funded visiting PhD student

(June/July 2023)

Controlling the domain formation in model lipid membranes by interaction of lipids and peptides (collaboration with Danijela Bakarić)

Petra Maleš

DAAD-funded visiting PhD student

(June/July 2023)

The process of demyelination on molecular level: the lipids and the myelin basic protein

(collaboration with Danijela Bakarić)

Mareike Stephan

PhD student, IMPRS fellow

(Aug 2019 - Nov 2022)

Bacterial mimetic systems for the study of bacteriophage infection

(in collaboration with S. Barbirz and T. Robinson)

Rafaela Cavalcanti Keller

Lab manager

(Sept - Oct 2022)

Microscopy and membrane studies

Emilia Krok

Visiting PhD student

NAWA-STER fellow

(July - Sept 2022)

Development of bacterial model membranes as a first step for unraveling prokaryotic anhydrobiosis

(collaboration with Łukasz Piątkowski)

Polina Vyniavska

Internship student

(July - Aug 2022)

Model membrane preparation and characterization

Alexander Becker

Undergraduate student

DAAD-RISE fellow

(June - August 2022)

Vesicle transport in hydrogel environments

Denis Krivic

Visiting PhD student,

(March - July 2022)

Mechanical properties and behavior of membranes with photswitches

(collaboration with Klaus Groschner)

Patrick Mathews Delgado

Visiting postdoctoral fellow

(April 2022)

Interactions of cubosomes with model membranes

(in collaboration with Omar Mertins)

Dominik Drabik

Visiting postdoctoral fellow

(March - May 2022)

Mechanics of asymmetric membranes enriched with phosphatidic acid

(collaboration with Aleksander Czogalla, University of Wrocław)

Lars Hansen

Undergraduate student

Max Planck School Matter to Life

(March 2020 - Dec 2021)

Towards minimal cell division: Shape oscillations & controlled budding of GUVs

(in collaboration with R. Lipowsky, T. Litschel and P. Schwille)

Vasil Georgiev

PhD student

IMPRS fellow (Sept 2013 - March 2017); postdoc (April 2017 - Nov 2021)

Light-induced changes in biomembranes; ESCRT-mediated membrane reshaping

Elias Sabri

Visiting PhD student

(Sept-Vov 2021)

Numerical calculations on vesicles in electric fields

(in collaboration with Christian Brosseau)

Anna Wagner

Visiting PhD student

(Oct 2021)

Assessing the electrical properties of dendrimer membranes

(in collaboration with C. Rodriguez-Emmenegger)

Anton Joseph

Visiting PhD student

(Sept-Oct 2021)

Characterization of dendrimersomes via micropipette aspiration

(in collaboration with C. Rodriguez-Emmenegger)

Ziliang Zhao


(April 2016 - Aug 2021)

Morphology of membranes in contact with aqueous two-phase systems;

Imaging specialist (STED)

Fernanda S.C. Leomil

visiting PhD student

(Sept 2020 - Aug 2021)

Material properties and stability of anionic membranes with different levels of complexity

(in collaboration with Karin A. Riske)

Anna Vikulina

Alexander von Humboldt fellow

(Jan - Aug 2021)

The influence of extracellular microenvironment on molecular transport across cell membrane

Luiz Schubert

visiting PhD student, IMPRS fellow

(Sept 2020 - Jul 2021)

Proton translocation in the light-driven inward pump Xenorhodopsin

(in collaboration with Joachim Heberle)

Aneta Wójcik  

visiting PhD student

(Jan - June 2021)

Influence of persistent organic pollutants on model membrane phase state, fluidity and bending rigidity

(in collaboration with Marcin Broniatowski)

Maria-Anna Kirmpaki

Undergraduate and MSc student

(March 2020 - April 2021)

Undergraduate project: Material properties of photoswichable membranes

MSc thesis: Understanding the effects of septins on the generation of membrane curvature, in collaboration with Helge Ewers

Tripta Bhatia


(Feb 2016 - Jan 2021)

Assessing membrane mechanics with micropipettes

Nannan Chen


(Nov 2019 - Oct 2020)

Mechanism of the liquid-liquid phase separation of soy glycinin, protein droplets-to-microcapsules transformation and their interaction with model membranes

Camilla Fabiani

Visiting PhD student

(Feb - March 2020)

Lipid-protein interaction in model systems, in collaboration with Silvia Antollini (National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Buenos Aires)

Mehdi Ravandeh

Visiting PhD student, RTG 1947 BiOx fellow

(Oct - Dec 2019)

Effect of reactive species generated by cold atmospheric plasma on biomimetic membranes

Eleanor Ewins

PhD student, IRTG fellow (Sept 2015 - Oct 2018)

Postdoc (Nov 2018 - Sept 2019)

Membrane-particle interactions

Rafaela Cavalcanti

visiting PhD student

(Sept 2018 - August 2019)

Fusion of model lipid membranes

(in collaboration with Karin A Riske)

Hammad A. Faizi

visiting PhD student

(August - September 2019)

Fluctuation spectroscopy and electrodeformation of vesicles

(in collaboration with Petia Vlahovska)

Yunuen Avalos

visiting scientist

(August - September 2019)

Role of ESCRT proteins in remodeling membranes

Marzie Karimi

PhD student

(Oct 2015 - Feb 2019)


(March 2019 - July 2019)

Mechanical properties of membranes exposed to physiological buffers

Rafael Lira


(Feb 2017 - July 2019)

Interaction of surfactant-stabilized oil droplets with biomembranes

Tripta Bhatia


(Feb 2016 - August 2017)

Assessing membrane mechanics with micropipettes

Petia Vlahovska

Humboldt research fellow

(Oct 2017 - August 2018)

Electromechanics of membranes

Yusheng Wu (Sunny)

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(May - August 2018)

Cell membrane reshaping by transmembrane asymmetry

Shelli Frey

on sabbatical visit

(March - August 2018)

Interaction of Huntington-protein particles with giant vesicles

Anne Voigt

PhD student

(May - July 2018)

temporary visit

Hammad A. Faizi

visiting PhD student

(April - July 2018)

Fluctuation spectroscopy of polymer membranes

(In collaboration with Petia Vlahovska)

Jan Steinkühler

PhD student, IRTG fellow (Jan 2013 - March 2016); postdoc

(April 2016 - March 2018)

Adhesion-induced domain formation

Yunuen Avalos


(July 2016 - March 2018)

Role of ESCRT proteins in remodeling membranes

Natalia Wilkosz

visiting PhD student

(Oct 2017 - Feb 2018)

Polymersomes and liposomes as drug carriers

(collaboration with Jagiellonian University in Krakow)

Debjit Roy


(Nov 2015 - Oct 2017)

Reference systems for spontaneous curvature measurements

Katherine Davies

visiting PhD student

(September 2017)

Interactions of MLKL proteins with membranes

In collaboration with James Murphy and Emma Petrie, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne

John Brezovec

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(May - July 2017)

Interactions between membranes and PIL particles

Bastian Kubsch

PhD student

(May 2014 - April 2017)

Membrane fusion and fission

Amanda Jack

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(May - August 2016)

Membrane fusion

Chathuri Wijekoon

visiting PhD student

(May - July 2016)

Reconstitution of CopA in giant vesicles

In collaboration with the Xiao/Wedd group at the University of Melbourne

Rafael Lira

visiting PhD student

(Nov 2015 - May 2016)

Droplet-supported giant vesicles

Roland Knorr

PhD student (Nov 2006 - Aug 2010), postdoc (Sept 2010 - Apr 2016)

Domain formation and stability in cell membranes

Yunuen Avalos

visiting PhD student

(August 2014 - Jan 2016)

Reconstitution of ESCRT proteins in model membranes (in collaboration with Esther Orozco)

Tom Robinson


(April 2014 - Jan 2016)

Membrane domains with different functionalities

Ibai Artetxe

visiting PhD student

(Sept - Nov 2015)

Mechanical properties of ceramide-doped membranes (collaboration with Félix Goñi)

Vaida Matulevičiūtė undergraduate ERASMUS student

(July - August 2015)

Optical characterization of giant vesicles

Tomo Murovec

Visiting PhD student

(May - June 2015)

Vesicle-vesicle interactions in electric fields

Andrea Gramatica


(Jan - June 2015)

Multidomain vesicles with designed domain pattern

Ziliang Zhao

visiting PhD student

(Sept 2014 - April 2015)

Polymer depletion and adsorption to membranes (in collaboration with Yonggang Liu)

Raktim Dasgupta


(May 2013 - April 2015)

Optical manipulation of giant vesicles

Nisha Sosale


TEE fellow

(Sept 2014 - Feb 2015)

Cell rigidity and shape override CD47’s ‘self’ signaling in phagocytosis by hyperactivating myosin-II (in collaboration with Dennis Discher)

Ha Dang

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(June - August 2014)

Membrane adhesion and fusion

Philippe DeTillieux

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(May - August 2014)

Confocal microscopy of giant vesicles

Russi Gurov

PhD student

(Oct 2011 - July 2014)

Adhesion of model membranes

Rafael Lira

visiting PhD student

(since July 2013)

Electro-poration and -fusion of giant vesicles (in collaboration with Karin A Riske)

Denitsa Mitkova

visiting PhD student

(March 2014)

Electrochemical properties of cell-mimetic lipid membranes

Eva Rzad

visiting PhD student

(January - February 2014)

Confocal microscopy of giant vesicles

Ursula Kwolek

visiting PhD student

(January - February 2014)

Confocal microscopy of giant vesicles

Nico Fricke

PhD student, postdoc

(July 2009 - January 2014)

Properties and interactions of membranes decorated with glycolipids

Salome Pataraia

PhD students, postdoc

(July 2009 - September 2013)

Protein partitioning in intramembrane domains

Oksana Travkova


(March 2011 - March 2013)

Interaction of antimicrobial peptides with model membranes

Tatiana Moreira Domingues

visiting PhD student

(September - November 2012)

Interaction of the antimicrobial peptide gomesin with model membranes

(in collaboration with Karin Riske)

Natalya Bezlyepkina

PhD student

(June 2005 - 2012)

Domain formation in model membranes induced by electrofusion of giant vesicles [read more]

Matthew Kheir

undergraduate student

DAAD fellow

(May - August 2012)

Interaction of the protein cytochrome c with multicomponent lipid membranes

Paul Salipante

visiting PhD student

(September 2010 - September 2011)

Polymersomes in AC fields [read more]

(in collaboration with Petia Vlahovska)

Pavlo Shchelokovskyy


(May 2008 - May 2011)

Effect of the HIV peptide FP23 on the membrane mechanical properties [read more]

Software development for automation and carrying out micropipette vesicle aspiration experiments and corresponding data analysis

Yonggang Liu


(June 2009 - August 2011)

Membrane transformations in vesicles with two-phase aqueous solutions

Philipp Walch


(May - June 2011)

Electrodeformation of vesicles in the presence of salts

Karim Hamdi

PhD student

(June 2009 - June 2011)

Molecular motor transport and regulation role of nucleotides

Janina Beeg

PhD student

(September 2002 - September 2007)

postdoc (October 2007 - May 2011)

Cooperative behavior of motor proteins [read more]

after Janina's defense

Benjamin Klasczyk

PhD student

(January 2008 - February 2011)

Interactions of ions with membranes

(in collaboration with Volker Knecht) [read more]

Omar Mertins


(December 2009 - December 2010)

Chitosan adsorption on liposomes [read more]

Margarita Staykova


(January 2007 - October 2009)

Electric-field induced effects on cells and multicomponent membranes [read more]

Yanhong Li

PhD student, postdoc

(March 2006 - February 2010)

Phase separation in giant vesicles [read more]

Sanat Karmakar


(August 2008 - November 2009)

Interaction of NK2 peptides with model membranes

Thomas Portet

visiting PhD student

(April - June 2009)

Membrane electroporation and pore lifetimes [read more]

Yael Katsir

visiting PhD student

(June - July 2009)

Entropic effects in titrations of D2O-H2O solutions with different D/H ratios [read more]

Tetsuya Yamamoto


(May 2008 - May 2009)

Contribution of electrostatic forces to the interactions between domains in membranes

(in collaboration with R. Lipowsky) [read more]

Said Aranda Espinoza

PhD student

(January 2004 - February 2009)

Electrical effects on model lipid membranes: electrodeformation, electroporation and electrofusion [read more]

after the defense

Cintia Vequi-Suplicy

Visiting PhD student

(November 2008)

Vesicles with charged domains [read more]

Lei Xu

visiting PhD student

(July - September 2008)

Implementation of a QPD in an optical trapping system

(from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Lene Oddershede's group)

Marie Domange

Visiting PhD student

(June - September 2008)

PhD student from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen (Lene Oddershede's group) on a student exchange visit, part of Marie Curie funded network on biomimetic systems

Andrew Richardson

Visiting PhD student

(June - August 2008)

PhD student from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen (Lene Oddershede's group) on a student exchange visit, part of Marie Curie funded network on biomimetic systems

Peng Yang


(October 2006 -September 2007)

Giant vesicles as microreactors [read more]

Petia Vlahovska

visiting scientist

(September 2005 - September 2006)

Adhesion of vesicles to chemically modified surfaces

Pavel Kraikivski

'part time' postdoc in 2005-2006

Single versus double beam optical trapping: challenges and solution [read more]

Christopher Haluska

PhD student

(started January 2002

defended Jan. 2005)


(from February 2005 till September 2005)

Adhesion and fusion of model membranes

financed by DFG (project number DI878/1-1, 1-2)

after the defense

Antje Reinecke


(with us between March 2000 and March 2005)

Cornelia Sinn

PhD student

(started March 2002; defended Dec. 2004)

in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti

Water structure, ion condensation on polymers and membranes

after the defense

Vesselin Nikolov

PhD student

(started 2001

defended June 2004)

Membranes grafted with long polymers

after the defense

Karin Riske


(with us between May 2003 and May 2004)

Electro- deformation, poration and fusion of giant vesicles

Thomas Franke

PhD student

(with us between August 2003 and April 2004)

Adhesion of model membranes to structured surfaces

financed by DFG (project number LI431/2-3)

after the defense: coronation by Dr. Karin

Jeremy Pencer


Domains on membranes

Effects of membrane curvature and composition on lipid raft formation

Xinzhao Zhang

PhD student

Adhesion of model membranes to structured surfaces

Eva Codina