News and thoughts

December 4, 2017

At the recent workshop ‘The cell biology of viral infections’ in Schöntal, our lab member Venkat Ramnarayan won the prize for the best presentation. Here he is, second from left, with his award certificate:

Read the full story on the web page of the Schöntal meeting.

November 23, 2017

I’d like to say congratulations to our alumna Anca-Sarmiza Gueltekin-Tigan and her husband Sinan on the occasion of the birth of their first child, Ilinca Yagmur. All the best wishes!

November 18, 2017

On Tuesday, November 21, there is a partnering event with the life sciences industry of the Bremen region at Jacobs University. I’m giving a talk about microcapsules. Everyone is invited, here is the link.

November 14, 2017

Article in the Bremen’Weserkurier’ about the virus work of our group today, in German. Here is the link! Thank you to Linda, Venkat, Natalia, Swapnil and their students 🙂

November 9, 2017

Yet another very exciting paper from the Tampé lab: “Structure of the human MHC-I peptide-loading complex“. Very important for us. Congratulations!

November 1, 2017

Our alumna Dr. Susi Fritzsche ist starting work with the biotech company Sysmex in Görlitz today. Congratulations on your job, Susi! and good beginnings!

October 21, 2017

Ruben Hohnholz, our external PhD student with Tilman Achstetter at Hochschule Bremen, just published his second paper, “Impact of plasmid architecture on stability and yEGFP3 reporter gene expression in a set of isomeric multicopy vectors in yeast“. Congratulations!!

October 17, 2017

Congratulations to our lab alumna, Cynthia Wright Drakesmith, for taking up science again in the group of Enzo Cerundolo at Oxford University.

October 12, 2017

Today in the magazine Science, two very important papers appeared by Robert Tampé and by David Margulies  that solve a problem that many (including us) have thought about and worked on for a long time: the crystal structure of a class I molecule with a peptide editing chaperone. Thank you to both groups for illuminating this, I am very impressed and happy. The Margulies group have used our technique of dipeptide-induced class I refolding  to obtain their partially empty class I molecule.

October 10, 2017

On October 19, I am giving a popular science talk in German, in the Bürgerhaus Vegesack, entitled “Wie das Immunsystem sich gegen Krebserkrankungen wehrt“. Everyone is invited! For details, see the Jacobs announcement page.

October 10, 2017

Our alumnus Binyam Mogessie (BCCB class of 2007), who is now at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen and soon going to set up his own lab in Bristol, is visiting today and giving a talk. Well done Binyam and congratulations on your job!

September 25, 2017

Jacobs Students elected me ‘Professor of the Year 2017‘ – thank you!

September 9, 2017

Congratulations to our lab alumnus Brieuc Delcommenne on the occasion of completing his MSc degree at the University of Namur!

September 6, 2017

Here’s a snapshot from our Lab BBQ yesterday.

August 16, 2017

Our new review article “Protein micropatterns printed on glass – novel tools for protein-ligand binding assays in live cells” got accepted by Engineering in Life Sciences. It describes the opportunities and also the pitfalls when adapting micropatterning technologies for the study of protein-protein or protein-ligand interactions, from the point of view of a cell biologist – that is, our experiences over the last few years 🙂. Ask us for a preprint!

July 6, 2017

How can science be published more fairly?
This topic is important to our recent guest, Randy Schekman. Inspired by him, I am putting together a small collection of links here:

June 30, 2016

Our postdoc alumna Tatiana Kolesnikova has finished her contract. Thank you for your hard and successful work (see our publication list) on the biotechnology project, and all the best for your future career!

June 16, 2017

Last day at work for Gayane Kiragosyan (going off to Sysmex for an internship) and Brieuc Delcommenne (going back to Université de namur to finish his M.Sc.). Thank you for all your hard work, for the good cooperation in the team, and all the best for your future endeavors!

Our PhD student Sujit Kumar Verma also graduated, and he is continuing as a postdoc in Matthias Ullrich‘s lab. Congratulations, and all the best for future paths!

June 13, 2017

Congratulations to our alumni Stela Sota, Ana Paz, and Jorge Guajardo who graduated last week! Thank you for all your hard work inside and outside the lab, and all the best of success with your future efforts. And: keep in touch!

June 11, 2017

I am very happy and grateful for a beautiful graduation. On Thursday, June 8, we had a panel discussion with Bernd Pulverer, the editor of the EMBO Journal; Gerard Meijer of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society; and Randy Schekman, the cell biologist and Nobel laureate, Sebastian’s mentor in Berkeley. Randy was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university.

Here are some links to the Jacobs website about the events:

Here are two pictures with Randy and group members:

Thank you very much to our visitors, and to all those here who made this dream come true.

June 2, 2017

We’re excited to host Randy Schekman for several talks on campus in the coming week. To prepare, check out his many videos on YouTube!

May 17, 2017

From this week on, our alumna Linda Janßen works for the Peprotech company. Meet her at the Hannover Biotechnica at Stall A74. Good luck with your endeavors Linda and lots of success!!

April 19, 2017

Today, we are on the front page of the Jacobs University website with an article on recombinant class I and peptide exchange.

March 16, 2017

Our former MoLife Master program alumnus Hashem Al-Ghaili was featured very prominently in newspapers this week. I’m very impressed!

March 14, 2017

Tatiana Kolesnikova’s new paper, “Protein A-functionalized polyelectrolyte microcapsules as universal platform for enhanced targeting of cell surface receptors”, has been accepted by ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Congratulations!

March 6, 2017

I heard that our alumna, Gosia Garstka, Professor in Xi’an, now got her first Chinese grant. Congratulations Gosia!

March 1, 2017

Our lab member Andreea Felea received an offer for a summer internship at the IMBA. Congratulations!

February 24, 2017

Two great pieces of news:

  • Our lab member, the undergraduate Catherine Jacob-Dolan, received an Amgen scholarship to work in Cambridge in the coming summer. Congratulations Catherine!
  • Our lab member Sujit Kumar Verma received an offer for a postdoctoral fellowship in Matthias Ullrich’s lab here for the time after his graduation. Congratulations Sujit!
February 14, 2017

Our lab alumna Meike Aßmann told me that she graduated from Oxford (Simon Davis’ lab) in December already. Congratulations Meike DPhil!

February 11, 2017

I would like to point out to everyone the Jacobs Career Fair on February 22nd. No matter who or where in your career you are, it’s a good idea to go!

February 10, 2017

Tilman Achstetter and Ruben Hohnhorst (our external PhD student at Hochschule Bremen) have told me that their first paper together has been accepted by Yeast: “A Set of Isomeric Episomal Plasmids for Systematic Examination of Mitotic Stability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. Congratulations!

February 3, 2017

Our new paper “Specific Capture of Peptide-Receptive Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Molecules by Antibody Micropatterns Allows for a Novel Peptide Binding Assay in Live Cells” has come online. Enjoy and/or let us know what you think!

January 18, 201

This week, we received our first two patents. Very exciting! I’m just sharing the title page of one of them, the American one, since it is prettier than the European 🙂


January 8, 2017

I heard in December already that our alumna, Dr. Sinan Zhu, will take up a new job as a clinical data analyst at Columbia University. Congratulations Sinan on your transition into data science!

December 27, 2016

Our new paper “Specific Capture of Peptide-Receptive Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Molecules by Antibody Micropatterns Allows for a Novel Peptide Binding Assay in Live Cells” got accepted by Small. It’s one of the results of Cindy Dirscherl’s PhD work. Congratulations Cindy!

Ask us for a pre-print if you are interested.

December 26, 2016

I totally forgot to mention earlier this year that our lab alumna Jood Hashem became an Assistant Professor in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Department at the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences of Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Congratulations Jood! and all the best for your endeavors.

November 11, 2016

Congratulations to our lab member Daria Ivleva on passing her Master defence! Daria studied in the Technical and Applied Biology program at the City University of Bremen and worked with us for about a year. She was involved in the class I endocytosis project. All the best Daria for your next steps!

November 3, 2016

We remember Stefan Jentsch who passed away last week. Stefan was a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Tübingen. After his postdoc with Alexander Varshavsky,  he isolated the first ubiquitin conjugating enzymes from yeast and made very important contributions to the understanding of the big role that the ubiquitin system plays in protein degradation and in the supervision of the integrity of the genome. Stefan was the supervisor of Sebastian’s diplom (MSc) thesis at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen.

As a student, I loved Stefan’s anarchic and irreverent spirit, in science and life. In Tübingen, someone had hung up a poster in the hallway, showing a beautiful mountain lake in Switzerland. One day, I watched Stefan cut out from Post-It notes the parts of a giant sea snake monster and attach it to a corner of the lake, so people would see it at the second glimpse. At the time, it was shocking to me that a Professor would do such things. Stefan – you continue to inspire me to this day :-). Thank you.

October 12, 2016

I would like to congratulate our lab alumna Patrycja Kozik (BCCB class of 2004) on taking up her position as a Research Group Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. She will work on antigen presentation through MHC class I in dendritic cells.

All the best wishes for your research, Patrycja!

September 15, 2016

We have a number of lab members leaving at the end of the academic year.

  • Mohamed Aboelmagd has received his MSc and is moving back to Dubai to work.
  • Julia Heinze has received her BSc and is moving to Heidelberg for an MSc.
  • Maro Iliopoulou has received her MSc and is now going to Oxford for an internship.
  • Maria Iossifidou has received her BSc and is now going to Cambridge to start her PhD in the lab of Louise Boyle.

Dear Mohamed, Julia, Maro, Maria: Thank you all for your hard work here, and good luck for all of your future endeavors! The manuscripts are in preparation. Stay in touch 🙂

September 12, 2016

One lab picture from the recent dinner at the Syrian restaurant Nayla in downtown Bremen… very good food and company.


September 10, 2016

Our lab alumna Gosia (Małgorzata) Garstka started her own group as professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University. Congratulations, Gosia, and lots of success with your endeavors!

September 5, 2016

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Welcome to our new lab member Danielle Hart! She is a third-year medical student, and she comes as a placement or project student from Southampton University Medical School for three months.

September 1, 2016

Welcome to our new lab members Ankur Saikia and Raghavendra Anjanappa!

ankur Pic 1 copy

Ankur holds an MSc degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Tezpur Central University, Assam, India, and since 2005, he has worked in assay development in various companies in India.


Raghavendra holds an MSc degree in Biochemistry from Kuvempu University, India. Since 2005, he has been a Junior Research Fellow at University and a researcher in biotech companies in India, mostly working on protein purification and microbiology.

August 25, 2016

Our lab member, Mohamed Aboelmagd, has passed his MSc thesis defence. Congratulations Mohamed!

August 23, 2016

Our lab member, Maro Iliopoulou, passed her MSc thesis defence. Congratulations!

August 19, 2016

Today is Nikolett’s last day with us. She was working on a cell patterning project with Cindy – you will read about it in an upcoming publication. Thank you very much Nikolett for the hard and successful work!

June 17, 2016

Our new paper “To Catch or not to Catch”: Microcapsule-Based Sandwich Assay for Detection of Proteins and Nucleic Acids” has appeared online. Congratulations to all who were involved, and thanks for the BMBF for funding the work.

June 3, 2016

Congratulations to the members of the lab graduating today: Linda Janßen (PhD); David Aleksov, Fiona Harnischfeger, Julia Heinze,  Maria Iossifidou, Leona Kovac (BSc). All the best for your future careers!

May 23, 2016:

I would like to say congratulations to our lab alumna, Nadine Bode, for graduating from NYU with a PhD!


May 20, 2016:

Welcome to a new lab member: Nikolett Nagy, who graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BSc(Hons) in Immunology and Pharmacology. She will stay with us for some months on an Erasmus fellowship.


May 20, 2016:

Our new paper ““To Catch or not to Catch”: Microcapsule-Based Sandwich Assay for Detection of Proteins and Nucleic Acids” got accepted. It is about the creation of a novel assay that uses polyelectrolyte microcapsules for the detection of soluble analytes. It was sponsored by the BMBF Bioeconomy 2020+ initiative.

Look for it on the publications page, and/or ask us for a preview!

May 16, 2016:

Congratulations to our lab alumna Gosia Garstka on the occasion of her wedding with Marcus!


(Actually, it was already on April 23.)

May 1, 2016:

Here is a picture of our May Picknick:


May 1, 2016:

Welcome to our newest lab member, Swapnil Ghanwat.


Swapnil holds an MSc in Biotechnology and has five years of research experience from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi. He will work as a PhD student on the mCMV gp40 project. Welcome!

April 5, 2016:

Our lab member Maria Iossifidou got the best poster prize at the Oxford meeting for Chemical Immunology. Congratulations!


April 5, 2016:

Our crystallography collaborator Stéphane Boivin is leaving EMBL DESY to move to Grenoble. All the best with your future work!

April 1, 2016:

Two new people are joining the group today: Natalia Lis and Gayane Kiragosyan. Welcome!

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Natalia has an MSc in Medical Biotechnology from Gdańsk University. She works on the mCMV gp40 project as a PhD student.

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Gayane has an MSc in Ecology. She works on the Microcapsules project as a project scientist.

January 23:

Group picture in the snow from yesterday!


January 6, 2016:

We are advertising a PhD position in biochemistry and cell biology. See here. Spread the news!

January 3, 2016:

Congratulations to our lab alumni Esther Ghanem and Mohammed Al-Balushi for publishing their paper “Adopting the rapamycin trapping assay to track the trafficking of murine MHC class I alleles“.

December 20, 2015:

All the best wishes for the holidays and for the New Year to our alumni, friends, and colleagues.

December 9, 2015:

The Jacobs University press release for the paper “The murine cytomegalovirus immunoevasin gp40 binds MHC class I molecules to retain them in the early secretory pathway” by Janßen et al. was published. Enjoy!

December 5, 2015:

Finally: here is the video abstract for the paper by Susanne Fritzsche et al. (Allotype-specific release from endoplasmic reticulum matrix proteins controls cell surface transport of MHC class I moleculesTraffic 16 (2015), p. 591-603.)

November 26, 2015:

Congratulations to our lab alumnus Sunil Kumar Saini and his wife Tripti on the birth of their daughter Aadya!

November 15, 2015:

Our lab member Venkat Raman Ramnarayan appears on the front page of the ‘Bremer Arbeitnehmer Magazin’ November 2015 with a small story. Congratulations!

November 6, 2015:

Our new paper by Janßen et al. is online!

November 04, 2015:

Our lab member Linda Janßen passed her PhD defence with distinction. Congratulations! Hartmut Hengel from Freiburg was the external member of the thesis committee.

October 26, 2015:

Our paper, “The murine cytomegalovirus immunoevasin gp40 binds MHC class I molecules to retain them in the early secretory pathway”, was accepted by the Journal of Cell Science. The authors are Linda Janssen, Venkat Ramnarayan, Mohamed Aboelmagd, Maria Iliopoulou, Zeynep Hein, Irina Majoul (Cell Biology, Lübeck), Susanne Fritzsche, Anne Halenius (Virology, Freiburg), and Sebastian Springer. Ask us for a preprint!

October 5, 2015:

Nature videos from the Lindau 2015 Nobel Laureates’ meeting: Our lab alumna Amanda Amoah features in the “Science from the ivory tower” 🙂

September 2, 2015:

Our paper “Mechanistic Basis for Epitope Proofreading in the Peptide Loading Complex” was accepted in the Journal of Immunology. This is a study run by Robert Tampé in Frankfurt on HLA-B44 allotypes and their interactions with the peptide loading complex. Clemens Schneeweiss, when he was in our lab, generated cell lines for it and did some experiments. If you are interested, ask Robert Tampé for a preprint.

August 14, 2015:

Our paper “The carboxy terminus of the ligand peptide determines the stability of the MHC class I molecule H-2Kb: a combined molecular dynamics and experimental study” was just published online in PLoS ONE. Enjoy!

August 2, 2015:

Our paper “The carboxy terminus of the ligand peptide determines the stability of the MHC class I molecule H-2Kb: a combined molecular dynamics and experimental study” (Esam T. Abualrous et al.) was accepted in PLOS ONE. Congratulations Esam and all who worked on it!

July 31, 2015:

Thank you to Daria for her hard work during her lab rotation with us. She will return in September for her MSc thesis!

July 31, 2015:

A page on Amanda at the Linda Nobel Laureate meeting was published on the Jacobs website. Congratulations Amanda!

July 6, 2015:

Two former lab members have started their new positions:

  • Esam Tolba Abualrous, Ph.D. (Physics) has started his postdoc in the lab of Frank Noë in Berlin.
  • Sebastián Montealegre, Ph.D. (Biochemistry) has started his postdoc in the lab of Peter van Endert in Paris.

Congratulations, lots of success, and stay in touch!

June 29, 2015:

Our lab member Amanda Amoah is featured in the ‘Junges Africa‘ blog page of the ARD-alpha blog.

June 5, 2015:

Congratulations to lab members Anca Apavaloaei, Tudor Ilca, Michael Scherm on their BSc graduation today.

June 1, 2015:

Our lab member Esam Tolba Abualrous passed his PhD thesis defence with distinction. Congratulations!
The title of the thesis is “Molecular mechanism of peptide binding to MHC class I molecules in the cellular context”. It’s mostly found in the papers of which he is a coauthor, and in one other manuscript that is in revision, and that will hopefully appear soon.

June 1, 2015:

Welcome to Daria Ivleva from Hochschule Bremen for a two-month lab rotation.

May 30, 2015:

Look at the webpage of the Bremen Life Sciences Meeting 2015 for some great pictures of the event!

May 18, 2015:

Our lab member Amanda Amoah passed her Master thesis defence. CONGRATULATIONS AMANDA!

May 1, 2015:

Two pictures from our May Picknick 🙂

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April 30, 2015:
Our Master rotation student Radhika Dhekane is returning to University of Bremen. All the best for your studies!

March 31, 2015:
Our guest student Natalia Lis is returning home to Poland. Thank you for everything and all the best wishes!

March 23, 2015:
Our lab member Sebastián Montealegre passed his PhD defence. Congratulations Dr. Montealegre!

March 16, 2015:
Our former lab member Jenny Baum has started her new job with the Deutsches Milchkontor. Congratulations!

March 8, 2015:
We made a video abstract for our new paper, “F pocket flexibility influences the tapasin dependence of two differentially disease-associated MHC Class I proteins“. Enjoy!

March 2, 2015:
Our new paper, “Dissociation of beta-2 microglobulin determines the surface quality control of MHC class I molecules”, was accepted by the FASEB Journal. Ask us for a preprint!.

February 25, 2015:
Our lab member, Amanda Amoah, was selected to attend the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Congratulations! Amanda is already the fifth member of our lab to go to a Lindau meeting, after Patrycja Kozik, Rakina Yaneva, Susi Fritzsche, and Sunil Kumar Saini.

February 2, 2015:
Our alumnus Dr. Sunil Kumar Saini starts today as a postdoc in the laboratory of Sine Hadrup in Copenhagen, and our alumna Dr. Susi Fritzsche starts today as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for dynamics of complex technical systems in Magdeburg. Congratulations and success with your work!

January 28, 2015:
Our new paper “F pocket flexibility influences the tapasin dependence of two differentially disease-associated MHC Class I proteins” is now online in the European Journal of Immunology.

January 20, 2015:
Our alumna Dr. Susi Fritzsche is leaving to take up a postdoc position at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg. Congratulations and good luck!

January 15, 2015:
Our new PNAS paper was published. Read the press release!

December 22, 2014:
Our new paper “F pocket flexibility influences the tapasin dependence of two differentially disease-associated MHC Class I proteins” was provisionally accepted by the European Journal of Immunology. It is about the molecular properties of the disease-linked class I allotype HLA-B27. Ask us for a preprint!

— Start of the NEWS ! page: December 1, 2014 —

Protein A-functionalized polyelectrolyte microcapsules as universal platform for enhanced targeting of cell surface receptors