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Rajeshwari Meli

Postdoctoral fellow (Hertha Firnberg grant recipient)

from Oct 2016 to Dec 2018

“I completed my PhD from University of Vienna in the field of molecular biology with neuroscience background. During my PhD, I mainly focused on mechanisms underlying the neuronal growth and synapse formation. Thereby I became interested in understanding human disorders. I am currently keen in modeling of human degenerative diseases using genome editing tools. For this purpose, I will harness the availability and potential of human induced pluripotent stem cells. This enables us to define molecular mechanisms behind human disorders and to development of therapeutic treatment.”

Iris Soliman

Scientific intern/ Master thesis from Nov 2017 to Nov 2018

Irina Khven

Scientific intern (ISTern student) from Jun 2018 to Sep 2018

Evangelia Fourli

Scientific intern from Feb 2018 to Jul 2018

“My name is Evangelia and since February 2018, I am an intern in Professor Siegert’s group. I have completed my undergraduate studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics, in Greece and soon, I will have my Master’s degree in Neurosciences. My interests have always centered around cell cycle regulation and the signals guiding cell’s fate. My work in Professor Siegert’s group will focus on optogenetic restoration of cones, which degenerate in a retinal disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and study the response of microglia to this changes. I am very excited about my project because it will give me the opportunity to learn about genetic expression and to study the response of immune cells.”


Christoph Bialek

Technician/ Pre-clinical facility/ Colony manager

Francis Belen Pacheco Fiallos

Academic Visitor (ISTern student) from Jul 2017 to Sep 2017

Teresa Maria Lassacher

Scientific intern (from May 2017 to Aug 2017)

“I recently graduated in Biochemistry and molecular Biomedicine at the University of Graz. I am joining Prof. Siegert’s group as a scientific intern for gaining new experience in the research field of neuroimmunology by characterizing microglial-specific receptors and investigating their function in health and disease. I am very excited to broaden my scientific horizon by getting an insight into neuroimmunological processes in brain and retina and by acquiring new techniques and methods.”

Antonija Mravak

Scientific intern (from January 2017 to July 2017)

“I graduated in physics with orientation biophysics at University of Split, Croatia. I have gained laboratory experience in experimental biology during preparation of my master thesis working with the nematode C. elegans. As an intern in Prof. Siegert group, I have the opportunity to learn more about the field of neuroscience, which I find fascinating. I’ll work on light inducible CRISPR/Cas approaches in vivo. I’m particularly interested in learning new imaging techniques and state of the art genome editing tools.”

Paulo André Dias Bastos

Scientific intern (from February 2017 to June 2017)

”My academic career was so far focused on Biomedicine (BSc) and Biochemistry (MSc). Here, I had the opportunity to work on several fields, including clinical pathology and human therapeutics, bacterial peptidoglycans interaction with the host brain, and biofluid-based biomarkers discovery/validation. During these studies, I’ve discovered that Neurosciences and Immunology excite me the most. Therefore, joining Sandra’s group as a scientific intern to work on microglial (patho)physiology within the brain and retina brings the best of both worlds together.”

Mansi-Harvadan Maheta

Scientific intern/ ERASmus+ (from March 2017 to May 2017)

“I am Mansi, recently graduated in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. My Master’s thesis was about the in vitro examination of morphological alterations occurred under thermal stress in LPS-activated microglia cells.
I will join Siegert laboratory from March 1st, 2017 as an ERASMUS intern. My main task will be characterizing the receptor expression and function on microglia.
I believe in hard work and learning new things, because there is always something waiting to be known.”

Jasmin Primus

Technician/ Pre-clinical facility/ Colony manager

“I’m Jasmin and I’m working as a lab technician/colony manager at the Preclinical Facility. I did my master’s degree in biology at the University of Vienna. Since 2014, I’m at IST and I’m glad to work together with a super nice and international team. What I’m doing the whole day? I’m responsible for all the mouse/rat related stuff (colony management, PCRs, etc.) for the groups of Harald Janovjak, Peter Jonas, and Sandra Siegert.
In my free time, I like to bike, play squash and Roller Derby.”

Tanja Himmel

Scientific intern (from November 2016 to February 2017)

„I’m Tanja, biologist and recently graduated in veterinary medicine. For my diploma thesis, I investigated the retina of an Alzheimer’s mouse model to detect beta-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. During this study, I also learned about microglia and their debatable role in neurodegenerative diseases. I joined Siegert’s group as a scientific intern, where I have the opportunity to explore microglial response in retinal degeneration models and other transgenic mice.“


Marta Biarnes Martinez

Scientific intern (from September 2016 to December 2016)

“I am in my last year of my medicine degree. Meanwhile, I decided to join professor Siegert’s group for a nine-week internship. I am interested in their work on the interaction between neurons and microglia as well as in learning about immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy and image analysis. In the near future, I would like to combine medical practice with neuroscience research.”

Anna Schrempf

Scientific intern (from August 2016 to October 2016)

“I am a master’s student of  “Molecular Medicine” at the University of Vienna and joined Prof . Siegert ‘s group iend of August for a six week internship. Since I obtained my bachelor’ s degree in genetics, I mostly occupy the “molecular corner” of the lab. For my project, I am excited to gain more experience in methods such as  fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and qRT-PCR to characterize microglia.”

Natascha Schmidt

Academic Visitor (from June 2016 to August 2016)

Natascha joined our group as summer ISTernship from Germany. She obtained her Bachelor of Science at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. In her thesis she was generating and charterizing chimeric neutralizing single-domain antibodies against HIV-1.

Alumni rotation students

2019 Cohort

  • Florianne Evelien Schoot Uiterkamp
  • Dario Javier Porley (Affiliated with Schur Group)
  • Nathalie Agudelo Duenas (Affiliated with Danzl Group)
  • Verena Hübschmann

2018 Cohort

  • JingJing Chen (Affiliated with Jonas Group)
  • Mojtaba Tavakoli (Affiliated with Danzl Group)

2017 Cohort

  • Gloria Colombo
  • ​Federica Rachele Danti (Affiliated with Novarino group)
  • ​Rouven Schulz

2016 Cohort

  • Christoph Dotter (Affiliated with Novarino group)
  • Priscila Hirschfeld 
  • ​Olena Kim (Affiliated with Jonas group)
  • Saren Tasciyan (Affiliated with Sixt group)