Olivia Majer - PI

I am a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the MPI for Infection Biology. Previously I was a postdoc fellow in the lab of Greg Barton at UC Berkeley (CA, USA) where I have discovered new cellular mechanisms of self/non-self discrimination of nucleic acid-sensing Toll-like receptors. I also worked shortly as a postdoc fellow in the lab of Helge Ewers at the FU Berlin (Germany) to perform super-resolution imaging on intracellular TLRs. I completed my PhD in the field of host-pathogen interactions under the supervision of Karl Kuchler at the Max Perutz Laboratories (Vienna, Austria).

My current research investigates how the spatial organization of innate immune receptors and their membrane dynamics contribute to immune homeostasis and how perturbations of these processes promote inflammation and autoimmunity. Twitter

Caroline Holley - Postdoc

My undergraduate and post-graduate studies were completed at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. I spent almost 9 years in the lab of Professor Kate Schroder at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences, where I discovered several novel features of inflammasome regulation and inflammatory cell death. In 2023, I moved to Berlin to work with Dr Olivia Majer to unravel the mechanisms of inflammatory cytokine signalling, and more.

Harshita Mishra - PhD student

I obtained my Bachelor‘s in Biotechnology from the Vellore Institute of Technology, India. I moved to Germany to complete my Master‘s in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Heidelberg University. During my master thesis, I investigated the spatial distribution and isoform specific functions of Clathrin light chains. To pursue my interests in spatial immune regulation further, I joined Olivia Majer's lab at the MPI where I am trying to understand how endosomal positioning affects the functioning of TLRs.

Anna Dingfelder - PhD student

I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and my Master’s Degree in Integrated Immunology at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen. During my master thesis, I worked on sialic acid recognition by immune regulatory receptors on osteoclasts. To pursue my interests in immune cell decision-making, regulation of innate defense mechanisms and advanced imaging techniques, I joined Olivia Majer’s lab. In my PhD project, I will investigate TLR signaling and trafficking in response to external stimuli.

Dennis Hinkel - PhD student

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main. During my bachelor thesis at the Paul-Ehrlich Institute I investigated the tissue-specific abundance of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) in transgenic pigs in the context of xenotransplantation. To pursue my interest in infection biology and cellular immunity, I continued with my master’s degree in Biochemistry at the Freie Universität Berlin. As a master student in Olivia’s lab I am currently interested in the differential regulation of TLR7 and TLR9.

Fenja Blank - Master student

Currently, I am a Master's Biochemistry student at Freie Universität Berlin. I did my Bachelor thesis in the lab of Helge Ewers at FU Berlin, working on a novel optogenetic trafficking assay that allows the light-controlled delivery of a small number of transmembrane proteins to the plasma membrane. At the moment, my research interests are focusing on where endogenous TLR receptors are localized in macrophages and on deciphering the different downstream effects of TLR9 activation.

Oliver Thieck - Technical assistant



Ee Lyn Lim - postdoc

Daniel Landsem - rotation student

Julian Bünting  - rotation student

Ioulia Sampani - bachelor student



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