Prof. Dr. Carien Niessen,

Group Leader

email:    phone: +49 (0)221 478-84821 Dr. Stéphanie Miceli,


Dr. Stéphanie Miceli,

Scientific Coordinator

email:           phone: +49 (0)221 478-84821


I am a Postdoctoral scientist with a career in Neuroscience. I joined the Niessen lab in 2019 looking for new challenges and immediately became captivated with the work of the lab and it’s people, trying to unravel the structure/function of the epidermis. I coordinate the laboratory in relation to its scientific projects, animal ethics, biosafety, students and wherever else I am needed. Feel free to get in touch for any info on working here, with us in the Niessenlab.




Dr. Matthias Rübsam,

Postdoctoral Researcher

email:           phone: +49221 478-84371


I am a Postdoc biologist and interested in automotive mechanics as much as tissue and cellular mechanics. Here I am very much interested in understanding how physical properties of cells like shape, stiffness or adhesiveness are important not only to shape a cell but the tissue as a whole and what is the molecular machinery behind that. Thus, I am working together with physicists and mathematicians on biophysical models that mimic tissues i.e. the epidermis, as a mechanical continuums and ask how specific differences in cellular mechanics affect tissue formation and how in turn single cell behavior is ruled by patterns of tissue mechanics.




Julia Löhr,

Research Assistant BTA

phone: +49 (0)221-478-89516 (Labor/lab) phone: +49 (0)221-478-84366 (Büro/office)


I am a biological-technical assistant since 2014. When I first entered a lab I immediately knew I would like to work in research. In the beginning I worked with Drosophila but my interests shifted more to a model organism which is closer to humans. I joined the Niessen lab in 2016 looking for these new challenges. Now I’m responsible for our lab animals. I plan and perform experiments and enjoy giving my knowledge to new students. It feels good to support colleagues as they grow from bachelor to postdoc.




Hanyin Zhang,

Ph.D Student


I am a phd student from Niessen lab and interested in understanding how intercellular junctions are formed and dynamically maintained to enable epithelial barrier formation and renewal. One part of the my work focuses on understanding how the mechanosensitive interactions of the cadherin-catenin complex controls desmosome formation. My work also aims to understand how junctions maintain healthy proteostasis in the face of mechanical stress to promote mechanical resistance.





Skyler Perot,

Ph.D Student


I am a PhD student interested in mechanisms of ageing and cell fate. My main interest is understanding how self-renewing tissues balance proliferation and differentiation to maintain tissue homeostasis. One mechanism used to maintain this balance is oriented cell division. The decision to divide symmetrically versus asymmetrically is thought to occur by coupling spindle orientation to the equal or unequal distribution of fate determinants and/or positioning within the tissue. As a result my PhD project is investigating spatiotemporal dynamics of the spindle orientation machinery in mitosis.





Aishwarya Bhosale,

Ph.D Student


Roohallah Ghodrat,

Master Student

I am a Master student of Biology and Genetics at the Universität zu Köln and I am working on my Master thesis here in the Niessen lab. I am interested in  stem cell biology of the skin and keratinocyte differentiation. My  working title is “Cytoskeletal Regulation during Epidermal Barrier  Formation” and I am especially interested in the role of Spectrin and E-cadherin proteins  in junction and barrier formation during keratinocyte differentiation.






Aixin Jiang,

Master Student



Jani Åman,

Master Student


Lea Trojahn,

Master Student



Lars Thieme,



Guest Scientists

Dr. Rizwan Rehman Rehimi,



Dr Alexander Kyumurkov

Dr Oana-Diana Persa

Marc Peskoller, Former Research Assistant (BTA)

Dr Jabiz Nafisi

Dr Klaus Göbel

Dr Plácido Júnio da Paixão Pereira

Dr Frederik Tellekamp

Dr Emmi Wachsmuth

Dr Susanne Vorhagen























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