Einstein BIH Visiting Fellows

Nothing is as enriching as external impulses. This applies to many areas of life and work, and also to translational and systems medicine research. In order to maintain its international competitiveness, BIH has opted for internationally experienced top-level scientists. BIH Einstein Visiting Fellows are strengthening BIH research in several important disciplines.


Prof. Dr. Brian Kobilka

Stanford University, USA

Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Spahn (Charité)

Research project: "In silico GPCR: 'A computational microscope to determine receptor – G protein coupling specificity and functional selectivity' "

Prof. Dr. David Gutmann

Washington University School of Medicine, USA

Host: Prof. Dr. Helmut Kettenmann (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine)

Research project: "Biology and treatment strategies of low-grade gliomas"

Prof. Dr. Mario Nicodemi

Università di Napoli Federico II, Italy

Host: Prof. Dr. Ana Pombo (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine )

Research project: "Understanding chromatin folding and gene regulation in disease associated genomic rearrangements"


You can find more information about Gutmann and Nicodemi in our press release "Three new guest scientists foster research at BIH"


Prof. Rolf Bodmer, PhD

Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, USA

At the Berlin Institute of Health Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow Rolf Bodmer wants to identify genes that are responsible for hereditary heart disorders. Bodmer will carry out his research using fruit flies. The biochemist and neurobiologist from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, received his doctorate in biochemistry and neurobiology at the University of Basel. Further stations so far have taken him to New York, San Francisco and the University of Michigan.

Host: Prof. Dr. Silke Rickert-Sperling (MDC)

Prof. Bassem Hassan, PhD

University Leuven, Netherlands

The Belgian neuroscientist Bassem Hassan from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven intends to study the extent to which brain development is genetically determined or dependent on other influences. His Berlin-based research group will examine differences in the interconnectivity of neuronal circuits and how this influences behaviour. Molecular genetic approaches and high-resolution imaging techniques will be used in order to identify relevant genes.

Host: Prof. Dr. Christian Rosenmund (MDC)

Prof. Ulrich Müller, PhD

Scripps Research Insitute, USA

In his Berlin-based research group, Ulrich Müller will examine the sensory mechanisms of hair cells that perform an important function in human hearing. They convert acoustic stimuli into electrical signals and, when defective, can even lead to deafness. The auditory researcher from The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, received his doctorate in Biology at the Universitys of Cologne and at Princeton.

Ulrich Müller tells more about his research in the short video "The Language of the Brain" (Youtube).

Host: Dr. Thomas Müller (MDC)

Please note: This information originates from the Einstein Foundation's website.


Florian Sennlaub

In October 2014, Florian Sennlaub was chosen as an Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow. He is currently conducting research at the Institut de la Vision in Paris. Sennlaub is a specialist in the fields of ophthalmology and immune biology. Together with Olaf Strauß of Charité’s Department of Ophthalmology, Sennlaub will be exploring the interaction of the immune system at the barrier between the retina and the bloodstream. With his expertise in the area of cellular immune reaction, he is strengthening translational research on hypertonia and the causes of critical retina diseases. Like Michael Sieweke, Florian Sennlaub commences his work for BIH in 2015.

Michael Sieweke

The Mediterranean or the Spree? For Michael Sieweke, it’s going to be both during the next three years. The stem cell researcher is an MDC group leader as well as being Research Director at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy and at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He was chosen as one of the first BIH Einstein Visiting Fellows in October 2014. Sieweke now takes leave from his workplace in the French port several times a year in order to establish and support a research group in Berlin together with his colleague Klaus Rajewsky of MDC. Sieweke and his Berlin team are looking at the functioning of macrophages and examining how they influence various degenerative disease patterns of the lungs, the heart and the central nervous system. Macrophages are white blood corpuscles that play a central role in immune defense and tissue regeneration. Michael Sieweke’s Fellowship is above all giving the areas of hematology and immunology important impulses.

Thomas Südhof

With Thomas Südhof, we were able to recruit a Nobel Prize-Winner in Medicine as a visiting scientist in the spring. Together with Südhof, who teaches and does research at Stanford University in California, the research group headed by Christian Rosenmund of Charité is examining how nerve cells interact during diseases. The Nobel Prize-Winner came to BIH for an initial work stay in November. In America, he has started to examine the role of mutant proteins in the synaptic transmission of information. In cooperation with Rosenmund’s research group, these examinations are being intensified in order to gain a better understanding of how these protein modifications contribute to the genesis and development of various disease patterns in humans. Based on this work, it will be possible in future to gain a more holistic view of neurological mechanisms that are also of relevance to other BIH projects.

In the context of Thomas Südhof’s Fellowship, several academic researchers of Charité working group headed by Christian Rosenmund will be trained in stem cell technology in Stanford. Thus research at BIH is benefiting from the knowhow of the American experts in more than one way.