|+49 351 210-2445
|Cook, Katelyn Camille
|+49 351 210-2479
|+49 351 210-2446
|von Appen, Alexander
|+49 351 210-1250
|von der Weth, Esther
Technician MPI-CBG Dresden, Group of Gaia Pigino 2012-2021
I am very fortunate to be able to work in a profession that I enjoy very much. Research in general was something that fascinated me from an early age, which is why I completed my training as an agricultural-technical assistant at the Federal Agricultural Research Center in Braunschweig.
In my previous professional positions (at the German Primate Center in Göttingen and at the Georg August University in Göttingen), I always had the opportunity to work with exciting methods, great colleagues and fantastic researchers.
In 2012, here in Dresden at the MPI, I had the unique opportunity to gain experience in cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, room temperature and cryo electron microscopy in Gaia Pigino's lab.
Since 2021 I have been able to contribute and expand this experience in Alexander's research group. Being a technical assistant in a research group means being a multitasking ninja in general laboratory management and always ready to learn new things. Since it is important to me to broaden my own horizon and to show how exciting research work can be, I organize seminars for TAs and student internships with other colleagues at the institute.
PhD MPI-CBG Dresden, Group of Gaia Pigino 2016-2020
MSc and BSc, Biochemistry, University of Bayreuth, 2009-2016
Proteins make the most beautiful structures! I love to visualize them with cryo-EM and especially subtomogram averaging. It’s so mesmerizing to zoom into their tiny world and try to unveil their mechanisms from their structure. Studying the pretty IFT machinery in cilia during my PhD taught us how its motor proteins are regulated during anterograde transport to avoid engaging in a tug-of-war. Now as a PostDoc, I am freezing and stalking the ESCRT machinery in cryo-EM to understand how it remodels membranes.
In my non-scientific time, I enjoy making pretty things from glass in the Tiffany technique, but I am also in for all sorts of other crafts and making furniture – collecting new hobbies is my hobby :) I love hiking in the mountains (best above the clouds), play volleyball, and just started dancing LindyHop.
PhD University of Utah, USA, Group of Katharine S. Ullman
During my PhD with Dr. Katharine S. Ullman (University of Utah, USA) I studied how cells compartmentalize and specify the composition of the inner nuclear membrane environment following open mitosis. Building on these concepts as von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow in the von Appen lab, I bridge structural and cellular biology to understand how coordinated cytoskeletal and nuclear membrane remodeling influence cell fate.
Although my favorite thing to do is think about the nucleus, I enjoy hanging out with my cats, exploring the outdoors, roller skating and the sport of roller derby, and viewing modern abstract art.
PhD crosslinking mass spectrometry at Rappsilber lab
BSc and MSc Biotechnology at TU Berlin
During my PhD I worked on crosslinking mass spectrometry, with a focus on bioinformatic tools for data analysis and computational structural modelling approaches. Although I am mainly doing computational work, I have the privilege of working in close contact with several experimentalists. In the von Appen lab I will continue to work on crosslinking MS and integrative structural modelling.
PhD Molecular Biology at Princeton University, USA -- group of Dr. Ileana M. Cristea
BA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at University of Colorado Boulder, USA -- group of Dr. Gia K. Voeltz
The first confocal movie I ever saw of the mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER) -- in my second year of college at the desk of Dr. Gia Voeltz -- was so surprisingly beautiful that I switched from studying history to science and have been obsessed with organelle biology ever since. I want to know how biological components are organized, at the subcellular level, into a diversity of specialized shapes that achieve specific functions. During my bachelor's thesis, I asked how acute stress changes ER structure, and during my PhD I investigated how human viruses remodel organelles. Now, I am bridging perspectives to explore how protein-lipid interactions construct organelle membranes across molecular scales.
Outside of science, I frankly have far too many interests and not nearly enough time in the day. I love challenges and new experiences in general, whether it be food, music, crafting, exploring, or sports. Before moving to Europe, I did a 6-month solo road trip across the USA with my cat, cello, and gravel bike. In Dresden, I find myself prioritizing drawing, lifting weights, cooking, spending time with colorful friends, and taking advantage of the Deutschlandticket for cycling trips on the weekend.
BSc and MSc Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, India, 2016-2021
Before moving to Germany for my graduate studies, I studied at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, majoring in Chemistry and Biology. In my master's project, I designed and synthesised organic molecules that deliver site-specific bioconjugation of proteins for protein engineering under Prof. Vishal Rai in the organic and bioconjugate chemistry lab. I am interested in interdisciplinary translational research and would like to combine the toolsets of chemistry and physics to address problems in biology. In line with this intent, at the MPI, I am investigating the molecular mechanism of membrane and chromatin remodelling during nuclear envelope reformation.
Outside of the lab, I spend a decent amount of time in my kitchen trying new dishes and brewing coffee. In my free time I love to read novels or watch aviation videos, draw and occasionally walk around the city to find out the best cafes.
MSc Systems Biology University of Heidelberg
BSc Human and Molecular Biology University of Saarland
In my undergrad studies I mostly worked on analyzing next generation sequencing data. During my masters program at Heidelberg I fell in love with structural biology during a biophysics lecture held by Rasmus Schröder. This led me to the newly forming von Appen lab as a master student. Together with Petra Kiesel I was working on setting up a single particle analysis workflow to resolve ESCRT-Filaments. Now in my PhD, I am working on another set of filaments, the nuclear Lamins. To understand nuclear Lamina formation, I reconstitute Lamin polymerization in vitro. To resolve the structure, conformational changes and protein interactions required for Lamin polymerization I employ an integrative structural biology approach. I combine cryo-EM techniques together with crosslinking mass spectronomy and structure prediction tools.
I not only like to explore within science but also out in the wild. Whenever I find the time, I travel, explore new food, new cultures, new music or new languages or new plants. My most favorite thing todo however is practicing piano and going to classical concerts. You will occasionally find me down stairs practicing.
Junior Specialist, University of California, San Francisco, USA, 2019-2021
BSc Biological Sciences, Sichuan University Chengdu, China, 2015-2019
I am interested in deciphering the biophysical principles underlying biomacromolecule behaviors, especially the ones involved in orchestrating the dynamics of genome organization. My long-term research interest is to combine both experimental and computational tools to reach a quantitative understanding in the architecture of the human genome.
I am currently working on characterizing the phase-separating and membrane-remodeling properties of proteins that are essential in maintaining membrane homeostasis during regulated exocytosis.
When I’m not running around the lab, I’m an avid museum, concert, and theatre-goer. I also enjoy spending time in nature and hanging out with local bird populations. My favorite dinosaur is mamenchisaurus hochuanensis, in case you were wondering.
PhD Nanotechnology at EPF Lausanne, 2013-2018
MSc and BSc Mechanical Engineering in ETH Zürich, 2007-2013
I am working on precision genome editing and the structure and function
of ciliary components in the green alga Chlamydomonas. I spend my free
time on cooking, reading and computers.
Internship student 07/2022 - 10/2022