Kerstin Göpfrich
Kerstin GöpfrichMax Planck Research Group Leader (W2)
Biophysicist. Scientific trajectory started in Erlangen (B.Sc.), continued in Cambridge (M.Phil and Ph.D.) and Stuttgart (Marie Curie Fellow). Now leading the Biophysical Engineering Group in Heidelberg.
Taniya Chakraborty
Taniya ChakrabortyPostDoc
Biotechnologist. Joined us after her PhD in Münster and BSc and MSc studies in India (Bangalore, Vellore, Kolkata).
Alessandra Griffo
Alessandra GriffoPostDoc
Materials Chemist. First postdoc in the group. Italian with a PhD from Finnland (Aalto University).
Erik Poppleton
Erik PoppletonPostDoc
Biologist turned computer scientist. Joined Frauke Gräter’s group and from Arizona State.
Tobias Abele
Tobias AbelePhD student
Physicist. Joined us for his Master & stayed for the PhD. Animation wizzard.
Maja Illig
Maja IlligPhD student
Physicist. Moved from the far east (TU Dresden) via an ERASMUS stay in Grenoble to Heidelberg for MSc + PhD
Stefan Maurer
Stefan MaurerPhD student
Physicist with a great interest for new tech.
Mai Tran
Mai TranPhD student
Biochemist. Came from France for a Master’s and stayed for a PhD.
Tobias Walther
Tobias WaltherPhD student
Molecular Biotechnologist. Joined for a Master’s, stayed for his PhD.
Vanessa Huth
Vanessa HuthMSc student
Physicist. M.Sc. student in Heidelberg.
Niklas Urbanek
Niklas UrbanekMSc student
Molecular Biotechnologist. Actually works with cells.
William Verstraeten
William VerstraetenIntern
Life science engineer & nanobiologist from Delft and Lausanne.
Michelle Emmert
Michelle EmmertHiWi
Molecular Biotechnologist from Heidelberg University.
Claudia Helbig
Claudia HelbigTechnical Assistant
Joined us from ZMBH (thank you!).
Kornelia Mack
Kornelia MackSecretary
Supports us on the administrative side.


Franziska Gießler, Biochemistry Intern, stayed with us for 6 months, we hope she returns from Switzerland and comes back to the group one day!

Yannik Dreher, PhD student, came for his Master’s before the group was even a group, now left us as Dr GUVernator. Congratulation PhD #2, and all the best for your future!

Luca Monari, ERASMUS intern, who designed RNA origami and left us with 3D printed structures of more or less everything. We still hope that he did not leave the group for good!

Jacob Nießner, Hiwi who implemented 3D surface reconstruction of GUVs – he left for his Master thesis in the group of Rebecca Wade, but his code will continue to be used! Thank you, Jacob.

Kevin Jahnke, the first PhD student of the group, who now graduatated and left to go to David Weitz’s group at Harvard. We couldn’t be more proud.

Marlene Scheffold, intern of the group, who came back once (and who knows, maybe twice!) Now went back to Medical School. (Update Nov. 22: Marlene is back!)

Niklas Urbanek, Molecular Biotechnology Intern, now Intern in Barcelona – we don’t blame him. Update: No longer almuni! We have him back for his Master’s thesis.

Julius Fichtler, long-term HiWi and guest researcher, now studies dental medicine at Heidelberg University. We don’t say goodbye as he may come back! Update (Nov. 22: Julius is back!)

Yiğitcan Sümbelli, Visiting ERASMUS PhD student from Turkey from Sept. 2021 – Nov. 2021, now 3D printing in the van Hest group. All the best and see you around!

Nina Hagen, Master student in Molecular Biotechnology in Heidelberg, intern in our and Ada Cavalcanti-Adam’s group from June 2021 until Aug. 2021. Thanks for the short but productive stay!

Andreas Schönit, Master student in Molecular Biotechnology in Heidelberg, Master student in our and Ada Cavalcanti-Adam’s group from July 2020 until July 2021. Brought real cells into our research. Off to Paris for a PhD – you will be missed!

Dr. Ali Aghebat Rafat, our first post-doc from May 2021 until June 2021, biophysicist, DNA origami and AFM expert with a PhD from TUM. Ali decided to join industry after a brief but productive and fun time in the group. Now at tilibit nanosystems to make sure that we get the best scaffold!

Christoph Karfusehr, Max Planck School Matter to Life Master student, intern in the group from Oct. 2020 until April 2021. Came as a chemist, quickly turned into a physicist and moved on to do MD. Great choice and all the best!

Sarah Braun, Master student in Molecular Biotechnology in Heidelberg, intern in the group from May 2020 until Aug. 2020 and HiWi from Dec. 2020 until Feb. 2021. Became a DNA origami expert during COVID-19, now into CAR T-cells. Came back once, maybe twice? See you around!

Elizaveta Bobkova, Master student in Molecular Biotechnology (and Physics!) in Heidelberg, intern in the group from Jan. 2020 until Aug. 2020. Studied phase-separation in lipid vesicles.