Prof. Dr. med. Bastian Opitz
Principal Investigator
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 501
Email: bastian.opitz(at)
Bastian Opitz finished his medical studies at the Charité, Berlin, and the Galway University, Ireland, in 2002. Between 1999 and 2001, he conducted his MD research thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Ralf Schumann, where he investigated the function of Toll-like receptors. In 2003, he became a Postdoc at the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Medicine, Charité, Berlin. During his postdoctoral training, Bastian focused his research on the role of cytosolic pattern recognition receptors in antimicrobial innate immune responses. Subsequently, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Craig Roy at the Yale University School of Medicine as a visiting scientist in 2008, where he examined cell-autonomous defense mechanisms against Legionella pneumophila. Bastian finished his residency in medical microbiology at the Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité, Berlin in 2015. Since 2006, he is head of a research group focusing on lung infections and immunity.
Dr. Facundo Fiocca Vernengo
Postdoctoral Researcher
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Email: facundo.fiocca-
Facundo finished his Biochemist bachelor´s degree at the Faculty of Chemical Sciences, in the National University of Córdoba (Argentina), in 2012. In 2013, he received a scholarship from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations (CONICET) to start his doctoral studies in the Research Centre in Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology (CIBICI-CONICET). During his PhD, he evaluated the interaction between different cells of the adaptive immune system during the experimental infection with the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. After finishing his PhD thesis in 2018, he started working as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Opitz, where he is interested in evaluating the mechanisms underlying pneumonia infection susceptibility in the context of diabetes mellitus.
Ann-Brit Klatt,
PhD Student
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Ann-Brit obtained a bachelor in biology at the Free University of Berlin and a in molecular lifescience at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2017. For her master’s thesis, she joined the Berlin-Brandenburg Centrum for Regenerative Therapies (Charité, Berlin), where she was investigating the use of virulent bacteriophages as an alternative treatment approach for implant-related biofilm infections. Since June 2019 she is doing her PhD in the framework of the IMPRS-IDI in the group of Prof. Dr. Opitz, where she will be working on investigating the innate immune response in macrophages during a Legionella pneumophila infection.
Patrick Dörner,
PhD Student
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Email: patrick.doerner(at)
Patrick studied Biology at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz where he gained his Bachelor of Science degree. After this, Patrick moved to Bonn where he began his Microbiology Master at the  Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn. In 2017, he moved to Berlin and started his Master thesis at the Institute of Virology at the Charité where he studied the diversity of new coronavirus members of the Mouse hepatitis virus group in wildtype mice. Since August 2018, he is a member of the Opitz group where focuses on the cross-talk of antimicrobial therapy, microbiota and innate immunity in pneumonia caused by infections with carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumonia ST258.
Ivo Röwekamp,
PhD Student
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Ivo started his Bachelor in Biology at the TU Darmstadt and moved on to the Humboldt University Berlin to continue with his Master. His Master’s thesis was conducted at the Max-Delbrück-Centrum in Berlin-Buch where he analysed the immunogenicity of neoantigens in melanoma in the context of cancer-immunotherapy under supervision of Prof. Matthias Leisegang. With this immunological background he found his way into infection immunology, where he started his PhD in the lab of Prof. Dr. Bastian Opitz in 2018. Now Ivo is investigating the mechanisms of pathogen-host interactions in pneumococcal pneumonia.
Dr. med. Charlotte Thibeault
Physician Scientist
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 122
Email: charlotte.thibeault(at)
Charlotte graduated from Charité Medical school Berlin in 2015. Between 2011 and 2012, Charlotte conducted her MD thesis in Jost Enninga’s research group Dynamics of Host-Pathogen Interactions at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. In her work, she focused on antigen processing in Dendritic cells.
Since 2015, Charlotte has been working in internal medicine at the Charité Berlin. In 2018, she obtained a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft dedicated to clinical research in infectiology. The clinical trial AMIII has started in April 2019 and aims at elucidating the effect of clinically relevant broad spectrum antibiotics on the microbiota and pulmonary and systemic immune response in mechanically ventilated patients.
Belén Millet Pascual-Leone
Physician Scientist
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 122
Email: belen.millet(at)


Marta Krzanowski
Medical Doctoral Student
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 120
Email: marta.krzanowski(at)





Belén finished her medical studies at the University of Valencia, Spain, in June 2019. During her 4th and 6th grade, she received a scholarship to continue her studies in the Charité Medical School in Berlin. For her thesis, she worked together with the Microbiology Department in the General Hospital in Valencia analyzing the impact of External Quality Controls in Microbiology laboratories. In December 2018, Belén joined the Opitz Group to perform her MD thesis working in the clinical trial AMIII that aims at elucidating the effect of clinically relevant broad spectrum antibiotics on the microbiota and pulmonary and systemic immune response in mechanically ventilated patients.





Marta completed her Bachelor of Medical Science (majoring in Immunobiology) in 2016 at the University of Sydney, Australia. In 2017, she moved to Berlin to study Medicine at the Charité Medical School and in her fourth year she completed an exchange semester at the University of Basel, Switzerland. She joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Opitz in March 2021 to work on a study investigating the microbiota and immune responses involved in the development of ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Sandra Caesar, Dipl.-Biol.
Lab manager
Tel: +49 (0)30 450 553 287
Sandra studied Biology at the Technical University of Braunschweig and the Humboldt University of Berlin. For her diploma thesis she joined the lab of Dr. Ehlers at Robert Koch-Institut, where she established a bigenic PCR approach to detect and characterize herpes virus in primates by using locked nucleic acids. In 2011 she supported the work of Dr. Kruglov in the group of Prof. Dr. Nedospasov at Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum in Berlin as technical assistant studying the role of soluble Ltα produced by ILC in intestinal homeostasis. Since December 2015 Sandra is member of the group of Prof. Opitz, where she will manage lab-related issues and give technical support for ongoing research.



Dr. rer. nat. Laura Maschirow (PhD)
Dr. Catherine Chaput (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Juan Sebastian Ruiz-Moreno (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Juliane Lippmann (PhD)
Dr. rer nat. Elena Kostadinova (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Jan Naujoks (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Julia Eitel (PhD)
Dr. med. Phillip Sasu
Dr. rer. nat. Werner Hallatschek (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Uwe Koppe (PhD)
Dr. med. Florence Pache
Dr. rer. medic. Karolin Meixenberger
Dr. rer. nat Anne Rabes (PhD)
Dr. rer. nat. Claudia van Laak (PhD)
Dr. med. Vincent van Laak
Dr. med. vet. Maya Vinzing