Lab members

Catherin Niemann, PI

Catherin obtained her PhD at the Max-Delbrück-Center (MDC) Berlin, where she worked in the lab of Walter Birchmeier to investigate the role of Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and neuregulin signalling in mammary epithelial cells. She than joined the lab of Fiona M. Watt at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund / Cancer Research UK in London to study molecular mechanisms regulating stem cell function in mammalian skin. During this time as a postdoctoral fellow Catherin developed her fascination for the many-sided functions and complex regulation of epithelial stem cells.

E-Mail: cnieman1(at)




Anna Geueke, PostDoc

Anna studied Biology at the RWTH in Aachen. She performed her Master thesis in the Department of Dermatology, where she investigated the role of aPKCλ-mediated regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in epidermal stem cell homeostasis. During her PhD she was investigating „Mechanisms of stem cell-specific Bcl-2 function regulating epidermal homeostasis and disease formation.“

E-Mail: ageueke(at)





Gökcen Gözüm, PhD student

Gökcen received a M.Sc in Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Bonn and focused for her master thesis on the synergy among different NK cell activating receptors. Her research interests include tumourigenesis, skin stem cell biology and immune responses.

E-Mail: goekcen.goezuem(at)






Giada Mantellato, PhD student

Giada studied Biotechnolgy at the University of Padua. She performed her Master thesis at Imperial College London on the topic of skeletal muscle fiber type specification, focusing on EGFR pathway and AGD3. She is now interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of tumour initiation by adult stem cells in the skin.

E-Mail: giada.mantellato(at)




Florian Küster, Research assistant

Florian obtained his M.Sc. in Biological Sciences with a specialization in biochemistry at the University of Cologne. He investigated in the properties of anti-apoptotic proteins during epidermal homeostasis. Now he is interested in epidermal-stromal crosstalk and the epithelial differentiation of the cornea with regard to Wnt/Lef1 signalling pathway. Florian is taking care of the CMMC Microscopy Facility and responsible for user training and support.

E-Mail: florian.kuester(at)




Melanie Nelles, Technical assistant

Melanie has great experiences in tissue histological techniques as well as molecular biological methods. Melanie is taking care of the TEHU (tissue embedding and histology unit) service provided by the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) at the University of Cologne.

Email: melanie.nelles(at)






Peter Schettina, Technical assistant

Peter is an expert in various molecular techniques including expression analysis and his work is beneficial for many different projects in the lab. He also has a strong background in cell culture techniques.

Email: pschetti(at)







 Fred the Frog, PhD Office assistant

Whenever PhD students need support, Fred is happy to help.