Cindrilla is a group leader at the University of Würzburg with a research focus on understanding the genesis and evolution of the premalignant metaplastic niches and how microbes thrive in these niches and contribute to neoplasia development. She was trained as a cancer cell biologist during her Ph.D. at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, focusing on the mechanisms underlying therapy resistance and aggressive relapse of the lymphomas. Later, at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin she revealed that bacterial pathogen Chlamydia causes cellular and genomic instability, predisposing to mutations, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition; both hallmarks of cancers. For the last few years, she has become fascinated to understand why certain tissue microenvironments in the body like metaplastic adaptations are more susceptible to infections and cancer development. She developed novel in vitro 3D organoid models and revealed stem cell homeostasis and the role of microenvironment in the emergence of precancer squamous metaplasia.
Stefanie joined the Chumduri group as a Ph.D. student in June 2015 at the Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. Her work focuses on the establishment of cervical organoids as HPV, Chlamydia trachomatis, and co-infection models and characterization of their impact on cervical epithelial tissue. She obtained her M.Sc. in Molecular Life Science from Humboldt-University, Germany. During her M.Sc. thesis at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, she contributed to the investigation of the lynx reproductive cycle by characterizing the function of the corpus luteum in lynx and the domestic cat.
Naveen Kumar Nirchal
Naveen joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in November 2017. His thesis work focuses on understanding the mechanisms regulating the gastro-esophageal junction homeostasis and the development of Barrett’s esophagus metaplasia. He obtained his MSc. in Biotechnology from Mangalore University, India. Later worked as a research fellow at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, on Mycobacterial proteins and their interaction with immune cells. Subsequently moved to the industry where he worked on monoclonal antibody development and protein synthesis.
Pon Ganish Prakash
Pon Ganish joined the lab as a Ph.D. student in September 2020. He focuses on investigating Chlamydia and HPV infection dynamics and modeling the cell-cell interactions using human primary cervical 3D epithelial organoid models at a single-cell level. He obtained MSc. in Bioinformatics (2020) at Freie Universität Berlin. During his Msc. thesis at Charité – Universitätsmedizin, he worked in the field of cheminformatics to identify toxic sub-structures within drug databases, based on the QSAR approach. During his internship at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC Berlin), he developed a computational model for RNA secondary structure prediction.
Philip Nkemdirim Mbonu
Philip joined the group as a Master's student in January 2020. His Master thesis work focused on the characterization of Chlamydia infection in 3D mouse cervical organoid. Philip did his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology in Nigeria and started his master’s degree in Molecular infection biology in Wuerzburg, Germany in April 2017 .
Dajung joined the lab as a Master's student in January 2020. Her thesis project is the characterization of the immune cell composition of uterine cervical squamocolumnar junction. Dajung obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology (Bachelor of Engineering) in South Korea and started her master’s degree in Molecular infection biology in Wuerzburg, Germany in October 2017.
Christian joined the lab as a Master's student in February 2020. His master thesis project involves the bioinformatic investigation of the transcriptomic changes upon Chlamydia infections of columnar endocervical and stratified ectocervical epithelia. He strated his master’s degree in infection biology in University of Wuerzburg, Germany.
Jaya joined the lab as a Master's student in August 2020. Her master thesis project involves the characterization of the chlamydia-induced transcriptional changes on the columnar endocervical and stratified ectocervical epithelium using 3D organoid models. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology in India in 2017. She also worked as a research fellow at the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras on Hyaluronic acid-producing microbes and Microbial heterogeneity. She started her Master's degree in Cell and Infection Biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany in 2019.
Heike is the lab manager of the group since 2019. Before she worked as a lab technician for several years at the Chair of Microbiology, University of Würzburg.