Dr. Anne-Kathrin Classen

I obtained my BSc inClassen100dpi Cell Biology from the University of Manchester and my MSc in Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Amsterdam. I studied how cellular packing geometry is controlled by the planar cell poarity pathway during my PhD work at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology an Genetics in Dresden. During my postdoc at UC Berkeley I investigated epigenetic regulation of tissue growth by Polycomb proteins. In 2011 I started my Emmy Noether research group at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. In 2016 we moved to the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg.


Ramya Balaji


I obtained my BS-MS integrated degree in Science from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.  I fell in love with genetics and developmental biology during my coursework in India and started working with Drosophila embryos to study the origins of cell compartmentalization and polarity in the lab of Richa Rikhy. In 2012, I did a summer internship in Andreas Wodarz’s lab in University of Göttingen, performing a genetic screen to study neuroblast polarity.  I joined Anne’s lab in August 2013 as a PhD student to investigate mechanisms that drive epithelial cell shape transitions in Drosophila egg chambers.  During this time, I also worked on Calcium oscillations in wing imaginal discs of Drosophila. I graduated in 2018 and have now started to work as a Postdoc on chromatin-based regulation of tissue regeneration. In my free time, I like to experiment with cooking and dancing Flamenco.

PhD students

Vanessa Weichselberger


I received my B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Salzburg, Austria, which included an exchange semester at Cardiff University, Great Britain. After my Bachelor studies I had the chance to work as an intern at a research department of Novartis in Zurich, Switzerland, before starting my Master´s studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. During my time at the LMU I joined Anne’s lab and was not able to leave again. So, I stayed and am now a PhD student working on the mechanics of epithelial cell shape changes and the ability of cells to form boundaries in developing tissues.

Janhvi Jaiswal


I graduated with a B.E. degree in Biotechnology from BMS College of Engineering (India) in 2012, followed by an M.Sc. degree in Genetics of Human Disease from University College London (U.K.) in 2013. I worked as a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (India) from 2014-2016. In September 2016, I joined Anne’s lab as a PhD student. I am keenly interested in studying stress responses within the epithelial sheets in tissue damage as well as cancer.

Carlo Crucianelli


I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Camerino, Unicam (Italy) in 2014 and a MSc degree in Biotechnology from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2016. During my studies I gained experience in the field of oncology and neurobiology. I joined Anne’s lab in 2018 to work on the regulation of compensatory proliferation during tissue regeneration.  

Deepti Prasad

Deepti Prasad

I graduated with B.Sc. in Biotechnology in 2011 and M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Human Genetics in 2013 from the School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, India, and completed my master thesis at the National Institute of Immunology, India. From 2014-2017, I was a part of the Cancer Research Program at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (India) with a fellowship from the University Grants Commission, Government of India. I moved to Germany as a PhD fellow of the Spemann Graduate School for Biology and Medicine in 2017, and joined the Classen group for my PhD. My doctoral study focuses on the elucidation of the mechanisms regulating cell extrusion from the epithelial lay

Friedericke Fischer

Bild_FFI studied molecular medicine at the University of Freiburg and continued working on my master’s thesis project after graduation, for which I investigated the regulatory function of a recombinant fusion protein in the complement system. I spent one year at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Switzerland before joining the Classen lab as PhD student of the International Max Planck Research School for Immunobiology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism. My doctoral study focuses on the role of cell affinity in intra-epithelial tumor suppression.

Ananth V Maya

ananthI obtained my integrated BS-MS dual degree in Biological Science from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, India in 2019. During my master thesis project in Jishy Varghese lab, I worked with Drosophila Insulin signaling in development. I joined the Classen lab as a Ph.D. student of International Max Planck Research School for Immunology, Epigenetics, and Metabolism. My doctoral study focuses on the characterization of the metabolic reprogramming in the chronic wound and tissue regeneration using Drosophila wing imaginal discs.  


Aynur Copur

IMG_9992modAfter completing my BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics in Bilkent University in Turkey, in 2005 I joined Damian Brunner’s Group in EMBL in Heidelberg for my doctoral work. There I investigated the impact of forces during embryogenesis in Drosophila. In 2010 I joined the group of Frank Schnorrer in the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich. Currently I am continuing my research in the group of Frank Schnorrer in the Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille in France. My work focuses on the signaling pathways controlling growth of muscle tissue in Drosophila. I am visiting the Classen Lab as a guest scientist to take advantage of the expertise of the group in cell cycle control in tissue development.


Isabelle Grass


Former lab members

Dr. Christina Bielmeier

christina graduation

Dr. Marco La Fortezza


Dr. Addie Kolybaba


Dr. Andrea Cosolo


and the many great Bachelor and Master students that have worked with us over the years…