Marco Trujillo - Chair

Marco is a Heisenberg Professor at the RWTH Aachen University and holds the chair of the Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology . He studied microbiology at the University of Los Andes in Colombia and obtained a stipend during his Master to go to the University of Giessen, where he studied the interaction between cereals and powdery mildews fungi. During his PhD he focused on the function of NADPH oxidases and the role of reactive oxygen species during the immune response. He then moved to the Sainsbury Laboratory in the U.K. where he switched to the model plant Arabidopsis to analyze ubiquitin signalling in Ken Shirasu’s Lab. After becoming an Alexander von Humboldt/JSPS fellow, Marco moved again overseas to the RIKEN Institute in Yokohama, Japan. He started his own group at the University of Würzburg where he became an assistant professor, and was later selected for the independent junior group leader position at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle (Saale). While being an interim Professor at the University of Freiburg he was accepted to the Heisenberg programme of the DFG. Since 2023 he is the chair of the Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology at the RWTH Aachen University.

Alaa Allahham - Ph.D. Student

Alaa joins us us all the way from Palestina by way of the University of Fukuoka were did his M. Sc. and some postgraduate work. Now he's joined the team to unravel the regulation of the exocyst complex.

Markus Deisen - Lab Technician

Marcus, takes care that the lab keeps running, that all essentials are available, purchasing and lab organization.

Cansu Dilege - PhD student

Cansu, investigated autophagy signalling in yeast and went green now changing to a plant systems. She is investigating mechanisms by which ubiquitination is regulated during the immune response.

Klara Landi - Intern

Klara, an undergraduate student, seeks to expand her knowledge and experience in the field of ubiquitin biology.

Katharina Pietsch - Lab Technician

Katharina, is our amazing lab tech who's all about precision and passion for science! From running experiments with finesse to keeping our lab shipshape, they're the secret ingredient to our research success.

Sabine Sauren - Secretary

Sabine coordinates from the backstage all administrative work and keeps the institute running.

Wei Siao - Postdoc

After his studies in Taiwan, Wei did his PhD at the University of Bonn, where he studied synaptotagmin 1 (SYT1) and VAP27-1 on ER-PM contact sites in Arabidopsis. He returned home for his first postdoc to investigat drought signaling of various cytoskeleton- and vesicle-associated proteins in the Lab of Paul Verslues at the Academia Sinica. He moved again oversees to join Jenny Russinova at the VIB, where he built the protein interactome of adaptor protein complexes involved in endocytosis.

In Aachen, Wei will develop strategies for targeted protein degradation (TPD) by using a multidisciplinary approach combining protein biochemistry and organic chemistry.

Aravindan Viswanathan - Postdoc

Aravindan, did his Masters in beautiful Heidelberg and his PhD in Würzburg under the supervision of Utz Fisher. He is an expert in reconstituting protein complexes in vitro, which he will apply to develop targeted protein degradation in plants.


Katrin Wysgol - Secretary

Katrin coordinates from the backstage all administrative work and keeps the institute running.

Yaohua You - Postdoc

Yaouhua comes to us from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where he delved into the intricate dynamics between plants and pathogenic fungi. Now, his focus shifts to unraveling the complexities of ubiquitin signaling networks and their pivotal role in orchestrating immune responses.

Fei Xie - Postdoc

Fei joined us from the VIB in Belgium, where he investigated the role of GPI anchors in the self-incompatibility response during pollination. His future work will focus on developing targeted protein degradation systems for plants .

Alumni – Gone but not forgotten!

Carla Brillada (postdoc)

Kai Clemens (Research Assistant)

Sophie Anselm (Technician)

Muk Kuen "Felipe" Po (Exchange student from Hong Kong)

Bushra Saeed (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Moritz Nautscher (Master Student)

Katy Dunning (Exchange Student from Canada)

Kathrin Kowarschik (Technician)

Ilona Turek (Postdoc)

Giulia Furlan (PhD Student)

Ooi-Kock Teh (Postdoc)

Roman Lassig (Postdoc)

Jörn Klinkenberg (Postdoc)

Filip Pekovic (Undergrad Student),

Marco Zietz (Undergrad Student, M.Sc.)

Chil-Woo Lee  (Research Associate)

Martin Stegmann (PhD Student)

Jacob Blaffert (Undergrad Student, M.Sc.)

Nadine Tischer (Undergrad student, M.Sc.)

Cecilia Martinez (Exchange student from Mexico)

Shilpa Kancherla (Undergrad student, , M.Sc.)

Patrick Reuter  (Undergrad student, assistant)

Andrea Waldvogel  (Undergrad Student, B.Sc.)