Leif Erik Sander

Leif Erik Sander

Leif Erik studied medicine at the Hannover Medical School and completed his clinical training as an internist and pulmonologist at Aachen University Hospital and at the Charité in Berlin. From 2008 to 2011, he trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Julie Blander at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In 2012 he set up his lab at Charité supported by an Emmy Noether-Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). He was appointed W2 (associate) professor at Charité in 2016. He is interested in the mechanisms of vaccination and infection, with a specific interest in the earliest events of the immune response.

Sophia Brumhard Porträt

Sophia Brumhard

Sophia studied biotechnology at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences and the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. She did her bachelor’s in the virology department at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen, where her interest in research of viral infections and infectious diseases emerged. In 2018, she joined the Sander lab to write her master’s thesis. During this time, she worked together with Daniel on the permissivity of attenuated measles vaccine viruses in primary APCs. In 2020 she started her PhD and is involved in several projects concerning the role of the immune system in different severities of COVID-19. Currently, her focus is on understanding the innate immune responses to the new COVID-19 vaccine classes.


Claudia Conrad

After successfully completing my technical school training as a medical-technical laboratory assistant, I earned a diploma in food chemistry at the Humboldt University Berlin. Afterwards, I completed the second state examination as a state-certified food chemist.

Since 2012, I have been employed as a technical assistant in the Medical Department, Division of Infectiology and Pneumonology, at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and since 2018 I have been working in the Sander lab.

Philipp Georg Portrait

Philipp Georg

Philipp graduated from the University of Heidelberg with a Bachelor and Master in Biology with a Major focusing on Infectious Diseases. During his studies at the University of Heidelberg and ERASMUS exchanges at the University of Leicester, and the Karolinska Institutet he developed a key interest in the human immune system and its interaction with pathogens. He is very curious about all things vaccine related and still trying to grasp the immune system in its entirety.  In non COVID times he investigates effector functions of a non-conventional T cell population termed mucosal associated invariant T cells (MAIT) as part of the transregional SFB TR84. During the COVID-19 pandemic he investigated the roles of cytotoxic T cells in patients suffering from severe COVID-19. Part of this work was published in the journal “Cell” 2022.

Apart from science: Father, bike and gardening enthusiast.


Lisbeth Hasler

Lisbeth focused on biological-medical related researches since she did her Bachelor’s studies at the University of Tübingen in the department of Immunology. In 2019 she moved to Berlin to graduate her Master’s degree at Humboldt University and startet working part time as a student assistant at Charité Berlin within the Sander Group.

Anna Hiller Porträt

Anna Hiller

Anna completed her studies in medicine and ‘Experimental Medicine’ at JMU Wuerzburg and was supported by the Max-Weber scholarship program. During her practical year, her curiosity for infectious diseases and vaccinology emerged.  After her graduation, she became increasingly interested in data analysis of high-throughput technologies, did training in R and Python and started studying mathematics at the TU Berlin. She joined the Sander Lab in 2020 for her MD and was accepted for a scholarship by the Manchot Foundation. She is especially interested in describing immunological processes of antigen presenting cells in response to vaccines using single-cell technologies. Her current project is focusing on the role of innate immune cells in response to different vaccine platforms in the context of Covid-19 vaccination.


Calvin Hon

Calvin completed his Bachelor’s in Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth (U.K.), and graduated from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (U.K.) with a Master’s in Medical Microbiology. In 2018, he moved to Berlin to conduct his PhD project at the Department of Molecular Parasitology in Humboldt University as part of the “Research Training Group 2046: Parasite Infections: From Experimental Models To Natural Systems” graduate program. Calvin’s research primarily focused on identifying protective CD8+ T cell epitopes that contribute to whole-attenuated sporozoite-induced sterilizing immunity against Plasmodium pre-erythrocytic stages. In 2022, Calvin joined the Sander Lab where he has been involved in vaccine immunology projects including the characterization of induced immunity following COVID-19 vaccination. Outside of science, Calvin is a metal musician and loves working on audio production and content creation.

Porträt Anna Klara Kaden

Anna Klara Kaden

Klara studies human medicine at the Charité Berlin. She is currently doing her MD in the Sander lab, focusing on characterizing immune responses in T-cells after Covid-19 vaccines by using various methods in the field of multiparametric cell analysis. Before her time in Sander lab, she has worked in the field of microbiology, especially bacteria diagnostics, in routine diagnostics and in a project focusing on synthetic biology that grew her interest in immunology in context of infectiology and vaccinology.

Porträt Stefanie Kasper

Stefanie Jentzsch

Steffi studied biotechnology (bachelor) in Berlin and then completed her master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Potsdam. After her studies, she started as a scientist in a laboratory for food analysis. Later, she gained her first experience there as a laboratory manager. She joined Sander Lab in November 2020 and helps with laboratory organization, orders, personnel matters and all the little other things that come up. Currently, she is assisting with lab work and organization as part of a vaccination study

Jason McGowan

Jason McGowan

My name is Jason I am a PhD student  from Ireland studying innate immunology. Currently, my research is focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in the  detection of and reaction to Malaria Plasmodium infected red blood cells.

Outside the laboratory, you can find me doing urban photography around Berlin and enjoying the nice weather by the lakeside.


Parnika Mukherjee

Parnika graduated from PES Institute of Technology in Bangalore, India, with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology. In 2014, she moved to Berlin to start her Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics at Freie Universität Berlin. After her M.Sc., she was accepted in a dual-degree PhD program between Berlin and Canberra, IRTG2290: “Crossing boundaries: Molecular interactions in malaria”. Here, she explored host-parasite interactions in malaria using publicly available experimental data sets. In 2021, Parnika joined the Sander Lab, where she works as a bioinformatician staff scientist. So far she has analysed intercellular interactions of innate immune cells and proteomics data from a COVID-19 vaccine response study in addition to transcriptomics data from innate immune sensing experiments. She is interested in further developing her skills in Bioinformatics algorithms and data analysis. Outside of work, she is interested in photography and calligraphy.

Porträt Kai Pohl

Kai Pohl

Kai studied Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in Bielefeld and Hamburg spending two ERASMUS semesters at the University of Manchester, UK and at the University of Granada in Spain. He joined the Lab for his PhD in 2017 within the IRTG2290, an international research training consortium. During his PhD he also spent over a year abroad in Ian Cockburn’s lab at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Australia. Kai’s research is focused on how innate immune sensing mechanisms determine and shape adaptive immune responses, primarily in the context of Malaria vaccines. Since finishing up his PhD, he has contributed to the labs’ efforts towards characterizing immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines.


Daniel Wendisch

Daniel studied medicine at the Charité and at the Unversity of Turku, Finland. In the Sander Lab he applied for funding by the Manchot foundation and the BIH MD scholarship and was excepted to the MD/PhD program. Steadily he learned to properly name FACS files and use water-resistant labels on cryotubes. With the Mankertz Lab (RKI), he optimized the production and purification of attenuated measles virus for his immunological assays. He established a method for parallel sorting of human monocyte and dendritic cell subsets. To dileneate the responses of infected cells from bystandar cells he devised multiplexed scRNA-Seq experiments. For these he received greatly appreciated support from the Saliba Lab in Würzburg. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he let his former projects rest and used his experiences in immunological and virological experimentation, clinical medicine and high-content data analysis in multiple SARS-CoV-2 related projects.

Arne Windler

Arne Windler

Arne studied Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Economics and Geophysics at the University of Kiel. After he graduated in Kiel, he wrote his PhD-Thesis about the long-distance exchange of a Mediterranean shell in Europe between 5500 and 5000 BC at the Ruhr-University in Bochum. He received a one-year travel scholarship by the German Archaeological Institute in 2017/18 and worked as a Postdoc at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn as well as at the German Mining Museum Bochum. After he moved to Berlin to take care of his first child, he had the opportunity to work in the Sander Lab and get to know a brand-new field of research and works as a project coordinator in the lab.