People in the lab

People in the lab

Volker Spindler


Volker is the PI of the Cell Adhesion group. He started his career in Würzburg, Germany in 2008 to study dysfunction of intercellular adhesion in the blistering skin disease pemphigus. He was appointed as Assistant professor of Anatomy in at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Munich, Germany, in 2011, and was tenured as Associate professor in 2017. In 2018, he moved his lab to the University of Basel, Switzerland and joined the Department of Biomedicine and the Institute of Anatomy. Besides his long-term scientific goal of understanding and elucidating novel functions of cell adhesion receptors in health and disease, Volker is strongly involved in teaching Anatomy to medical students and physicians. 

Camilla Schinner

Senior Scientist/Project Leader

Camilla is a senior scientist and project leader in the Cell Adhesion lab. Her research focuses on the function of adhesion molecules in context of different diseases including Cardiomyopathy and Leukemia. She studied Medicine in Germany (Würzburg, Munich) and the USA (New York City, Cincinnati). After her graduation in 2016, she started to investigate mechanisms regulating cardiac cell-cell adhesion in the lab of Jens Waschke at the LMU Munich. In 2018, Camilla joined the Cell Adhesion lab at the DBM in Basel. In addition to research, Camilla teaches Anatomy to medical students at the University of Basel

Henriette Franz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Henriette graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Leipzig in 2005. She earned her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen in 2010. For her postdoctoral specialization, Henriette moved to the Center for Clinical Research at the University of Freiburg and investigated basic epigenetic mechanisms in development and disease. From 2015-2020 she conducted research in the field of Neuroepigenetics and teaching in the field of anatomy at the Department of Molecular Embryology at the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology in Freiburg. Since 2020 she is teaching anatomy at the University of Basel at the Institute of Anatomy. She is investigating regulation mechanism of cellular adhesion molecules in the skin.

Maitreyi Rathod

Postdoctoral Fellow

Maitreyi works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cell Adhesion laboratory, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel. She completed her PhD in Life Sciences from Advanced Centre for treatment and Research in Cancer (ACTREC), Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), Mumbai, India in September 2020. During her PhD she worked on understanding the intracellular trafficking and regulation of human sodium iodide symporter protein in breast cancer, which is an attractive target for radio ablation therapy. She joined the laboratory of Professor Volker Spindler in November 2020 to study the regulation of desmosomal adhesion and develop methods to tune intercellular adhesion in pathological conditions related to desmosomal adhesion such as cancer metastasis and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. Her major research interests are cell adhesion, intracellular trafficking of membrane proteins, cancer metastasis and developing therapeutic targets for desmosomal diseases.

Ramón Castellanos

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ramón works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cell Adhesion laboratory. He obtained his PhD degree in Molecular Biomedicine from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the Polytechnic National Institute (CINVESTAV-IPN), Mexico City, Mexico in 2022. His PhD work focused on unveiling the relevance of the actin cytoskeleton modulators in the biology of T cells and its implications during T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, were he find that cortactin is an interesting target with potential therapeutic application for immune diseases with aberrant T cell responses and to prevent leukemic T cell infiltration. He joined Professor Volker Spindler’s team in November 2022 to determine the mechanisms leading to arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy development. His major interests are the regulation of the cytoskeleton during pathologic conditions, cell adhesion and arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy as well as the discovery of novel pathways with therapeutic applications for this disease.  

Vivien Beyersdorfer

PhD student

Vivien is a PhD student in the Cell Adhesion group. She did her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She started her PhD at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2021 in the skin project of the Cell Adhesion Lab. Her project aims at understanding the functions of desmosomes both in physiological and diseased states using the epidermis as model system. 

Karen Leal Fischer

PhD student

Karen is a PhD student in the Cell Adhesion group. She did her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Health Biology specialized in Cell Biology, Physiology and Pathology at the University of Bordeaux, France. She started her PhD in the group of Prof. Volker Spindler in January 2022 in the skin project of the Cell Adhesion Lab. Her project aims at elucidating the link between desmosomal adhesion and cell signaling both in physiological and diseased states using the epidermis as model system.

Niclas Dietrich

MD thesis student

After his Master thesis, Niclas now does his MD thesis at the Cell Adhesion laboratory. He establishes an ex-vivo perfusion system of the liver and investigates early steps of metastasis formation in pancreatic cancer.

Aude Zimmermann

Lab Technician

Aude supports all members of the Cell Adhesion Lab and pursues individual projects on the role of desmosomal adhesion in the heart.

Pauline Hanns

Lab Technician

Pauline is a technician in the cell adhesion group. She did her PhD in the Department of Biomedicine in Basel studying the impact of stress in the development of acute myeloid leukemia. She now works with Camilla to identify novel mechanisms underlying arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. . 

Additional lab members

Alicia Kaspers Master Student

Sina Hohler Master Student

Anja Hunziker Lab staff

Deniz Tanriverdi Lab staff

Florian Sprich Lab staff

Lea Galvagno Lab staff

Ursina Meier Lab staff