Visiting Scientist Program

We host professors from other institutes around the world via our Guest Professor Program, with the goal of developing and strengthening international research collaboration. To further enhance information exchange, many of the guest professors share a joint postdoc with a Microverse professor.

Early stage researchers are welcomed to Jena via our Scientist Exchange Program (more information at the bottom of the page). We welcome applications from incoming and outgoing early career stage scientists who want to build collaborations between the Microverse Cluster and external research programs.

Teaser: Bogacz Marta

Marta Bogacz

Microverse Scientist Exchange Program

Postdoc at Biostructural Interactions FSU Jena

Exchange to: Prof. Iqbal Hamza, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the Center for Blood Oxygen Transport and Hemostasis, Baltimore, USA
Microverse Partner: Ute Hellmich

Teaser: Davenport Emily

Emily Davenport

Microverse Guest Professor

Professor in the Department of Biology at Penn State, USA
Microverse partner: TBD

Teaser: Heinze Beatrix

Beatrix Heinze

Microverse Scientist Exchange Program

PhD Student at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Microverse Partner: Susan Trumbore

Teaser: Lood Cedric

Cédric Lood

Microverse Scientist Exchange Program

Junior postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).

Microverse Partner: Bas E. Dutilh

Teaser: Peets Pilleriin

Pilleriin Peets

Microverse Scientist Exchange Program

Postdoc at Viral Ecology and Omics FSU Jena

Exchange to: Dr. Olivier Chapleur, Head of the analytical lab - Environmental bioprocesses, molecular microbial ecology, omics, statistics, Antony, France
Microverse Partner: Bas E. Dutilh

Teaser: Rathinam Vijay

Vijay Rathinam

Microverse Guest Professor

Professor of Immunology at UConn Health, USA
Microverse partner: Michael Bauer
Postdoc: Victor Fraile Agrenda

Teaser: Shade Ashely

Ashley Shade

Microverse Guest Professor

Director of Research with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France
Microverse partner: TBD

Teaser: Sillen Mart

Mart Sillen

Microverse Scientist Exchange Program

PhD student in Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium
Microverse partner: Mark Gresnigt

Teaser: Soares Miguel

Miguel Soares

Microverse Guest Professor

Leader of the Inflammation Group at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal
Microverse partner: Michael Bauer
Postdoc: Elisa Jentho

Teaser: Sullivan Matthew

Matthew Sullivan

Microverse Guest Professor

Professor of Microbiology and Director for the Center of Microbiome Science at Ohio State University, USA
Microverse partner: Kirsten Küsel
Postdoc: TBD

Teaser: Ziegler Mathias

Mathias Ziegler

Microverse Guest Professor

Professor in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen, Norway
Microverse partner: Axel Brakhage

Scientist Exchange

Interdisciplinary and international collaboration is the way forward in science. We provide funds for our Microverse members to visit other labs outside of Germany for short to medium length research stays, and invite outside researchers likewise to Jena. The purpose of these stays can be to establish or continue a collaboration, use a specific instrument or technique, or obtain training.

Microverse members who would like to apply for funds can find more information in the member restricted Intranet. Outside researchers whose work compliments that of the Microverse and would like to come to Jena are encouraged to contact Microverse group leaders with a short proposal.

Further questions can be addressed to contact@microverse-cluster.de - use the subject heading Scientist Exchange Funds.

Researcher Profile

Explore our "Researcher Profile" format – a platform designed for guest scientists and researchers to showcase their work. The "Researcher Profile" offers an innovative way to share academic achievements, projects, and interests. Learn more about our community of guest researchers, and discover potential collaborators!

Interview with Mart Sillen

“It helps you grow as a scientist to see different spaces”

Mart Sillen spent seven weeks in the Adaptive Pathogenicity Strategies group at HKI to bring an immunology perspective to her Candidiasis research project. Interview by Anna Komor.

Where do you come from?

I’m from a province in Flanders, Belgium. I studied at the KU Leuven near Brussels, where I got my bachelor’s and master’s degree. I did my master’s thesis in the lab where I am currently doing my PhD, in the lab of Prof Patrick Van Dijck at the KU Leuven.

What brings you to Jena?

Mark [Gresnigt] and I met in Nice during the FEBS human fungal pathogens meeting. We started talking and he pointed out to me the immunology of vulvovaginal candidiasis and suggested all these cool experiments. And now I am here.

What is your impression of the city?

Jena is way hillier than I expected. But it’s nice, the nature is very nice. Everywhere you look you see the hills and I like that. And I like the atmosphere here. One has a lot of  opportunities. On the campus, a lot of people collaborate and they use each other’s machinery. Within the Microverse you have an overarching structure and each week there is a lecture so you know what other people are doing, which machines they have and what could be of use for your own research. This gives you the motivation for collaboration.

Have you noticed any cultural or procedural differences between your home lab and this lab?

I think here there is way more legislation than in Belgium. Way more paperwork. In Belgium, I never hear people say paperwork is a big hurdle. Also, the people are a bit more direct. For example, us Flemish or Belgian people, we will not say what’s on our minds. We will say it’s ok, while maybe here they will say, oh no that’s a problem, which is actually also good. We Belgians don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

How will this stay impact your project?

The work I did here complements and makes the storyline more complete. I now have the immunology side which is very important in the case of vulvovaginal candidiasis, as it is an immune pathology. Since I am only at the beginning of my PhD, I have some interesting findings and I can still take a different route or consider looking more deeply into certain findings. I think it helps you grow as a scientist to see different spaces. I like that I came early because the project is sort of defined but it doesn’t need to be that way. If you find something interesting at the beginning, you can still jump on that.

You are working on an infection that impacts exclusively women/people with a vulva and vagina. What is your experience in the scientific community working on this “gendered” problem? Do you think it is harder to get funded?

There is still more attention given to invasive candidiasis and I can get where people are coming from because it has the worst possible outcome, death. However, when we look at
the prevalence of different forms of candidiasis, vulvovaginal candidiasis sits right at the top. So whilst it does not cause mortality, quality of life is severely impacted. This together with the high prevalence means that it deserves some more attention.

More and more labs are making great efforts in creating awareness about female-specific diseases. For example, the lab of my second advisor Prof. Sarah Lebeer set up the Isala website in which they communicate their research findings on a scientific comprehensible level so that nonscientists can understand. I believe that these efforts highlight the importance of investigating female specific diseases and hopefully results in more funding.

Thanks a lot for the Interview!