Group Members

Group Leader

Joel Selkrig Dr. rer. nat.
University W1 Junior Professor for Mucosal Infection Biology (Tenure Track)
Phone: +49 241 80-88351

Joel completed his Bachelor of Science degree (majoring in Medical and Molecular Microbiology) with honors in the lab of Cynthia Whitchurch, where he studied the role of extracellular DNases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. He then undertook his PhD in the lab or Trevor Lithgow, where he co-discovered a novel secretion machine (the Translocation and Assembly Module – TAM) that diverse Gram-negative bacteria use to transport adhesive proteins to the bacterial cell surface. For his first postdoctoral appointment, he then moved to Singapore in the lab of Sven Pettersson (NTU) to study how commensal gut microbiota modulate animal behavior and brain function. He then moved to the EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany) as an EMBO Long Term and EIPOD fellow where he adapted and established several proteome-wide approaches to enable the discovery of novel mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions.

Since February 2022, he joined the Medical Microbiology Department at the RWTH University Hospital in Aachen as a W1 Junior Professor in Mucosal Infection Biology. His research focusses on using proteomics as a tool to drive the discovery of effector proteins secreted by human gut microbiota, with the aim of elucidating their role in human health and disease.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Marlène Birk, PhD

Marlène completed her Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural sciences at Giessen University and then moved to Wageningen to pursue a master’s degree in plant biotechnology, with a specialized focus on plant‐microbe interactions. For her PhD Marlène joined the laboratory of Emmanuelle Charpentier at the Max‐Planck‐Unit for the Science of Pathogens where she developed a new LC‐MS‐based multiplexed protein quantification method to simultaneously determine time‐resolved protein degradation and synthesis in Listeria monocytogenes during infection. In May 2022 she joined the Selkrig Lab at the University Hospital Aachen. 

Technical Assistant (TA)

Ingrid Breuer, TA

After completing her Chemistry Technical Assistant (CTA) education at RWTH University Aachen, Ingrid switched from chemistry to biology. There she began as technician in the special botany research group of Prof. M. Frentzen at RWTH University Aachen, where she gained experience in cell culture and molecular biology. Ingrid subsequently joined the Medical Microbiology Department at the University Hospital in Aachen as member in the RLS within the group of Dr. M. van der Linden, where she worked with Streptococcus pneumoniae. After three years, she then moved to the Department of Neurology and joined the Chorea Huntington research group of Prof. C. Kosinski. There she began working with mouse models, performing immune histochemistry and organizing everything with respect to running the lab.  After Prof. C. Kosinski left the hospital, Ingrid moved to the Medical Clinic III of the University Hospital in Aachen in the research group of Prof. P. Strnad. There she was working with mouse models of Alpha1-antitrysin deficiency and its liver manifestations, as well as organizing the lab and assisting PhDs and Postdocs with their experiments. In October 2022 she joined the Selkrig Lab at the Medical Microbiology Department of the University Hospital in Aachen.

PhD student

Stephanie Sefried
PhD student

Steffi completed her bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science at the University of Hohenheim. She then moved to Marburg for her master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, where she conducted her master thesis in the lab of Prof. Leon Schulte. Thereafter, she worked first in the pharma industry and then at the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University Hospital Tübingen, in the context of malaria infections and immunizations. In April 2024, she joined the Selkrig Lab at the University Hospital Aachen for her PhD. Her project focuses on the investigation of how Salmonella interacts with its hosts and more specifically, how secreted effectors affect the host lipids and transport proteins and their impact on the intracellular life cycle of Salmonella.

PhD student

Ning Qu
PhD student

Ning completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Tübingen, where she then continued to pursue her master’s degree in Microbiology. During her master’s studies, she joined Dr. Schwarz’s lab at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Hospital Tübingen, where she conducted her master’s thesis entitled “Immunoproteomic identification of in vivo induced Pseudomonas aeruginosa antigens”. In October 2023, she joined the Selkrig Lab at the University Hospital Aachen.

Bachelor student

Tarik Baykara
Bachelor student

Tarik is a biotechnology student at the Fachhochschule Aachen. He joined the Selkrig lab in June 2022 for a practical semester and is currently pursuing his Bachelor thesis. His research focuses on investigating the role of SteC-mediated phosphorylation of target host proteins during Salmonella infection and its impact on the pathogenesis of Salmonella. The project is carried out in close collaboration with Jörg Vervoorts-Weber (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University Hospital Aachen).