Group members

Prof. Dr. Claudia Höbartner

Lehrstuhl für Organische Chemie I
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg
Raum: C1, 03.001
Telefon: +49 931 31-89693

Dr. Irene Bessi

Raum: 03.037/03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-81211

Irene studied Chemistry at the University of Florence (Italy), where she graduated in 2010. She then moved to Germany and pursued her PhD at the Goethe University Frankfurt under the supervision of Harald Schwalbe. She received her PhD in 2016 with a thesis on NMR of G-quadruplex structures. After a first postdoctoral period in the same group, she joined the group of Claudia Höbartner as postdoctoral fellow. Her research focuses on the application of NMR spectroscopy to study structure and interactions of nucleic acids, including fluorogenic aptamers, ribozymes and synthetically modified duplexes.

Hsuan-Ai Chen

PhD Student
Raum: 03.005 / 03.011
Telefon: +49 931 31-85275

Coming from the scenic east Taiwan, Hsuan-Ai started her journey in science from the double bachelor’s degree in chemistry and life science in National Cheng Kung University and moved across the globe to pursue a master education in biochemistry at the University of Würzburg, Germany. With the interdisciplinary nourishment from chemistry and biology, she developed interest in nucleic acid research with a focus on structural interrogation of ribozymes and deoxyribozymes. After finishing her master thesis in the Höbartner lab, she continues her adventure in X-ray crystallography of functional nucleic acids. She wishes to have a green thumb to grow not only diffractive crystals in the lab but also diverse plants in her small garden.

Sarah Christopher

PhD Student
Raum: 03.005/03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-82817

Sarah is from Tamil Nadu, India and she received her MSc degree in Chemistry in 2023 from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. She completed her Masters thesis under Dr. Reji Varghese, working on supramolecular assemblies. She then joined the Höbartner group for her PhD in September of 2023. She works now on the discovery of new ribozymes to detect epitranscriptomic modifications in RNA. She is interested in the detection of RNA modifications for the diagnosis of various related diseases. Outside the lab, she spends her time cooking spicy food, reading classic novels and attending concerts.

Dr. Julia Dietzsch

Raum: 03.005 / 03.027
Telefon: +49 931 31-80084

Julia studied Chemistry at the University of Göttingen where she joined the Höbartner lab during her master’s studies in 2017 and started to work on fluorogenic nucleic acid systems. During that time, she developed an interest in the synthetic and biochemical work with colorful compounds. She therefore decided to move with the lab to Würzburg to continue with her PhD thesis in which she focused on nucleic acid mediated assembly of merocyanine dyes and  fluorescence activation of small chromophores by aptamers. Since 2022 she pursues her research as a postdoc working on different kinds of emitting biopolymer systems. If she is not in front of her hood or the solid phase synthesizer, you will most likely find her running around Würzburg, in the bouldering gym or on her racing bike.

Evgeniia Dorinova

PhD Student
Raum: 03.011 / 03.005
Telefon: +49 931 31-80515

Evgeniia studied Organic Chemistry at the Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies, Moscow and received her bachelor’s degree in 2018. During her master’s studies, she worked at the Engelhard Institute of Molecular Biology, RAS, Moscow where she was involved in the development of an environmentally friendly method for synthesis of biologically important nucleosides based on enzymatic transglycosylation. In 2020, she graduated from the Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies, Moscow with a 1st class honor degree in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry. By the end of her master’s studies, she had developed a deep interest in biochemistry of nucleic acids and was highly motivated to pursue her PhD studies in the related field. In 2021, Evgeniia was awarded a Bayhost Fellowship which financially supports her as a PhD student in the Höbartner group. Her current research project focuses on in vitro selection of novel modified ribozymes. Outside the lab, Evgeniia is into learning German and enjoys running, music and knitting/crocheting.

Dr. Doris Feineis

Research Associate
Raum: C1, 03.004
Telefon: +49 931 31-84753

Nikolas Farn

PhD Student
Raum: 03.027 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-83811

After joining the group first in late 2019 for his bachelor thesis, Nikolas immediately revealed his passion for nucleic acid chemistry. He deepened his synthetic and biochemical skills further during his master internship and master thesis in 2021. Since 2022, Nikolas is a PhD student. In his research, Nikolas combines conventional organic synthesis with biochemical and enzymatic approaches with a particular focus on in vitro evolution of catalytic nucleic acids with novel functions. Following the motto “science first”, Nikolas enjoys going to the gym at the evening as well as travelling and going out at the weekend.

Maria Greve

PhD Student
Raum: 03.029 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-81723

Maria was born in the Sauerland. After 18 years in the middle of nowhere she decided to study chemistry in Würzburg, which she completed with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She first came into contact with the field of nucleic acids during an internship in August 2021. In this internship she synthesized and characterized new ligands for the Chili aptamer. In April 2023 she rejoined the group for her master thesis, in which she studied the relationship between the structure of different Chili-ligand systems and their fluorescence properties. In February 2024 she started her PhD project with a focus on the characterisation and mechanistic investigation of functional RNA systems using NMR spectroscopy. In her spare time, she crochets and knits. Additionally, the entire working group benefits from her baking skills.

Konstantin Isenberg

PhD Student
Raum: 03.029

Tina Jungnickel

PhD Student
Raum: 03.029 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31 84750

Tina studied chemistry at the University of Würzburg and first came into contact with nucleic acid chemistry during her bachelor´s thesis in the Höbartner lab. Here, she synthesized modified RNA to study its interactions with proteins. Ever since her interest for nucleic acids only grew as she rejoined the group for her master´s thesis where she worked on the in vitro selection of ribozymes which can catalyze RNA alkylation. In Oktober 2023 she started her PhD to continue her work on catalytic RNAs. Outside the lab you may find her reading fantasy books in the sun or cuddling every cat that is not fast enough to run away.

Eleonore Klaus

Office Administration
Gebäude: Geb. C1, Hubland Süd
Raum: C1, 03.003
Telefon: +49 931 31-87783
Foto Eleonore Klaus

Nora Marie Knickmeier

PhD student
Raum: 03.011 / 03.005
Telefon: +49 931 31-89785

Nora obtained her bachelor's degree in chemistry with a focus on theoretical chemistry at the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg. Her journey led her to the Höbartner Lab, where she embarked on her master's degree and continues to pursue her Ph.D. Driven by a fervent curiosity, Nora explores the intricate functions of catalytic RNA molecules. Those molecules might be involved in the origin of life and her special interest is to find a new ribozyme with polymerase activity. She brings a unique perspective to her research, where she aims at merging the worlds of organic synthesis with theoretical chemistry and experimental biochemistry in her pursuit of understanding ribozymes.

Sophie Korgitzsch

Master student
Raum: 03.027
Telefon: +49 931 31-86373

Sophie began her Bachelor´s studies in chemistry at the university of Würzburg in 2017 before moving to France in 2019 where she studied chemistry and chemical engineering at CPE Lyon as part of a Franco-German double diploma program. Afterwards, Sophie did a one-year research stay in medicinal chemistry from 2021 to 2022 at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She moved back to Würzburg in 2022 to complete her Master´s studies, specializing in organic synthesis and homogenous catalysis. Currently, she is a Master´s student in the Höbartner lab, working on modified nucleic acids for delivery. Outside the lab, she enjoys learning about different cultures and languages as well as playing capoeira.

Ann-Kathrin Lenz

Lab Technician
Gebäude: Geb. C1, Hubland Süd
Raum: 03.011
Telefon: +49 931 31-86113

Ann-Kathrin was trained as a laboratory technician in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Würzburg and has since been working at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. After a brief stay in the Würthner group she joined the Höbartner lab in 2018. Since then she has a supporting role in almost every project in the biochemistry labs, especially regarding cloning of in vitro selection libraries and the expression of proteins. Beyond that she is often contacted for many technical-organizational worries and needs in the working group. Outside of the lab she enjoys spending her time on the tennis court.

Manuela Michel

Lab Technician
Gebäude: Geb. C1, Hubland Süd
Raum: 03.029
Telefon: +49 931 31-89411

Marius Müldner

Master Student
Raum: 03.027
Telefon: +49 931 31-89235

Marius moved from his small village to the city of Heidelberg, where he completed his
bachelor's degree at the University of Heidelberg. He developed a strong interest in
biological processes, which led him to investigate gene silencing via the piRNA pathway
in his bachelor thesis at the Center for Biochemistry Heidelberg . He found his way to
Würzburg to pursue a master's degree in chemistry, focusing on biochemistry and organic
chemistry in his further education. After spending part of his education at Umeå
University in Sweden in 2022, he joined the Höbartner group for a research internship and
returned one year later for his current master's thesis, which focuses on functional
nucleic acids for RNA alkylation. When he is not working in the lab, he enjoys running,
swimming and spending time adventuring in nature.

Foto Marius Müldner

Dr. Hermann Neitz

Raum: 03.035 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-85731

Hermann received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry and his M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Göttingen. There he specialized in chemical biology with a focus on peptide chemistry. To learn more about the fascinating world of nucleic acids, he moved to Würzburg for his PhD and joined the Höbartner lab. His research focuses on the development of novel systems with hydrophobic recognition motifs, leading to new opportunities in nucleic acid research. He is currently continuing his research as a postdoctoral fellow to create innovative bioconjugates. Outside of the lab, he still challenges himself with everything from improving his runtimes to playing all kinds of computer games.

Dr. Takumi Okuda

Gebäude: Geb. C1, Hubland Süd
Raum: 03.037 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-87541

Dominik Rappert

PhD Student
Raum: 03.029 / 03.011
Telefon: +49 931 31 81277

Dominik studied Chemistry at the University of Würzburg where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2021. He stayed in Würzburg to pursue his master studies in Chemistry during which he first got to know the field of biological and nucleic acid chemistry. After a semester abroad at the San Diego State University (USA) he joined the Höbartner lab for his master's thesis, working on modified RNA oligonucleotides. After graduation he continued working in the Höbartner group as a PhD student. His research interests lay in the field of RNA Therapeutics, and he is a part of the graduate program RNAmed.

Luisa Reiser

PhD Student
Raum: 03.029 / 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31 81683

Luisa was born in Augsburg and moved to Ulm for her bachelor studies, where she did her bachelor thesis in the group of Max von Delius working on C60-fullerene based charge-shuttling rotaxanes. During her studies she developed a particular interest in medicinal and biological chemistry, leading her to move back to Bavaria to pursue her master’s degree in the beautiful city of Würzburg, with focus on organic and medicinal chemistry. She had her first interaction with the Höbartner group during a master internship and came back one year later for her master thesis, where she worked on in vitro selection of fluorogenic aptamers. After a research internship in Sweden, during which she investigated the stabilization of G-quadruplexes in oncogenes by ligation of small molecules, she rejoined the group for her PhD to further work on fluorogenic aptamers and functional nucleic acids. During her free time, Luisa likes to go running and working out and enjoys anything that has to do with music.

Paula Roth

Lab Technician
Raum: 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-80881

Paula started her apprenticeship to become a chemical laboratory assistant at the Universität Würzburg in 2019. During this time she got the opportunity to learn many techniques in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and biochemistry. After her final exam she joined the Höbartner group as a technician and supports different projects in the chemistry and biochemistry labs.

Dr. Carolin Scheitl

Raum: 03.011 / 03.005
Telefon: +49 931 31-81874

Carolin studied Chemistry and Biology at the University of Würzburg to become a teacher, during which time she developed her interest in organic and bioorganic chemistry. After completing her first state exam in 2017, she decided to pursue a carrier in the laboratory instead of continuing her work as a high school teacher. During her subsequent master’s studies she made her first contact with the Höbartner lab and the world of functional nucleic acids. With her work on catalytic RNAs, she received her MSc in Chemistry in 2019. As part of her following PhD studies in the Höbartner group, she developed and characterized the first methyltransferase ribozyme (MTR1). Since 2023, she has continued her research as a postdoc in the same lab focusing on expanding the toolbox of functional nucleic acids for the targeted modification of DNA and RNA. Outside the lab, she can often be found in the gym where she is preparing for upcoming wheel gymnastics competitions.

Dr. Eva Schöller

Raum: 03.011 / 03.005
Telefon: +49 931 31-84901

Eva obtained her Bachelor`s degree in Biochemistry in Würzburg and completed her studies with her master`s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Erlangen. Her interest in RNA biology and RNA modification was sparked during her PhD in Gunter Meister`s group at the University of Regensburg. During her work, she investigated the mitochondrial tRNA modification m3C and its associated protein METTL8. She continues her RNA biology research as a postdoctoral researcher in the Höbartner lab, expressing and applying functional nucleic acids in both bacterial and eukaryotic cells.

Dr. Manisha B. Walunj

Raum: 03.010
Telefon: +49 931 31-89160

Manisha has pursued her masters in Organic Chemistry from Savitribai Phule Pune University, India. In 2020, she completed her PhD degree in Chemical Biology from the Indian Institute of Science and Education (IISER) Pune, India, where she also volunteered at the COVID-19 testing center. Her doctoral research in Srivatsan Lab involved developing metal-mediated reactions for the labeling of nucleic acids. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher in the Höbartner group. Her current research interest is ‘synthesis of modified cofactors analogues and in vitro selection of ribozyme for site specific RNA labelling’. Outside of her research work, Manisha enjoys reading philosophy books and sketching, which helps her relax and unwind after a busy day in the lab.

Office Administration

Bachelor Students

Apprentice / HiWi