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Scientific Minds


Diana Le Duc

Principal Investigator (MD/PhD)

Diana  is a medical doctor trained in human genetics. She has experience in comparative genomics, evolutionary genetics, bioinformatics, as well as molecular biology techniques for gene manipulation. She intends to advance comparative genomics to the benefit of human health.

Image by CDC

Marek Körner

PhD Student (MSc)

Marek is a biochemist by training. He joined the group in 2021 and has been working on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders using gene manipulation in Drosophila melanogaster in collaboration with the group from Dr. Nicole Scholz and the Prof. Langenhan Lab.


Linnaeus Bundalian

PhD Student (MSc)

Linnaeus is an experienced software developer and engineer. He has a keen interest in the application of computational methods to life science research. He joined the group in 2021 and works on developing computational methods to delineate the molecular mechanism of obesity-related genes in tight collaboration with Dr. Antje Garten's group.

Image by National Cancer Institute

Moritz Paha

MD Candidate

Moritz is a medical student who joined the group in Oktober 2021. He is testing in vitro pathogenic variants identified in patients with WDFY3-associated neurodevelopmental disorders in a collaboration with Dr. Antje Garten's group.

Scientist in the Lab

Julika Friedrich

MD Candidate

Julika has joined the group in March 2023. She is inquiring lipomas from patients with tuberous sclerosis and in a close collaboration with Dr. Antje Garten's group tests in vitro different therapeutic options.


Robert Künzel

MD Candidate

Robert is a medical student who joined the group in December 2023. He is working on identifying genes associated with monogenic obesity and determining the yield of genetic diagnostic for morbid obesity.

People and Open Positions: Lab Members

Open positions

Interested in joining the lab?

We are recruiting PhD students, master students in the field of bioinformatics and molecular biology, and medical students who wish to work scientifically. If you are interested please send an email to diana_leduc (at) or diana.leduc (at)


MD Student (Dr. med. Promotion)

in Genetic diagnostic yield of severe obesity for half a year.

Research Area: Human Genetics

This project is part of a DFG funded Collaborative Research Center, with subproject B10 that looks into molecular mechanisms of lipid accumulation.

Project background

Variants in at least ten different genes are known to cause severe monogenic obesity. Over the past 5 years, we have collected a cohort of ca. 500 patients with obesity, who underwent genetic diagnosis based on next generation sequencing of large clinical panels or exomes. We intend to reevaluate the cohort and identify heterozygous variants that weren’t initially reported, because the genetic disease follows an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. Such patients may currently be eligible for a clinical trial with a newly developed drug. Moreover, we intend to deeply characterize the patients and identify additional traits that predict a better diagnostic outcome. This work will have a big impact in defining which patients should mainly undergo genetic diagnosis and holds the potential of identifying new causative genes.

Candidate´s profile:

We expect a highly motivated medical student with a strong interest in research. The candidate should have very good communication skills (German and English) and be a team player. For this mainly computational doctoral thesis work, the candidate has to take at least one semester off. The student is expected to learn how to perform genetic diagnosis. No prior computational knowledge is needed, however we expect at least basic understanding of genetic notions.

We offer:

  • The candidate can gain insight in genetic diagnosis of diseases including exome and RNA sequencing.

  • We are an international research team and have strong collaborations with Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

  • The candidate will present results in seminars and (inter)national conferences.

  • We will support the candidate in writing up the results in form of a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


Please apply by email to Gabriela-Diana.LeDuc (at) in English and include a cover letter with a brief statement of research interest.

People and Open Positions: Open Positions


Elisabeth Jäger (PhD)

Check out her publication with us:

Zuqin Yang (MSc)

Check out her publication with us:

Carolin Meier (MSc)

Check out her publication with us:

Jessica Kromp (BSc)

Jessica did her Practical Rotation together with us and Isabell Schumann in a collaboration with the lab of Andreas Thum. She is currently writing up her contribution for a publication.

Akhil Velluva (PhD)

Akhil did his PhD  in bioinformatics (Dr. rer. nat.) with us and is currently doing a PostDoc at the 
Helmholtz-Institute of the DKFZ Mainz in Translational Oncology

People and Open Positions: Clients
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