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Sáenz Group - People

Group Leader

James Sáenz

Research Group Leader "Bottom-up Synthetic Biology"

Administrative Assistant


Marén Gnädig

Maren did her apprenticeship as biological-laboratory assistant at the MPI of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund. in 2005 she joined the research group of Prof. Dr. Hurt of the Biochemistry Center in Heidelberg studying ribosome biogenesis, mRNA translation and decay in S. cerevisiae. In 2016 Maren joined the group of Prof. Dr. Stöcklin in Mannheim before she moved in September 2016 to Dresden to start with the Sáenz Lab.

Lisa Junghans

Lisa started her apprenticeship as biological-laboratory-assistant at MPI-CBG under supervision of Prof. Anthony Hyman's group in 2010. After finishing her apprenticeship, she began work as technician at the Protein and Chromatography Facility at MPI-CBG in 2014. Lisa joined the Sáenz Lab in 2016.


Sandra Rizk

Sandra is from Cairo, Egypt where she got her B.Sc. degree at the German University in Cairo majoring in Biotechnology, She then moved to Dresden, Germany to pursue a M.Sc. degree in molecular bioengineering, During her studies she worked as a student assistant in Simon Alberti’s lab (at the MPI-CBG) where she helped study the phase transition of proteins in response to stress. Sandra then did her Master thesis project with James Sáenz (then in Simons Lab, at MPI-CBG), and she started her Ph.D with the Sáenz Lab in 2016.

Tomasz Czerniak

Tomasz pursued a bachelors degree in biotechnology at the University of Wroclaw, Poland. His bachelor studies were focused on interactions between short-tailed resorcinols with erythrocyte membranes and liposome bilayers. During a 2 month internship in prof. Martin Hof group working with dr Piotr Jurkiewicz he worked on the chemical synthesis of an NBD-derivative probe and its interactions with liposome bilayers. For his master degree in the Biotechnology of Peptides and Proteins he focused on interaction of Zn(II) ion between zinc-hook peptide models from various organisms (prof. dr hab. Artur Krezel supervision). Following an 8 month internship in the MPI for Molecular Plant Physiology (MPIMP), where he focused on starch metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana (prof. Mark Stitt group, dr Eva-Theresa Pyl supervision) he started his PhD in TU-Dresden at the B CUBE in James Sáenz group in September 2017.

Nataliya Safronova

Nataliya is originally from Moscow, Russia. She received her double bachelor degree in Economics from London School of Economics and The Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She then received her master degree in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University, where she worked in a Tissue Engineering laboratory with the focus on cancer biology. Started her PhD in the Sáenz Lab in March 2017.


Grzegorz Chwastek

Grzegorz is a postdoc at B CUBE institute at Technical University Dresden, where he joined the group of James Sáenz in February 2017. He completed his PhD studies at DIGS-BB in the group of Petra Schwille. He conducted his postdoctoral work at MPI of Biochemistry in Martinsried, IMMF institute in Córdoba and Polish Academia of Science where he developed fluorescence assays to study lipid behaviour and phase separation in lipid systems.

Students and researchers

Ragunathan Bava Ganesh

Ragunathan is from Madurai, India and he completed his bachelor degree in Biotechnology from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. His bachelor studies involved in the development of shake flask models for mammalian cell lines. He is currently doing his Master degree in Molecular Bioengineering at TU Dresden. He joined the group of James Sáenz in December 2018 as Reasearch Assistant and also doing his Master thesis. His thesis work focuses on studying the interaction of Mycoplasma with synthetic model membrane systems.

Isaac Justice

BS. Stanford University

  • +49 351 463 43064


Jui-Szu Chen

Master's Student

Lisa Müller

Lisa was trained as biological-laboratory-assistant at MPI-CBG working in the Protein Expression and Purification Facility and the Group of Dr. Suzanne Eaton. When finishing her apprenticeship in 2018, she began to work as technician at the Genome Engineering Facility at MPI CBG. After starting to study Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at TU Dresden, she joined the Saenz lab to work as a student assistant.

Magdalena Rucinska

Application Specialist Life Science Automation Europe
Beckman Coulter GmbH

Bartosz Mateusz Kasprzak

Pure Biologics Inc., Wroclaw
Biophysical Analysis Group Specialist

Paowan Lee

Master's Student

Sean Keeley

Master's student