Prof. Dr. Kevin Thurley, principle investigator

Kevin Thurley studied biophysics and applied mathematics at Humboldt University Berlin, followed by doctoral research on stochastic intracellular calcium signals in Berlin and Cambridge. In a first postdoc at Charite Berlin and a second postdoc at UC San Francisco, he combined mathematical modeling and quantitative data analysis in several research projects on circadian rhythms, cell motility and cell-cell-communication. In 2017, he returned to Berlin to start his own research group at German Rheumatism Research Center, where he works on an interdisciplinary framework to dissect the complex relationships among immune cells. In 2021, the Thurley group joined the mathematics in the life sciences initiative in Bonn, and is now part of the Immunosensation and Hausdorff Mathematics excellence clusters.
Email: kevin.thurley at

Lisa Steinheuer PhD, Postdoc

Lisa received her M.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Cologne. Switching from the wet to the dry lab, she conducted her Ph.D. project at the Helmholtz Center in Leipzig in the field of bioinformatics. There she focused on the evaluation and interpretation of algorithms and methods for single-cell transcriptomic data analyses. In the Thurley group, she is particularly interested in identifying cell-cell communication networks between immune cells. Outside work, she enjoys cooking, gathering with friends and family, and strolling through nature. 

Bastian Ulmer MD, guest scientist

Bastian studied medicine at the University of Cologne and subsequently began further training as a resident in pathology. In his MD thesis he focused on modeling cancer vulnerabilities by machine learning algorithms and transcriptomic data. He is interested in spatial analysis of the tumor architecture especially with regard to immune responses. Outside of work he likes to go surfing and climbing. 

Gino Kwon, PhD student

Gino has achieved his MSc. in Medical science from Yonsei University, the city of Seoul. He is interested in System-scale biological data, human disease, personalized treatment, genomic landscape, and single-cell sequencing technics. He is looking forward to applying simplified methods to multiple scaled data, hoping to assist in the discovery of biological factors. Previously, he worked in different industry fields  such as pattern recognition and prediction modeling. Out of desk, he likes arts, physical activities, and sports.

Patrick Brunner, PhD student

Patrick received his BSc in Physics from the University of Stuttgart and his MSc in Biophysics from the Humboldt University Berlin. During his PhD in the Thurley group he now applies mathematical modeling approaches to explore communication between immune cells in spatial networks. Outside of work Patrick likes to cook, dance and ride his bike throughout Berlin. 

Gemma Van der Voort, PhD student

Gemma has a BSc in Life Science and Technology from Delft University of Technology and Leiden University in the Netherlands. Switching fields and countries, she followed up with a MSc in Life Science Informatics at the University of Bonn. With this combined wet and dry lab knowledge, she is now tackling immune cell communication networks in the tumor microenvironment. When she is not working on her PhD, she enjoys training for a triathlon, playing the harp and reading. 

Lisa Li, PhD student

Lisa has a MSc in Mathematics at the University of Bonn, with a focus on stochastics, biological modelling and applications in cancer immunotherapy. Before that, she was studying and researching in pure maths at different locations, including Cambridge, Bonn and Beijing. In the Thurley lab, she mainly studies cell-cell communication of immune cells using spatio-temporal models. When not working, she likes to play table tennis and recharges her batteries while travelling and hiking. 

Amin Ghasemi, PhD student (jointly with Balling group at UKB)

As an electrical engineer-control with a master's degree from Tarbiat Modares University and a bachelor's degree from the Noshirvani University of Technology in Iran, Amin has changed his research path from computational neuroscience to systems biology. His current research aims to predict chronic diseases based on energy metabolism. Aside from research, Amin enjoys video games, photography, designing, and walking. 

Rosa Kreider, Msc Student and Student Assistant

Rosa studies mathematics in Bonn focusing on stochastics, numerics, and analysis. She is interested in mathematical approaches that address biological and medical questions. In the Thurley group, she focuses on image processing and segmentation. 

Anusha Joshi, Msc Student and Student Assistant

Anusha is a student of Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Bonn. In the Thurley group, she mainly focusses on Single-cell and Bioimage data analysis of cancer cells. Outside of work, Anusha likes to read, watch movies and travel. 

Joshua Schiffer, Msc student 

 Joshua is a mathematics student at University of Bonn focusing on stochastics as well as discrete mathematics. He is mainly interested in stochastic modelling, data analysis and combinatorial optimisation. In his master project in the Thurley group, he seeks to understand interactions and decision-making of T helper cells by introducing cell motility to spatio-temporal models. Outside of work, Joshua likes to play a good game of chess, cooking and travelling.  

Helene Glöckner, Msc student 

Helene studies Mathematics at University of Bonn, engaging primarily in Stochastics and Numerics. In the Thurley group, she works with different models of T-cell fate decision. In her free time, Helene enjoys playing Jugger, running and Volleyball. 

Umut Kazakoglu, Msc student 

Umut is a Life Science Informatics student at the University of Bonn. In the Thurley group, his main occupation will be analysis of cellular decision making models. Other than that, he likes sports, chess and to play any kind of competitive games. 

Lukas Kiwitz, Msc student and student assistant

Lukas is a biology and biophysics student at Humboldt University Berlin. In the Thurley group, he derives spatio-temporal model simulations of Th cell communication.

Alumni, graduations in the lab

  • Philipp Burt PhD (2018-2022), PhD Biophysics, now at Biontech Mainz.
  • Gustav Geißler (2019-2020), Msc Physics (Humboldt University Berlin).
  • Zuzanna Borek (2019-2020), guest scientist. 
  • Pau Pascual Mas (2020), Bsc Biotechnology (University of Barcelona). 
  • Paraskevi Voula Tassopoulou (2019), Msc Molecular Medicine  (Charite University Hospital Berlin). 
  • Sebastian Serve (2017-2018), Bsc Mathematics, student research project.