Dr. Anja Nusser-Lamp



  • Evolution of the adaptive immune system
  • Thymus and T cell development

The main focus of my research projects is the exploration of thymus biology. I am interested in retracing the evolutionary trajectory of thymopoiesis from early vertebrates to mammals. During evolution different members of the Foxn1/4 transcription factor gene family guide differentiation of the thymic microenvironment. The comparison of these different Foxn1 family members highlights molecular features responsible for the generation of a lymphoid organ that is highly specialized in T cell development. 

Thymopoiesis critically depends on a functional thymic epithelial cell (TEC) compartment. Therefore, I am investigating TEC development as well as TEC heterogeneity using various experimental methods including bulk and single cell RNA sequencing especially in higher vertebrates. Studying thymus biology will positively impact the understanding and thus, the treatment of thymus-dependent autoimmune diseases.


  • Undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart, Germany (2003-2009)
  • PhD student at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland (2009-2013)
  • PhD Thesis “Hematopoietic Development and Immunological Tolerance” (2013)
  • since 2014 Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany

Selected publications:

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