Deutsch Intern
Rudolf Virchow Center for Integrative and Translational Bioimaging

Heinze Group

About the Heinze Group

Discoveries in medicine and biosciences are frequently stimulated by the invention of new scientific tools. One of these fascinating tools is fluorescence microscopy, today an integral part of life sciences.

Molecular Microscopy

Our group develops such tools that improve spatial and temporal resolution in multi-dimensional fluorescence imaging ─ from the single molecule to the whole organ
For whole organ imaging we interweave in vivo, in vitro and in silico concepts by combining two-photon intravital microscopy, light-sheet microscopy and computational simulations. Here, we can elucidate cell-cell or cell-vessel interactions underlying thrombopoiesis, thrombus formation or immune response. 

Research Goal

For the (live) cell single molecule imaging we combine high-resolution concepts of fluorescence microscopy with tricks from physics and material sciences. Here, we design and nanofabricate biocompatible thin-film coatings that can serve as modified microscope substrates for faster high- and superresolution imaging of biological surfaces. Suitable for live cell applications, this approach offers the fascinating prospect of observing individual biomolecules and their interactions to learn about the underlying cellular process

Dec. 2020

Good Bye, Hannah!

Hannah is leaving the HeinzeLab to start as a postdoc at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), a leading research institute for life sciences in Portugal. She joins Ricardo Henriques group to study viral infections with super-resolution. We wish her all the best and thank her for the countless contributions that have shaped the HeinzeLab in recent years.

01.October 2020

Welcome Joachim Schenk!

Joachim is a new technician in our group. He is an engineer and will support the development of our new generation of Light-Sheet Fluorescence Microscopes.

01. August 2020

Welcome Dr. Ruiqi Liu!

Ruiqi is a new postdoctoral student in our group. She received a stipend from the University of Würzburg (SCIENTIA) and will use advanced FLIM-FRET Imaging to decipher the oligomeric state of the A and B alleles of the melanocortin 4 receptor in fish. Let's go and find the mechanism of puberty onset regulation in X. nigrensis and X. multilineatus!

31. August 2020

Welcome Luise Evers!
Luise is a new doctoral student (med.) in our group. She will use expansion microscopy to resolve receptor mapping and interactions in blood platelets.

3 August 2020

Welcome Janis Linke!
Janis is a new doctoral student (med.) in our group. He will use super-resolution microscopy to learn more about nerve architecture.

Juli 2020

Good-bye Sophia Maier and Christine Karus!
These fantastic doctoral students (med.) in our lab worked on platelet receptor distributions (Sophia) and protein architecture at Ranvier Nodes (Christine).

15 June 2020


Welcome Zornitsa Donova!
Zornista will support our group as a Lab-Technician.

13 May 2020

Congratulations to Hannah Heil who successfully defended her PhD thesis. We thank Dr. Heil for her outstanding work, and hope she will stay as a Postdoc in our group for a little while!

20 -24 Jul 2019

See you at the EBSA-IUPAP conference in Madrid. Katrin Heinze is invited to present recent work of her lab and will talk about "Looking into the nursery of platelets: Imaging of the bone marrow in vivo, in vitro and in silico“ in the session „Live Imaging and Optical Microscopy“

1 -4 Jul 2019

See you at the Microscience Microscopy Congress 2019 (mmc2019) at Manchester Central, UK. Katrin Heinze is invited to present recent work of her lab and will talk about "Lessons From The Glassy Bone: Spatial Regulation Of Thrombopoiesis In The Bone Marrow“ in the session „Frontiers: Light sheet microscopy - Imaging complex biological samples in time and space“

13 -17 Apr 2019

See you at the FOM2019 (Focus on Microscopy) conference! The Heinze Lab presents microscopy work from the cellular to the single molecule level. Congratulations to Hannah Heil and Ashwin Balakrishnan who where selected to give a talk.

16 Feb 2019

Welcome Deyan Nestorov! PhD candidate Deyan Nestorov works on mirror-enhanced fluorescence and will develop new concepts to further boost  superresolution imaging and spectroscopy to decipher receptor dynamics and interactions.

6 Dez 2018

Benjamin Schreiber successfully defended his PhD thesis, and left the group to accept a position with Carl Zeiss Meditec AG in Berlin. We thank him for his outstanding work, and wish him all the best for his future career!

David Stegner, Katrin G Heinze: Intravital imaging of megakaryocytes. Platelets. 2020 Mar 10:1-11. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2020.1738366. Online ahead of print.

Amich J, Mokhtari Z, Strobel M, Vialetto E, Sheta D, Yu Y, Hartweg J, Kalleda N, Jarick KJ, Brede C, Jordán-Garrote AL, Thusek S, Schmiedgen K, Arslan B, Pinnecker J, Thornton CR, Gunzer M, Krappmann S, Einsele H, Heinze KG*, Beilhack A*: Three-Dimensional Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy of Lungs To Dissect Local Host Immune-Aspergillus fumigatus Interactions. mBio. 2020 Feb 4;11(1):e02752-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02752-19. *corresponding author

Gorelashvili MG, Angay O, Hemmen K, Klaus V, Stegner D, Heinze KG. Megakaryocyte volume modulates bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. Haematologica. 2019 Jun 27. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.202010. [Epub ahead of print]

Hannah S. Heil, Benjamin Schreiber, Ralph Götz, Monika Emmerling, Marie-Christine Dabauvalle, Georg Krohne, Sven Hoefling, Martin Kamp, Markus Sauer, Katrin G. Heinze: Sharpening emitter localization in front of a tuned mirror; Light: Science and Applications; December 2018; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0104-z

Schreiber, Benjamin; Kauk, Michael; Heil, Hannah; Emmerling, Monika; Tessmer, Ingrid; Kamp, Martin; Höfling, Sven; Holzgrabe, Ulrike; Hoffmann, Carsten; Heinze, Katrin: Enhanced fluorescence resonance energy transfer in G protein-coupled receptor probes by nano-coated microscopy coverslips; ACS Photonics, March 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.8b00072

Stegner D, vanEeuwijk JMM, Angay O, Gorelashvili MG, Semeniak D, Pinnecker J, Schmithausen P, Meyer I, Friedrich M, Dütting S, Brede C, Beilhack A, Schulze H, Nieswandt B, Heinze KG. Thrombopoiesis is spatially regulated by the bone marrow vasculature. Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 25;8(1):127. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00201-7.

Current position

W3 Professor of Molecular Microscopy at the Rudolf Virchow Center of the University of Würzburg (since March 2020)

Research Experience

2017-2020 W2 Professor of Molecular Microscopy at the Rudolf Virchow Center of the University of Würzburg
2011-2017 Group Leader at the Rudolf Virchow Center (RVZ) of the University of Würzburg, Germany
2006-2010 Head of the Optical Engineering Group, Independent staff scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
2004-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University with Prof. Dr. Wiseman and Prof. Dr. De Koninck*, Montreal, QC, Canada, *Laval University, Quebec City, QC, Canada
2002-2004 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dresden University of Technology/Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics with Prof. Dr. Schwille, Dresden, Germany


 2002              Ph.D. in Physics (“summa cum laude”), graduation from C.-v.-Ossietzky-University Oldenburg, Germany


  • Postdoctoral Fellow of the Max-Planck Society, Germany (2004-2005)
  • Picoquant Student Award for the ‘Best Student Talk’, 7th international workshop on ‘Single Molecule Detection and Ultra-Sensitive Analysis in the Life Sciences’, Picoquant, Berlin, Germany, annually awarded  (2002)
  • Otto-Hahn-Medal for the ‘development of high-sensitive methods for intracellular analysis of biomolecular interactions’, Max Planck Society, Hamburg, Germany, annually awarded for outstanding scientific achievements (2002)

Further training & research

  • Research stay with Prof. Dr. Waxham at the University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX, USA; Research project: Establishing an instrumental platform for single molecule detection(2002)
  • Carl-Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany, dept. semiconductor technology; Research project: Nonlinear optical properties of single CaF2 crystals (1997-1998)
  • Instituto Canario de Ciencias Marinas (ICCM), Telde, Spain, including a scientific ship expedition (one week), Atlantic Ocean; Research project: Fluorescence spectroscopy of Sea Water(1997)



Member - Graduate School of Life Sciences    
Supervisor und Member of different promotion committees - Graduate School of Life Sciences/Biomedicine


Courses can be found here.

03980151 Für Biomediziner Literaturseminar (englisch) WS 2017/18
03980160 Literaturseminar "Microscopy Journal Club" für wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter WS 2017/18
03980610 Seminar für Diplomanden und Doktoranden WS 2017/18
03984000 Grundlagen der computergestützten Bildverarbeitung und Analyse in der modernen Lichtmikroskopie WS2017/18
03984010 Bildgebende Verfahren in den Lebenswissenschaften WS 2017/18
03988160 Literaturseminar für wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter WS 2017/18
03988180 Einführung in lichtmikroskopische Untersuchungen mittels Fluoreszenz für Doktoranden / Diplomanden WS 2017/18
03988190 Analyse und Auswertung von 3D-Bildstapeln für Doktoranden/Diplomanden WS 2017/18
03988410 Fluoreszenzverfahren in der Biomedizin WS 2017/18
03990910 Molekularbiologisches Methodenpraktikum - Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum.