Head of Research Group


Senior Scientist






PhD students

Sabine studied Molecular Biology at the Paris-Lodron University in Salzburg and obtained her Bachelor´s degree in June 2015. She finished her Master thesis in the research group of Silja Wessler at the department of Molecular Biology in April 2017 on a project on bacterial proteases with putative functions in recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa in cooperation with the EB House in Salzburg. As a PhD student Sabine characterizes novel mechanisms in the pathogenesis of the bacterial class-I carcinogen Helicobacter pylori. In particular, she is interested in the regulation of the secreted H. pylori HtrA protease that cleaves the tumor suppressor and cell adhesion protein E-cadherin. Sabine is member of the Doctorate School PLUS “Biomolecules – Structure, Function and Regulation” (DSP BioM).


Marina studied Biomedical Engineering at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain, with a semester abroad at the University of Technology of Sydney focusing on tissue regeneration. In 2019 she received a master in Nanomedicine and Structural Biology from the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. During this period, she worked for the Research and Development department of Becton Dickinson. After finishing her studies, she returned to Madrid and worked as a research assistant in the Bioengineering department of her former university with 3D tissue cultures, microfluidics and imaging techniques. She joined the research group of Silja Wessler in 2021 to carry out her PhD as part of the Smart Specialization Center “Cancer Cluster Salzburg” with a focus on the establishment of gastric and colon organoids to gain insights into the relationship of microorganisms and colorectal cancer development.


Sebastian studied Medical Biology at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg and obtained his Master’s Degree in June 2018. During his Master thesis in the group of Silja Weßler, he investigated different variants and mutants of pathogenic factors expressed by clinical Helicobacter pylori isolates. Sebastian was selected as a member of the PhD program ICA (Immunity in Cancer and Allergy) and started with his PhD project in July 2018, focusing on the the regulation of signaling pathways in gastric epithelial cells and B-cells.


Dr. Iris Mühlbacher studied Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck. In 2019, she moved to the SALK in Salzburg and started in 2020 her training as a physician in general and visceral surgery. Iris is a PhD student of the Doctoral Programme in Medical Science at the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg. In a cooperation project headed by Prof. Dr. Klaus Emmanuel, Dr. Oliver Koch and Dr. Michael Weitzendorfer, she will investigate novel signal transduction pathways in Helicobacter pylori infections using gastric organoid models in the research group of Silja Weßler.


Master Students


Research Assistants