Prof. Dr. med. Inga Katharina Koerte, M.D.
The overarching goal of Dr. Koerte’s research is to investigate the effects of brain trauma on the brain’s structure and function, as well as the development of diagnostic markers that can be used for the purpose of both therapeutic, and preventative interventions. Her research focuses on the most vulnerable traumatic brain injury (TBI) patient cohorts – children, adolescents, and women.
Dr. Koerte was the first to show alterations in the brain’s microstructure following repetitive subconcussive head impacts in young athletes without a history of concussion, as well as structural changes in ice hockey players over the course of a play season. Together with her team, she detected signs of accelerated aging and neuroinflammation associated with exposure to repetitive brain trauma, identified risk factors, and biomarkers for neurodegeneration after brain trauma. Dr. Koerte is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. She is the principal investigator of a study elucidating the effects of sex in sports-related concussion funded by the National Institutes of Health (RO1 NINDS). She is the Coordinator of a European multi-site study on the effects of repetitive head impacts in youth athletes (REPIMPACT), and a Co-leader of an international, multi-center initiative on large-scale analyses of neuroimaging data in sports-related concussion and pediatric TBI (ENIGMA). Dr. Koerte is associate faculty of the Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience in Munich, Germany.
In summary, Dr. Koerte has a record of accomplished and productive high-impact research projects in an area of high relevance to public health. Her research utilizes and further develops cutting-edge technology to address brain alterations following brain injury and aims to lead to a new understanding of brain processes following traumatic brain injury. This new understanding will, in turn, open up new horizons for early diagnosis, effective therapeutic approaches, and prevention of long-term sequelae, for which she is most committed.
Dr. rer. nat. Saskia Rusche (née Steinmann)
Saskia joined cBrain in 2023 as senior scientist. Previously she was Co-Director of the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Branch (PNB) at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, lecturer at the University of Hamburg and visiting scientist at the Harvard Medical School's Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory (PNL). The aim of her work is to use multimodal neuroimaging techniques (EEG, fMRI, EEG-fMRI, and dMRI) to study the pathophysiology of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Throughout her career she has received several scholarships and is author of over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Saskia is particularly known for her work on brain hemispheric dysfunction as a mediating factor behind auditory-verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia translating into the „interhemispheric miscommunication theory“. Saskia holds a M.A. from LMU Munich and a PhD from the University of Hamburg.
Contact Saskia: saskia.rusche [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Senior Administrative Assistant
Anja Betz, M.Sc.
Anja joined cBRAIN in 2021 for her thesis project and graduated in 2023 with a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Afterward, she stayed at cBRAIN as a research coordinator. Her active research interests lie at the intersection of neuropsychology and neuroimaging: physiological and psychological consequences of mTBI, prognosis and early potential for intervention, as well as the statistical modeling of neuroimaging data. In 2022, she visited HMS for a research internship.
Contact Anja: anja.betz [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Post-Docs & Visiting Scientists
Dr. med. Annika Cecil Bertram, M.D., B.Sc.
Annika earned her B.Sc. in Business Administration from Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg in 2014. In 2020, she successfully graduated from medical school at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. She has a keen interest in psychiatry and the potential to visualize psychopathologies through imaging techniques. In 2021, while working as a resident physician in neuroradiology at the University Hospital Heidelberg, she gained expertise in neuroimaging. Her doctoral thesis focused on imaging techniques in maxillofacial surgery and was successfully defended in 2022.
In the same year, Annika transitioned to Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, aiming to expand her knowledge of mental disorders in childhood and adolescence. As an experienced resident physician in child and adolescent psychiatry, she joined cBRAIN in 2023. Her research revolves around integrating neuroimaging techniques and neuropsychology in the study of brain development.
Contact Annika: annika.bertram[at]med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Elena Bonke, Ph.D.
Elena is a visiting scientist at cBRAIN since 2023 after completing her Ph.D. at cBRAIN and the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN). In 2020, she additionally joined the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA as a research trainee. Her main interests are applying multimodal neuroimaging techniques to study both brain development in the healthy brain in association with motor development, as well as brain development in the injured brain after (sport-related) concussion.
Contact Elena: elena.bonke [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Julie Joyce, M.Sc.
Julie holds a Master’s degree in medical science with a specialization in medical imaging and a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Calgary. She joined cBRAIN in 2022 to investigate the effects of traumatic brain injury and repetitive head impacts on brain metabolism. In 2023, she additionally joined the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Contact Julie: julie.joyce [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
PD Dr. med. Elisabeth Kaufmann, M.D.
Dr. med. Vivian Schultz, M.D.
Dr. med. Johanna Seitz-Holland, M.D., B.Sc.
PD Dr. med. Nico Sollmann, M.D., Ph.D., B.A.
Alberto Villagran, M.Sc.
Luisa Berger, B.Sc.
Leonard is a medical student at LMU and a doctorate student at cBRAIN since 2019. Using advanced MRI techniques, he investigates the impact of contact sports on brain clearance and accelerated aging processes. Leonard has received the LMU- international medical research scholarship (iFo MeCuM) and the LMU-Harvard research scholarship.
Contact Leo: leonard.jung [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Cara Lynn Kim
Cara is a medical student at the Technical University of Munich and joined cBRAIN as a doctorate student in 2019. Her main interest lies in the field of traumatic brain injuries and the long-term consequences of repetitive head impacts in athletes. Cara is holding scholarships from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
Contact Cara: cara.kim [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Zheyuan Li, M.Sc.
Zheyuan is a Ph.D. student at cBRAIN. He graduated and received his Master’s degree from Peking University, where he finished his clinical training and research in the neurology department. He is mainly interested in the correlation between clinical characteristics and advanced neuroimaging in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Zheyuan is holding a scholarship from the CSC program.
Contact Zheyuan: zheyuan.li [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Hanneke MacLaren, B.Sc.
Hanneke is enrolled in the Fast-Track PhD programme within the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN) and will start her PhD at cBRAIN in October 2022. She completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Her main interests are the influence of sex differences on normal and post-traumatic brain development, as well as neuro-immune interactions.
Contact Hanneke: hanneke.maclaren [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Lisa is a medical student at LMU and joined cBRAIN as a research assistant in 2021. Due to her interests in neuroimaging and the effects of PTSD and mTBI on the human brain, she has continued to work as a doctorate student since April 2023. For her research stay as a research trainee at the PNL, HMS, she was funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Travel Grant. Lisa is holding scholarships of the Barthel Foundation and the Hans-Rudolf-Foundation.
Contact Lisa: lisa.nguyen [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Lara is a medical student at LMU. Funded by LMU's FöFoLe program she joined cBRAIN as a doctorate student in 2020. Her main interest lies in sex differences underlying brain structural changes after sport-related brain injury. Also, she will be involved in analyzing diffusion tensor imaging in mild traumatic brain injury in young soccer players in Munich. She is looking forward to spending a research semester at PNL, HMS in 2021.
Contact Lara: lara.pankatz [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de
Paul is a medical student at TU Munich and joined the team in 2019 as doctorate student. His interests lie in the assessment of advanced imaging techniques for clinical application and the long term effects of TBI on the human brain. He is therefore working on data of sports related brain injuries and sex differences in TBI rehabilitation and is spending a semester at PNL, HMS.
Contact Paul: paul.raffelhueschen.extern [at] med.uni-muenchen [dot] de