Head of research group

Prof. Dr. med. Axel Heep

Prof. Dr. Torsten Plösch


Christina Sobirey

0441 798-4011


Research group management

Prof. Dr. med. Axel Heep


Professor of Pediatrics, University of Oldenburg (since 10/18)

Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Bristol Medical School, Translational Health Sciences University of Bristol, UK, (since 31/10/2011)

Fellow of the Royal College for Pediatrics and Child Health (01/04/2013)

Research: Focus on my research activity is experimental and basic clinical research on neuropathological mechanism contributing to the scenario of perinatal braininjury.

Since 2015, I am a member/collaborator of the Stem cells and the Neurodegeneration Research Group (Prof. J. Uney) University of Bristol, UK. Our research projects focus on characterization of neural progenitor cells and molecular signalling (microRNA, cytokine / IGF pathways) in the cerebrospinal fluid of newborn infants.

Since 2008, I have been involved in research projects on functional MR imaging of preterm infants. This research on functional neonatal neuroimaging is regarded to be pioneering work in this field and has given valuable contribution to the development of the Neonatal Neuroimaging project led by Prof. K. Luyt and Prof. R. Kauppinen at the CRIC Bristol and  "Brain activity and development of connectivity in the neonatal brain at rest using ultrafast multiband MRI.

Current neonatal MRI studies focus on structural and functional development of brain connectivity and audio-visual integration in the developing brain.

Prof. Dr Torsten Plösch


Torsten Plösch studied biology at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and received his PhD in 2004 from the University of Groningen. He then established Epigenetic Programming as a new research focus at the University Medical Center Groningen. He was appointed as adjunct professor of experimental perinatology in 2019.

In 2020, Torsten joined the Perinatal Neurobiology group at Oldenburg university where he currently heads the lab facility. He published more than 80 peer reviewed papers.

Torsten is a board member of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. Furthermore, he serves as associate editor of the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and Epigenetics Communications.


Christina Sobirey

0441 798 4011

Research assistant

Dr. med. Matthias Lange


Matthias Lange studied medicine at the Medical University of Hannover (MHH), Germany. In 2015, he completed his training as a pediatrician and then specialised in neonatology. In 2018, he started working at the department of pediatric intensive care at the University of Oldenburg. After a year of deepening his knowledge, he became senior physician in the department of neonatology in Oldenburg. He supervises medical students from the EMS in the context of either clinical-oriented publications or doctoral theses concerning neonatology or pediatric intensive care. In 2019, he joined the perinatal neurobiology group.


Twincore Laboratory - Hanover

CAPNet Foundation


Procalcitonin and valuable clinical symptoms in the early detection of neonatal late-onset bacterial infection. Bohnhorst B, Lange M, Bartels DB, Bejo L, Hoy L, Peter C. Acta Paediatr. 2012 Jan;101(1):19-25. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Closed versus open endotracheal suctioning in extremely low-birth-weight neonates: a randomized, crossover trial. Pirr SM, Lange M, Hartmann C, Bohnhorst B, Peter C.Neonatology, 2013;103(2):124-30.Epub 2012 Dec 1.

Differential Diagnosis of headache and vertigo:Topical minoxidil, self medication should be considered. Repkes L, Lange M, Stange M, Das AM. Journal of Headache & Pain Managment, 2016; Vol. 1 No.3:22.

Severe methemoglobinemia caused by continous lidocaine infusion in a term neonateBohnhorst B, Hartmann H, Lange M. Eur. J Paediatr Neurol. 2017 May;21(3):576-579

A Short Neonatologic Case Report: Salt Cod and Blue Lips. Bohnhorst B, Happel CM, Lange M. Clin Padiatr. 2018 Oct;230(6):336-338.

Ultrasound assessment of gastric emptying time in preterm infants: a prospective observational study . Beck CE, Witt L, Albrecht L, Winstroth AM, Lange M, Dennhardt N, Boethig D, Sümpelmann R. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2019 Jun;36(6):406-410.

The Pneumology Case: Acute respiratory insufficiency of initially unclear etiology.Lange M, Uphoff F, Seidenberg J. Paediatric Allergology and Pulmonology 2019.

Primary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (Chédiak-Higashi syndrome) triggered by an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection in a 6-week-old infant. Lange M, Linden T, Müller HL, Flasskuehler AM, Koester H, Lehmberg K, Ledig S, Ehl S, Heep A, Beske F. Br J Haematol. 2021 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/bjh.17669. ahead of print. PMID: 34132389.

Lack of capacity concerning the transport system of neonates and pediatric intensive care patients - A regional survey in the north-western of Germany. Lange M. Schumacher S, Figura Y, Günther U, Mitzlaff B. DER NOTARZT, 2021 Jun 12.ahead of print

Research assistant

Dr. med. habil Carsten Friedrich


Carsten Friedrich studied medicine at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. During his doctoral thesis, pediatric residency (University-Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany) and pediatric-oncology fellowship (University-Medical Center Leipzig, Germany) he had a focus on experimental and clinical research in pediatric neuro-oncology. Since 2020 he works as the leading senior physician of the Department of General Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, University Children's Hospital in Oldenburg, Germany.

Carsten Friedrich is excited to work on research questions that are interesting to the Perinatal Neurobiology group and the neuro-oncological community as pediatric brain tumor patients suffer from brain injuries due to the tumor, therapies or predisposition.

Research assistant and teaching coordinator paediatrics

Dr. rer.nat. Cornelia Hinz


Cornelia Hinz studied biology and received her PhD from the University of Oldenburg in 2012. Her previous work focused on the genetic background and molecular mechanisms of olfactory recognition and imprinting in the model organism Danio rerio, the zebrafish. She investigated the relationship between genotype and phenotype of individuals and how early experiences in life can affect imprinting, signal recognition and the behavioural response.

Since 2020 Cornelia Hinz organizes the pediatric education at the EMS in Oldenburg, works as a lecturer and joined the perinatal neurobiology group.

PhD student

Christina Schäfer, M.Sc.


Christina Schäfer studied biology and received her MSc from the University of Oldenburg in 2022. In her master's thesis she investigated the interaction between the recoverin isoforms and G-protein-coupled receptor kinases, which are part of the visual signal transduction cascade, in the model organism Danio rerio.

In July 2022, Christina joined the Perinatal Neurobiology group at the University of Oldenburg as PhD student.

PhD students

Franziska Köper, M.Sc. in cooperation with Univ. Prof. Dr. Anja, U. Bräuer Fachanatomin / Director

Franziska Köper


Franziska studied Biology at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen (2020) and completed an internship Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Porto, Portugal. Afterwards she graduated with an MSc in Bremen (2021). For her thesis project she worked at the Jacobs University in Bremen, mainly on major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) class I molecules (2020-2021).

In October 2021 she joined thr Perinatal Neurobiology, as well as the Anatomy Group at the University of Oldenburg as PhD sutdent.


1.Gross,I, Brandt N, Vonk D, Köper F, Wöhlbrand L, Rabus R, Witt M, Heep A, Plösch T, Hipp MS, Bräuer AU.(2022) Plasticity-Related Gene 5, Is Expressed in a Late Phase of Neurodifferentiation After Neuronal Cell-Fate Determination. Front Cell Neurosci. 2022 Apr 15;16:797588 doi:10.3389/fncel.2022.797588

(Changed: 19 Jan 2024)  | 
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