skip to content

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


I am a biophysicist with a background in chemistry. In my research, I am using fluorescence microscopy to study virus-host cell interaction. In collaborations with Dr Colin Crump (Department of Pathology) and Dr Oliver Dibben (AstraZeneca), my current work focusses on herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and live attenuated influenza virus (LAIV).


Current Research

Changes in host-cell morphology related to herpesvirus assembly and egress

In order to characterise the spatiotemporal dynamics of host cell rearrangement caused by herpesvirus infection, I use advanced multiparametric fluorescence microscopy methods compatible with live-cell imaging such as structured illumination microscopy and light sheet fluorescence microscopy. By means of a fluorescent reporter virus, that allows me to intrinsically time stamp for the stage of virus infection in each cell, I correlate the re-modelling of cellular architecture to the stage of infection. These changes are intimately linked to the manipulation of cell functions by the virus and the spatiotemporal analysis of these events allows me to interpret their role in virus assembly and egress.

Expansion microscopy of virus-infected cells

Together with Luca Mascheroni (PhD student in the Laser Analytics group), I optimise expansion microscopy for imaging with a light sheet microscope in order to study organelle arrangement around assembly compartments inside infected cells. We apply this technique to herpesvirus and live attenuated influenza virus.


I am a Research Associate in the group of Clemens Kaminski (Laser Analytics group) at the University of Cambridge where I work on virus-host cell interaction using advanced fluorescence imaging methods. Previously, I was awarded an individual fellowship by the German Research Foundation and investigated the dynamics of herpesvirus assembly and egress and related changes in host-cell morphology.

Before coming to Cambridge in March 2017, I was a postdoc in Tom Shimizu’s lab at the AMOLF institute in Amsterdam studying the organisation of chemotaxis receptors in E. coli. Previously, I completed my PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Ulrich Kubitscheck at the University of Bonn, where I investigated the mechanisms of the action of antibiotics.


Key publications: 

(* denotes equal contribution)

Luca Mascheroni*, Katharina M. Scherer*, Edward Ward, Oliver Dibben, Clemens F. Kaminski. Combining light sheet microscopy and expansion microscopy for fast 3D imaging of virus-infected cells with super-resolution, Biomedical Optics Express 2020.

Katharina M. Scherer, James D. Manton, Timothy Soh, Luca Mascheroni, Colin M. Crump, Clemens F. Kaminski. Spatiotemporal analysis of host cell modification during herpes simplex virus 1 replication, .

Fabian Grein*, Anna Müller*, Katharina M. Scherer*, Xinliang Liu, Kevin C. Ludwig, Anna Klöckner, Manuel Strach, Hans-Georg Sahl, Ulrich Kubitscheck, Tanja Schneider. Ca2+-Daptomycin targets cell wall biosynthesis by forming a tripartite complex with undecaprenyl-coupled intermediates and membrane lipids, Nature Communications 2020, 11, 1455.

Other publications: 

Bo Meng*, Pedro P. Vallejo Ramirez*Katharina M. Scherer, Ezra Bruggeman, Julia C. Kenyon, Clemens F. Kaminski, Andrew M. Lever. Distinct domain requirements for EAP45 in HIV budding, late endosomal recruitment, and cytokinesis, bioRxiv 2020.

Christopher J. Rowlands, Florian Stroehl, Pedro P. V. Ramirez, Katharina M. Scherer, Clemens F. Kaminski. Flat-field super-resolution localization microscopy with a low-cost refractive beam-shaping element, Sci. Rep. 2018, 8:5630.

Jacopo Solari, Francois Anquez, Katharina M. Scherer, Thomas S. Shimizu. Bacterial chemoreceptor imaging at high spatiotemporal resolution using photoconvertible fluorescent proteins, Methods Mol Biol. 2018, 1729, 203-231.

Katharina M. Scherer, Jan-Hendrik Spille, Fabian Grein, Hans-Georg Sahl, Ulrich Kubitscheck. The lantibiotic nisin induces formation of large Lipid II aggregates causing membrane instability and vesicle budding, Biophys. J. 2015, 108, 1114-1124.

Jan-Hendrik Spille, Tim P. Kaminski, Katharina Scherer, Jennifer S. Rinne, Alexander Heckel, Ulrich Kubitscheck. Extended, sensitive and fast 3D-tracking of single molecules and RNA particles in living tissue, Nucleic Acids Res. 2014, pii: gku1194.

Katharina Scherer, Imke Wiedemann, Corinna Ciobanasu, Hans-Georg Sahl, Ulrich Kubitscheck, Aggregates of nisin with various bactoprenol-containing cell wall precursors differ in size and membrane permeation capacity, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2013, 1828, 2628-2636.

Post doc