Lab news


Hafsa Zahid is joining us as a PhD student. Welcome Hafsa!

I come from Lahore, Pakistan, a city known for its breathtaking Mughal architecture and lively people. I did my masters in Biological Sciences from the University of the Punjab. I am broadly interested in the fields of genetics and stem cell biology with a specific interest in deciphering the role of transcriptional and translational mechanisms in the regulation of stemness. Apart from being a science lover, I love to volunteer for social causes, read, play badminton, and take long walks to connect with nature.

November 2020 - Vera received the ETH medal for her doctoral work. Congratulations!

Vera van der Weijden is joining our team for her postdoc in October. Welcome Vera!

I obtained a BASc in Life Sciences at the Hogeschool Utrecht and a MSc in Toxicology and Environmental Health at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. During my studies, I focussed on various animal models and alternatives to study cell proliferation and cellular responses to exogenous compounds. I did my PhD on embryonic diapause in the European roe deer under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Susanne Ulbrich at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. I have recently been awarded with the SNF Early Postdoc Mobility grant and will study molecular dormancy pathways in pluripotent stem cells in the lab.

Iiris Virta is joining the lab in February to conduct her Master's thesis research. Welcome Iiris!

I am originally from Finland from a small city called Lahti. I did my Bachelor’s degree in the US where I majored in biological sciences with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology. I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree in molecular medicine at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. My previous research includes cilia regeneration, electrophysiology of corneal endothelial cells and neuronal development. I’m interested in all things biological, but I would especially like to extend my knowledge in the field of stem cell research as well as work on improving my bioinformatics skills. In my spare time, I like to read, listen to music and (every chance I get) travel to Finland see my dog, family and friends.

Maximilian Stötzel is joining us in October as a PhD student. Welcome Maxi!

Originally, I am from Siegen, a very wooded and beautiful region in the middle of Germany. I graduated in biology with a focus on molecular biology and biochemistry in Giessen. My research background is molecular biology and microbiology. I am passionately interested in human genetics, development and stem cell research. In addition, I also like to learn about the history of humankind. Apart from science, I love to play handball and chess, listening to music, go out with friends or just experiencing nature.

Chieh-Yu (Joy) Cheng is joining us in July as a PhD student. Welcome Joy!

I am originally from Taiwan where I also did my Bachelor in life sciences. I then studied neuroscience in Tübingen, a tiny lovely town in southern Germany. My background is cellular and molecular biology but I’m very fascinated by all the latest sequencing technologies. Therefore, I’m trying to learn and apply both wet lab experiments and bioinformatics analysis to understand different gene regulation mechanisms during development and/or diseases. Apart from science, I’m a big fan of aviation and I go swimming, practice kendo, read, play PS4, drink beer, check out exhibitions and theatres. Yes… life is too short to do everything I’m interested in.

We are hosting two summer students this summer.

Derya Atilla and Burak Köksal are going to spend the summer in our lab and learn stem cell biology. 

Derya | I am a junior at İstanbul Technical University majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Also I am studying in Chemical Engineering as my double major program to sort out my further researches in the field of Molecular Biology and Genetics by using the engineering viewpoint in modeling, drug design and biosensors. I am highly interested in the molecular mechanisms of the stem cells, neurodegenerative diseases and the fascinating potential use of the stem cells in several fields. Apart from the lab, I enjoy dancing, swimming, hanging out with my friends, going to cinema and last but not least exploring the new places and cultures all over the world.

Burak | I am originally from Turkey, where I am also doing my Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and genetics. I am a junior student, so my interests are not that particular yet since I’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg. My research experience has included colorectal cancer and leukemia gene regulation studies, bioinformatics, and disease genomics. I am also fascinated by the concept of STEM cells. Outside of the lab, I enjoy exploring different places, visiting museums, attending concerts, checking out theatre and musicals, watching TV series, drinking beer, and obviously dancing.

Dhanur receives the DAAD PhD fellowship!

Our graduate student Dhanur Prakash Iyer received the prestigious DAAD PhD fellowship! The fellowship will support Dhanur in his studies on miRNA-mediated regulation of mammalian development. Congrats Dhanur!
Aydan Bulut Karslioglu, head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, is one of six international scientific talents, who will receive a Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation this year. The scientist will get 1.64 million euros to set up her own research group. Together with her team, she wants to link external factors such as lifestyle or nutrition to the inner workings of the embryo.

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