Diana Ortega Cruz

Diana comes from Getafe, a town close to Madrid. Amazed about everything she learnt about the human body, as well as, by maths and chemistry, she decided to study Biomedical Engineering. She carried out her Bachelor’s thesis in the CIEMAT Center in Madrid, developing a CRISPR gene editing strategy for an inheritable skin disease. After spending one year of her Bachelor’s in Riverside, California, and experiencing extreme warmth, she decided to go to the other extreme and continue her studies in Germany. She is currently studying in the Regenerative Medicine and Biology Master’s program in Dresden, which feels like a second home for her.

Hann Ng

Half way across the globe, Hann grew up in the tropical country of Malaysia where he had a curious mind for biology from a young age. In pursuit of understanding the ‘why’s and ‘how’s of life, he moved to Leeds, UK for his Integrated Masters in Molecular Medicine at University of Leeds. During which, Hann worked on using CRISPRi to knockdown genes involved in histone modifications under the guidance of Dr. Ron Chen. There, he grew increasingly perplexed and fascinated by the complexities of transcriptional control and the regulation of cell type specific transcriptional programs. This eventually led him to the Vastenhouw lab, where he will be attempting to understand transcriptional control by studying how the earliest transcription event in the developing zebrafish embryo is initiated. When he’s not at work, Hann likes to cook, dance salsa and read (not just journal articles).

Noémie Chabot

Noémie was born in a small town close to Paris. She fell in love with genetics in her first science classes in middle school. After high school, she studied medicine in Paris and received her Bachelor’s in medical sciences. Then, she switched from medicine to research and graduated from the Magistère Européen de génétique in Paris Diderot University. During her Master’s, she had the opportunity to work on the HOX gene evolution in plankton (Oikopleura dioica) in the Chourrout group, Center for Marine Biology in Bergen, Norway. Afterwards, she had a great experience studying the effects of compressive stresses on C. albicans in the Holt group, NYU, New York. Finally, she did her Master’s thesis with Dr Escude’s group at the Natural History Museum of Paris, where she worked on the evolution of alpha-satellite sequences in Cercopithecini. Now, she begins a new chapter in the Vastenhouw lab. She will be focusing on understanding early gene transcription in zebrafish and the biophysical mechanisms involved in that process. Exciting!

During her free time, she likes to play the violin (be careful of your ears), travel, and build her family tree.

Dinara Sharipova

Dinara is a Master student of Novosibirsk State University, which is located in the middle of Siberia in the scientific town called Akademgorodok. There, she is studying cell biology and genetics, and doing her research project in the laboratory of developmental epigenetics under the supervision of Prof. S.M. Zakian and S.P. Medvedev. Her research topic is related to cell modeling in neurodegenerative disorders on patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. During her Bachelor’s studies, she worked with Huntington’s disease cell model and now, for her Master’s, she is studying the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of Parkinson’s disease. In spite of such neuroscientific direction in her research, she had always been fascinated by embryology and developmental biology – dating back to an embryology course in her university.

This summer, she is doing an internship in the Vastenhouw lab –  an opportunity to work with zebrafish embryos and to study the transcriptional landscape during early zebrafish development.

Apart from science, Dinara is interested in dancehall dancing, horseback riding, skating, and travelling.

Davide Recchia

Davide was born in Michigan and raised in South Carolina, USA.  He did his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. While there he started working in the lab of Dr. Bert Ely studying the evolutionary relationship between the bacterial genus Caulobacter and their bacteriophage. He’s also had the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. Rekha Patel studying translational regulation in response to stress signals. Wanting to continue his studies and see more of the world, he moved to Dresden for his master’s studies. For his thesis, he has joined to Vastenhouw lab to study zygotic genome activation in Zebrafish. In his spare time he enjoys biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

The Vastenhouw Lab goes to Laboratory Animal Science Training

Our lab took part in a one week theory and practical training on “Using Experimental Animals in Research”.
During the course we also got exposed to different kinds of fish: besides our favorite zebrafish, we even performed small experiments with medaka and Tilapia! As is evident from the group picture, we had a lot of fun and would like to thank all the organizers.

Edlyn at MPI-CBG Postdoc Retreat

Edlyn attended the 7th Annual MPI-CBG Postdoc Retreat, which took place in the beautiful and picturesque Tisá, Czech Republic, from 19th to 21st of June, 2017.

The three-day retreat included talks (and elevator pitches) from fellow postdocs at the institute & invited external speakers:

  • Dr. Simon Reber (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin),
  • Dr. Elvan Boke (Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona),
  • Dr. Selina Wray (University College London),
  • Dr. Adrian Raga (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven),
  • Dr. Olof Idevall-Hagren (Uppsala University);

and talks from our very own: Dr. Jacqueline Tabler and Dr. Christoph Zechner.

The retreat was scientifically enriching and also featured a hiking trip in Bohemian Switzerland, through the sandstone rocks of the Tisá Walls.

2017-06-20 15.48.04     

Advent Calendar 2015

Tea and Sweets Advent Calendar

The Vastenhouw lab has, largely by Max’s initiative, developed the tradition of an advent calendar – consisting of a tea and sweets combination for every day from December 1st to December 24th. This year, it was upgraded with a beautiful line of numbered, wooden clips counting up to Christmas Eve. It displays the teas very nicely.