Máté: Submit thesis ✓

Máté reached an important milestone of his PhD studies – thesis submission! High-Five Máté for crunching your way through thesis writing and making it through!

Next up: thesis defense.

PhD defense: Dr. Shai Joseph



2017.10.30: Congratulations Shai on successfully defending his PhD!

Many thanks to our artistically talented Sabrina for making Shai’s fantastic Doktorhut,

which features past and current lab members partying at “Shai’s Histone Cocktail Bar” atop the hat.

All the best to Shai in his new career path!



Photo credit (top featured image): IMPRS PhD program

Lennart presents at CBG’s Friday Seminar

20.10.2017: With ~3 years of research experience at CBG up his sleeve, it was now Lennart’s time to take centre stage and present his research to the CBG community at the internal Friday Seminar series. The showcase was followed by social hour with fellow scientists. We capped our Friday off with a belated birthday celebration over delicious burgers.


Ksenia Kuznetsova

Ksenia is from Estonia, where she studied Gene Technology and got first hands-on research experience in the immunology lab of Dr Sirje Rüütel-Boudinot. With an early formed passion for developmental biology, she moved to France for an international Master’s at Université Pierre et Marie Curie. For her Master`s project, Ksenia studied the regulation of trophobast identity at the maternal-fetal interface in the group of Dr Céline Méhats. During a sunny semester in Portugal, she got introduced to the zebrafish model and gene editing tools in the lab of Dr Miguel Godinho-Ferreira. Before moving on to PhD, she worked in the lab of Dr Tambet Teesalu, where they use phage display screens to identify homing peptides. Eager to unravel the mysteries of early development, Ksenia started her PhD in the Vastenhouw group to understand the regulation of zygotic genome activation. When away from the bench, she enjoys exploring the surroundings, hiking and learning salsa.

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.

Lab Retreat 2017

Tis that time of the year again! This year’s Vastenhouw Lab retreat took place in Technische Universität (TU) Dresden’s Computer Science green building. Together with Vasily Zaburdaev (MPI-PKS) and Thomas Quail (Jan Brugues lab, MPI-CBG), we had a matinee of stimulating and fruitful discussions.

In the evening, we all gathered around a kitchen and bar – where we got to cook our dinner and shake our cocktails (with some help from the professionals). A festive night for the Vastenhouw Lab! There were also hellos and goodbyes. We welcomed new lab members and said farewell to the veterans, as they transition to the next chapter of their career.



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.

Celebrate! Carine’s paper is out & Happy birthday Máté

Cake and champagne to celebrate Máté’s birthday and Carine’s latest achievement: her research on how transcriptional noise is resolved in the embryo is out! Shout out to Christoph Zechner (Center for Systems Biology Dresden), who collaborated with Carine on this story.

Check out the paper in Genes & Development’s August 15th issue: http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/early/2017/09/13/gad.302935.117

which will feature the cover illustration (below right) from Julia Eichhorn (Media Technologies & Outreach, MPI-CBG).

Visit Hiroshi Kimura & Co.

We had the pleasure of Hiroshi Kimura, Yuko Sato (both Tokyo Tech), and Chikashi Obuse (Osaka University) visiting our group. We were treated to a great presentation by Hiroshi, discussions with all visitors, and by a lucky accident the “big dinner” conincided with Lennart’s birthday. To explain what you see in the picture…

Cindy completes Master’s rotation project

Yesterday Cindy presented the results of her Master’s rotation project, which she carried out in our lab over the past couple of months. During the rotation, she worked with Lennart to develop and optimize a new gene excision protocol. Not all details can be revealed yet, but it looks like we can cut long sequences surprisingly early and efficiently!

As was also recognized in Cindy’s exam presentation, she completed a considerable amount of work. She also became a lively part of the lab – so that time passed too fast, again, and her next rotation period is coming up. We wish the best of luck and exciting results!