Yelyzaveta Zadorozhna

Yelyzaveta was born in Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. She is currently studying Biotechnology at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. Her Bachelor’s project focused on the genetic disorders causing defective glycosylation and she is now continuing to investigate the role of nucleotide sugar transporters in cellular glycosylation for her Master’s research.

In the meantime, she tries to explore other exciting research directions during her summer breaks. Having spent two wonderful summers studying cyanobacterial Rubisco biogenesis as well as looking into the mechanisms of RNA mobility in plants, she is now ready for new adventures. Eager to get deeper insights into developmental biology and learn to work with zebrafish, she joined the Vastenhouw lab for an internship to explore the main players in zygotic genome activation. If you can’t find Liza at the lab bench, she might be painting, jogging in the city or enjoying an art event.

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.

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.

Cindy Horenburg

Cindy was born and raised in the lovely city of Dresden. In her twenties she moved to Zittau where, besides studying molecular biotechnology, she started climbing and through it discovered the beautiful nature of the region as seen from the mountain peaks. During her Bachelor thesis research, she learned to appreciate the zebrafish as a model organism and jumped into the new era of genome editing with the world-changing CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Currently, Cindy is part of the Regenerative Biology and Medicine master program in the CRTD, which allows her to extend her practical skills and deepen the knowledge in rotations with different labs in Dresden. For the 2017 summer term, she joined the Vastenhouwlab, bringing her genome editing skills to our studies of nuclear architecture. In her free time, she loves outdoor activities andjam sessions with other musicians.

Camilo Riquelme Guzmán

Camilo is from Santiago, Chile, a big city surrounded by hills and mountains (next to the Andes!). Here he pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Chile and, in his second year, joined a microbiology laboratory (BEM) where he learned about peptide antibiotics. After that, he decided to jump from prokaryotic to eukaryotic and joined Enrique Brandan’s lab at the Catholic University of Chile, where he studied the role of the extracellular matrix in muscle fibrosis. Throughout the 4 years that he spent there, he became very interested in development and decided to make a big change in 2016. He moved 12,500 kilometers to Dresden to join Nadine Vastenhouw’s lab at MPI-CBG as a PhD student. Currently, Camilo is investigating the role of chromatin structure in the regulation of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish. In his free time, he likes outdoor activities such as climbing and biking, or just going out to see the wonders of nature.

Mykola Markadeiev

Mykola was born in Ukraine and has a passion for trekking, skydiving and (suddenly) table-tennis. He studied Molecular Biology and Genetics in Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, where he took part in projects on liver regeneration and gerontology. Willing to explore Europe, the spirit of scientific adventure brought him to Dresden, doing his Masters in Regenerative Biology and Medicine. There he participated in research on murine neurogenesis, zebrafish regeneration and stem cell niches of Drosophila. He joined the Vastenhouw lab to help the project of Carine Stapel on single molecule RNA imaging.

Lucia Selfa

Lucia was born in Madrid and started her studies in Biomedical Sciences in Alcalá de Henares. By the end of her degree, her interest to discover the world dragged her to join the Erasmus program and move to Amsterdam, where she had her first contact with epigenetics during her Bachelor Thesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, participating in a haploid genetic screen of inhibitors targeting epigenetic modifiers.  Willing to explore other fields in science, as well as other countries and cultures, she joined the Master’s Program in Regenerative Biology and Medicine in Dresden. After looking into adult neurogenesis and planarian regeneration, she has now joined the lab to help understanding the role of histones in transcriptional regulation.

Pavel Vopalensky

Pavel comes from a small village close to Jihlava, Czech Republic and grew up surrounded by the mild hills of the Bohemian-Moravian highlands frisking in pine scented forests, golden fields and blossoming meadows. To better comprehend the beauty of nature, he went to study biochemistry and biotechnology at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. Afterwards, he continued with PhD studies at the Institute of Molecular Genetics in Prague elucidating the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate eye. He decided to stay in evo-devo for his first postdoc and joined the group of Prof. Detlev Arendt at EMBL Heidelberg. Here, while analyzing the developmental cell lineage and the dynamic gene expression in the marine worm Platynereis dumeriliiPavelgot interested how is differential gene expression orchestrated at the molecular level. Therefore, he joined Dr. Nadine Vastenhouw’s lab in fall 2015 to investigate transcriptional regulation underlying the first lineage decisions in zebrafish development. In his free time, Pavel likes singing in a choir or playing drums and exploring countryside hiking or biking together with his family.

Vania Tsata

Vania* comes from Athens, Greece, where she also did her undergrad studies in the Biology Department. She absolutely loves coffee and finds it necessary to start the experimental or any other day with a cappuccino. Vania discovered her passion for science during her undergrad thesis, in the lab of Dr. Poulopoulou in Athens Medical School. There, she investigated the role of neuroligins in the glutamatergic signaling of T-lymphocytes of healthy and autistic children. Vania moved to Dresden in November 2012 to join the group of Dr. Stephan Speier as a research assistant, focusing on β-cell physiology. In October 2013, Vania joined the Master’s Program in Regenerative Biology and Medicine offered by the TU and the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden. After joining the Vastenhouw lab for a 3-months rotation and fascinated by the developmental transitions of the vertebrate embryo and also zebrafish as a model organism, she decided to stay a bit more and complete her master thesis in the lab. Now she is working on the role of histone level in setting the timing for zygotic genome activation.

*Or “Vasiliki Tsata”, which is her formal name, and also crucial info for her photo to make sense. LH