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.

Edlyn Wu

Edlyn was born in Montréal, Canada. She grew up enjoying the Montréal winter and cheering on her favourite hockey team: the Montreal Canadiens. Edlyn majored in Biochemistry at McGill University. She was among the first students to join Dr. Thomas Duchaine’s lab, where she completed her MSc and PhD. Her focus was understanding the mechanism of microRNA-mediated gene silencing, using C. elegans as a model organism. With a passion for traveling, and a long standing interest in zebrafish and early developmental biology, she moved to Europe and joined the Vastenhouw group in January 2017. Edlyn is investigating the molecular events that regulate the timing of zygotic genome activation.

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.

Nadine Vastenhouw

Nadine was born in Amsterdam and after a happy youth in one of the many Dutch polders, she returned to Amsterdam to do her Masters in Medical Biology. Here, her passion for biology and science communication was born. For her PhD, she joined the lab of Ronald Plasterk at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht and dissected the mysteries of transposon silencing and RNA interference in the roundworm C. elegans. After graduating in 2006, Nadine moved to Cambridge to join Alex Schier’s lab at Harvard University. Funded by EMBO and HFSP, she fell in love with the first few hours of zebrafish development and spent her time investigating the role of chromatin structure in the regulation of embryonic transcription. In 2012 she moved back to Europe to start her lab at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden thanks to generous funds by the Max Planck Society, The MPI-CBG and HFSP.

Carine Stapel

Carine was born in The Netherlands where she studied Biomedical Sciences in the beautiful city of Utrecht. After finding her passion for research during an internship on genome stability in the lab of Marcel Tijsterman, Carine decided that she wanted to see more of science/the world. This led to a summer internship at Sloan-Kettering in NYC where she worked on miRNAs in the lab of Jidong Liu. Not ready to leave the US, she went on to do her Master’s thesis research at Harvard University in the lab of Alex Schier. This is where she met Nadine. Fascinated by the question how transcription is activated during development, she decided to follow Nadine to Dresden. Here she is using single molecule RNA imaging to better understand zygotic genome activation.

Mate Palfy

Mate is from Budapest, Hungary where he also did his undergraduate training in Biology. He got a first taste for research while working in the Network Biology group at ELTE University; here he studied the role of endocytosis in regulating signaling pathways. For his Master’s project he switched fields and countries and went to the Max F. Perutz laboratories in Vienna to work on the cell biology of cilia using C. elegans as a model. Mate started his PhD in the Vastenhouw lab in September 2013 and is trying to unravel how transcription is repressed before zygotic genome activation in zebrafish. In his free time he loves doing outdoor sports including mountain biking, trail running and cross-country skiing.

Shai Joseph

Shai hails from Sydney Australia and has a pastime of trekking and climbing. Shai majored in physiology at the University of Sydney and found his passion for embryology during his honors year (2009) in the lab of Professor Chris O’Neill at the Kolling institute. Here he investigated the adverse effects of in vitro culture on the pluripotency of developing mouse embryos. In 2010 he became the research assistant of Dr Kirsty Walters at the ANZAC institute, whereby he examined the role of androgens during mouse ovarian follicle development. After taking half a year off to travel the world, Shai moved up north to Townsville (2012) and joined the veterinary school at James Cook University as a technician. Having decided to continue with his studies, Shai started his PhD in 2013 in the lab of Dr Nadine Vastenhouw at the MPI-CBG Dresden. Shai is investigating the role of chromatin in controlling the timing of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish.

Lennart Hilbert

While studying Physics in Bremen, Lennart focussed on dynamical systems when working with Peter Richter’s group (2005-2008). Biomathematics first interfered during visits to the Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics in Physiology and Medicine at McGill University and to the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University (2008 and 2009). Thus deflected into a Physiology Ph.D. in Montréal at McGill, Lennart investigated molecular mechanics of muscle myosin groups (2010-2014). He was supervised by Michael Mackey and Anne-Marie Lauzon and member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Systems Biology Graduate Program. Ultimately convinced that theory and experiment go together, he is now an ELBE Systems Biology PostDoc, in affiliation with Nadine Vastenhouw (MPI-CBG) and Vasily Zaburdaev (MPI-PKS). Progressing from groups of purified proteins to groups of living cells, he now investigates subnuclear gene localization in early zebrafish development. Lennart has also been artistically active for years, most recently employing math-bio-physical systems in live performances.