Get to know our team

We are small lab who prefer to address fundamental and conceptual questions than doing incremental science. We value creativity, critical thinking and collegiality. Our lab is an open platform to exchange ideas.

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Leo Kurian Principal Investigator

I am an RNA biologist with a keen interest in embryonic development.

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Gaurav Ahuja Post Doctoral Researcher

I am a systems biologist interested in embryonic development and aging. I am in charge of the ‘big data’ analysis in the lab.

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Wenjie Yao PhD Student

I am interested in understanding the role of RNA-regulons during cardiac regeneration.

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Deniz Bartsch PhD Student

I am trying to understand the role of RNA mediated mechanisms in tissue specific transcriptional, post transcriptional and co-translational mechanisms in gene regulation.

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Nicole Russ Technician and Lab Manager

I am interested in stem cell biology and CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing.

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Fernando Cruz Master Student

I work on understanding the role of RNA binding proteins in early cell-fate decisions during embryonic development.

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Adrian Platten Student Technician

I work with Deniz on understanding the role of programmed translational regulation during development.

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Natalia Vargas Avila PhD Student

Natalia was an MD-PhD student in our lab. While on vacation, she accidentally passed away on 29th December 2017. She will always be part of our lab.


Jens-Peter Derks Master Student (2017-2018)

Current position: R&D, Miltenyi biotec, Cologne, Germany

Marie Gramm Bachelor Student (2015-2016), Student Tech (2017-2018)

Current position: Master student in Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany

Marco Podobnik Master Student (2016-2017)

Current position: PhD Student at Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany

Jan-Erik Messling Master Student (2016-2017)

Current position: PhD Student, International Graduate School, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Stefan Frank Post Doc (2014-2017)

Current position: Group Leader, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Germany

Joanna Dodzian Manager

In vivo facility, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Poland

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