People

Principal Investigator

Lendert Gelens : Assistant professor

Lendert Gelens

lendert.gelens@kuleuven.be

Assistant professor

Lendert received a master's degree in electrotechnical engineering, and in physics, both at the University of Brussels (VUB). During his PhD, he studied laser dynamics and pattern formation at the applied physics group of Prof. Jan Danckaert at VUB, the IFISC institute in Spain, and the group of Prof. Edgar Knobloch at UC Berkeley in the USA. Afterwards, as a postdoctoral researcher, he moved more towards the field of biology, where he worked with Prof. James E. Ferrell at the department of Chemical and Systems Biology of Stanford University, USA. Since 2015, he leads the research group "Dynamics in Biological Systems" at the department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at KU Leuven. He also has a partial appointment as research professor at VUB in Brussels. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, soccer, squash, and experimenting with food and drinks.

Lendert @ Google Scholar



Graduate Students

After his bachelor in physics, Felix studied his master's in both physics and mathematics at Utrecht University (the Netherlands). His focus was on differential equations and dynamical systems and their applications, with the focus on climate dynamics. During his studies, he became interested in all the possibilities to apply the theory of dynamical systems in real-life problems. During his studies in Utrecht, Felix has been teaching a large number of different courses in physics and mathematics, both at the university as at UCU (University College Utrecht). In november 2017 he started his PhD in the Gelens lab at KU Leuven, where he will focus on biological dynamical systems, in particular in the area of cell division. In his spare time, Felix likes to play the piano, tennis, teaching and meeting with friends. He also likes cooking and experimenting with the pairing of food with drinks (such as wine or whisky).

Felix @ Google Scholar

Arno Vanderbeke : Joint PhD with the Lammertyn lab

Arno Vanderbeke

arno.vanderbeke@kuleuven.be

Joint PhD with the Lammertyn lab

Arno obtained his bachelor’s degree in bioscience engineering at KU Leuven in 2015, followed by his master’s degree in bioscience engineering (Biosystems engineering: major bionanotechnology, minor human health engineering) in 2017, also at KU Leuven. During his master’s thesis, he spent two months at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) to master the microfabrication techniques needed for his further research. Those techniques were then used at KU Leuven for the fabrication of microwell arrays for digital bioassays. After his graduation, he started as a researcher at Ghent University working on the safety of insects for food and feed, and metabolomics. In 2018, he started his PhD at the Gelens lab in collaboration with the Lammertyn lab. His research will focus on studying cell cycle regulation with high spatiotemporal resolution using custom-made microfluidic devices. In his free time he likes to travel, go camping, hiking, biking, running, playing badminton, meeting with friends and watching movies, series and airshows.

Liliana Piñeros Leyton :

Liliana Piñeros Leyton

marthaliliana.pinerosleyton@kuleuven.be

Liliana studied Microbiology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of the Andes in Colombia. During her thesis, she worked in the group of mathematical and computational biology (BIOMAC). Afterwards, she obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Namur in Belgium. During this program, she was interested in cell signaling in different processes. For her master thesis, she worked in cancer research at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (UNamur) and she did her professional internship in the stem cell institute in Leuven (SCIL). Since August 2019, she started her PhD in the Gelens Lab at KU Leuven. Her interest is to elucidate the dynamics of the cell cycle from an interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on how self-organization of the biochemistry, the nucleus and the cytoskeleton helps to control cell cycle progression. Liliana likes hiking, trail running and like a dog lover, she loves canicross.

Nadja D’Uonno : Joint PhD with the Bollen lab

Nadja D’Uonno

nadja.duonno@kuleuven.be

Joint PhD with the Bollen lab

Nadja joined the Gelens lab in 2017, having received her BSc in Molecular Biology in 2013 from the University of Naples “Federico II” and her MSc in Biotechnology of Reproduction at the University of Studies of Teramo in 2015, both in Italy. Before joining the lab she worked in the field of reproduction at CEINGE – Advance Biotechnologies in Naples, where she dealt with the preimplantation diagnosis. Her main research interests cover the mechanisms of fertilization and cell division with a focus on the early stages of embryo development. In particular her project aims to study the effects of temperature on the cell cycle and is a collaboration with the Laboratory of Biosignaling & Therapeutics of Prof. Mathieu Bollen. Nadja enjoys doing volunteering work and in her spare time she loves to travel, dance and meet people, always looking for new experiences!

Jan studied pure mathematics at KU Leuven and obtained a Master's degree in 2013. To explore the wide range of applications of math, he studied Complex Systems Science at Ecole Polytechnique (France) and the University of Warwick. During this program, he worked on projects in climate dynamics and mathematical biology. In 2015-2016, Jan taught mathematics at university and in high school, and from November 2016 onwards he has been working on his PhD under supervision of prof. Gelens. Jan studies mathematical models of the cell cycle, with a focus on time delay models. In his free time Jan likes to dream of starting his own band, read books and go camping.

Jan @ Google Scholar

Jolan De Boeck : Joint PhD with the Verfaillie Lab

Jolan De Boeck

jolan.deboeck@kuleuven.be

Joint PhD with the Verfaillie Lab

Jolan completed his bachelor’s degree in ‘bio-engineering: cell- and gene technology’ at the University of Antwerp (UA), after which he received his master’s degree in ‘bio-engineering: biosystems engineering’ from the University of Leuven (KUL). During his master thesis he learned about stochastically modeling chemical reactions, with a focus on gene regulatory networks. After his graduation in 2016, he started a PhD at the stem cell institute Leuven (SCIL) under supervision of prof. C. Verfaillie and prof. L. Gelens. His main research interests are molecular biology and computational modeling techniques to explore the dynamical features of the biological systems under consideration. He mainly spends his free time watching series, horseback riding and jogging.

Stefan Vet : Joint PhD with Jan Danckaert, VUB and Didier Gonze, ULB

Stefan Vet

stefan.vet@vub.ac.be

Joint PhD with Jan Danckaert, VUB and Didier Gonze, ULB

vubulb

Stefan studied Physics and Astronomy at the University of Ghent (UGent), being very interested in theoretical physics. His interests gradually changed towards nonlinear dynamics and modeling in biological systems, so that he did his master thesis about dynamical modeling of bacterial interactions at the University of Brussels (VUB). He started his PhD in 2014 at the Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics Brussels (IB2), with promoters Jan Danckaert and Didier Gonze. In his PhD he continues the work of his master thesis. Besides, Stefan is a climbing addict, likes to play guitar and is learning to dance lindy hop.

Alumni

Alexandra Vandervelde : Postdoc until 2019

Alexandra Vandervelde

Alexandra.Vandervelde@fwo.be

Postdoc until 2019

Current position: Science Policy Advisor Fundamental Research at Research Foundation-Flanders (https://www.fwo.be/en/contact/administration/general-management/)

Pedro Parra-Rivas : Postdoc until 2019

Pedro Parra-Rivas

parrariv@gmail.com

Postdoc until 2019

Current position: postdoctoral researcher at Université Libre de Bruxelles (with Prof. François Leo)

Pedro @ Google Scholar