People

Principal Investigator

Lendert Gelens : Associate professor

Lendert Gelens

lendert.gelens@kuleuven.be

Associate 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. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, soccer, squash, and experimenting with food and drinks.

Lendert @ Google Scholar

Postdoc

Daniel Ruiz-Reynés :

Daniel Ruiz-Reynés

daniel.ruizreynes@kuleuven.be

Daniel studied physics at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) and obtained a Master's degree in Physics of Complex Systems. During his PhD at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), he worked on vegetation models of pattern formation and spent three months at UC Berkeley working with Prof. Edgar Knobloch studying vegetation fronts from a theoretical perspective. His research makes use of techniques from statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics to understand complex phenomena in biology. Since October 2020, he has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Gelens lab at KU Leuven investigating spatial self-organization of cellular structures in the cytoplasm and uncovering its role in the coordination of cell division. In his spare time, he likes hiking, climbing, and dancing Lindy Hop.

Daniel @ 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.

Arno @ Google Scholar

Liliana Piñeros Leyton :

Liliana Piñeros Leyton

liliana.pineros@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.

Liliana @ Google Scholar

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.

Master thesis students

Patrick Govoni :

Patrick Govoni

After graduating with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY, US) in 2014, Patrick worked in industry for 5 years, including developing a scale-down reactor model for a monoclonal antibody process. He returned to studies for a master’s in biochemistry at KU Leuven in 2019 with a plan on continuing for a PhD in order to pursue the field of synthetic biology. Drawing on his interest in biological regulation and dynamics, he is currently investigating the nature of bistability in a key cell cycle regulator protein, Aurora B kinase. Outside the lab, he enjoys hiking, climbing, listening to music, playing the keys, and cooking.

Bram Bijnens :

Bram Bijnens

Bram finished his bachelors at Hasselt University. Currently, he is a last year master student at KU Leuven, majoring in condensed matter physics, with a minor in theoretical physics. His main interests are where physics and biology meet.

Alumni

Nadja D’Uonno : Researcher 2017 - 2019

Nadja D’Uonno

Researcher 2017 - 2019

Alexandra Vandervelde : Postdoc 2016 - 2019

Alexandra Vandervelde

Alexandra.Vandervelde@fwo.be

Postdoc 2016 - 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 2017 - 2019

Pedro Parra-Rivas

parrariv@gmail.com

Postdoc 2017 - 2019

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

Pedro @ Google Scholar

Stefan Vet : PhD 2013 - 2020

Stefan Vet

stefan.vet@uantwerpen.be

PhD 2013 - 2020

Current position: teaching assistant at Universiteit Antwerpen.

Stefan @ Google Scholar