Principal Investigator

Lendert Gelens : Associate professor

Lendert Gelens

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


Daniel Ruiz-Reynés :

Daniel Ruiz-Reynés

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

Nikita graduated from the Faculty of Nonlinear Processes of Saratov State University (Russia) in 2012 and defended his Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics in 2015. During his thesis, he focused on nonlinear dynamics, synchronization, and chaotic behavior of high-energy electron flows and their application in microwave devices under supervision of Prof. Alexander Hramov. Since then, Nikita became interested in graph theory and neuroscience, which prompted him to change his topic as he started working as a Senior Researcher at Saratov State Technical University and Innopolis University (Russia). During this time, he worked at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research with Prof. Jürgen Kurths, the Technical University of Madrid with Prof. Alexander Pisarchik, and the Indian Statistical Institute with Prof. Dibakar Ghosh. Recently, Nikita has combined his research activities with the position of Assistant Professor at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Russia, teaching a course on Applied Statistics and Machine Learning for bachelor students. In his free time he enjoys meeting with friends, cooking, playing table foosball and video games, and has started doing yoga.

Nikita @ Google Scholar

Graduate Students

Arno Vanderbeke : Joint PhD with the Lammertyn lab

Arno Vanderbeke

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 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

Bartosz started his academic journey at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany), where he obtained a bachelor´s degree in Mechanical Engineering. During this time, he spent one year abroad at the University of Warwick. For his master studies which he completed in Darmstadt, he especially focused on fluid dynamics and finished his studies in 2021 with a thesis on the connection of non-linear dynamics and urbanization. Moreover, he gathered experience in sientific research as part of the Insutitute of Fluid Dynamics (TU Darmstadt) and as part of R&D of a global dialysis company. Since November 2021, he is working on his PhD in the Gelens Lab at KU Leuven, where he can combine his interest in life sciences and data driven models. Here he will focus on the application of Machine Learning approaches to explore cell cycle dynamics. In his free time Bartosz enjoys watching soccer, playing the piano and expanding his general knowledge by playing pub quizzes and watching documentaries.

Master thesis students

Thibeau is a Master student in Physics who is working on a project related to the dynamics of target patterns and spiral waves.

Abhiram is a Master student in Mathematics who is working on how the period of oscillatory media scale with changes in the environment.

Sarah is a Master student in Mathematics who is analyzing general properties of production-degradation biochemical oscillators.


Nadja D’Uonno : Researcher 2017 - 2019

Nadja D’Uonno

Researcher 2017 - 2019

Felix Nolet : PhD 2017-2021

Felix Nolet

PhD 2017-2021

Current position: research associate at University of Antwerp (Academic Tutoring Group Mathematics and Statistics)

Felix @ Google Scholar

Patrick Govoni : Master thesis 2020-2021

Patrick Govoni

Master thesis 2020-2021

Bram Bijnens : Master thesis 2020-2021

Bram Bijnens

Master thesis 2020-2021

Alexandra Vandervelde : Postdoc 2016 - 2019

Alexandra Vandervelde

Postdoc 2016 - 2019

Current position: Science Policy Advisor Fundamental Research at Research Foundation-Flanders (

Jan Rombouts : PhD 2017-2021

Jan Rombouts

PhD 2017-2021

Current position: postdoctoral researcher at EMBL Heidelberg (with Prof. Anna Erzberger)

Jan @ Google Scholar

Jolan De Boeck : Joint PhD with the Verfaillie Lab 2017-2021

Jolan De Boeck

Joint PhD with the Verfaillie Lab 2017-2021

Pedro Parra-Rivas : Postdoc 2017 - 2019

Pedro Parra-Rivas

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

PhD 2013 - 2020

Current position: teaching assistant at Universiteit Antwerpen.

Stefan @ Google Scholar