Principal Investigator

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 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 Frolov

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 had an opportunity to work with Prof. Jürgen Kurths at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, with Prof. Alexander Pisarchik the Technical University of Madrid, and with Prof. Dibakar Ghosh at the Indian Statistical Institute. 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 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 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 Prokop

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 Students

Luís Pires
2022 – 2023
Data-driven model discovery
Jakob Boonen
2022 – 2023


PhDs and Postdocs
Felix Nolet
PhD 2017-2021
Currently a research associate at University of Antwerp (Academic Tutoring Group Mathematics and Statistics)
Jan Rombouts
PhD 2017-2021 Currently a postdoctoral researcher at EMBL Heidelberg (with Prof. Anna Erzberger)
Jolan De Boeck
PhD 2017-2021 (joint with Verfaillie lab)
Nadja D'Uonno

Researcher  2017-2019 (joint with Bollen lab)

Alexandra Vandervelde

Postdoc 2016-2019
Currently a science Policy Advisor Fundamental Research at the Research Foundation-Flanders

Pedro Parra-Rivas

Postdoc 2017-2019
Currently a postdoctoral researcher at University la Sapienza di Roma (with Prof. Stefan Wabnitz)

Stefan Vet

PhD 2013-2020
Currently a teaching assistant at University of Antwerp

Master thesis or rotation students
Alec Vanderheyden


Abhiram Arora


Sarah Verplaetse


Thibeau Wouters


Patrick Govoni


Bram Bijnens


Frederik Van Eecke