(not a fully robotic lab yet)
Nikolai did his PhD in Vienna, working on the molecular biology of small RNA molecules from bacteria and viruses. For his post-doc years he moved to London in 2006 to the lab of Andrea Crisanti to work on genetic control of the human malaria mosquito. He continues to follow his interest to develop synthetic gene-machines to control insect pests and to improve the tools that allow us to manipulate and re-engineer complex genomes with precision.
Andrew did a degree in Biochemistry at The University of Bath. He then did a PhD in Genetics at The University of Edinburgh, where he focused on the molecular control of Programmed Cell Death during plant development. During his PhD he worked at The University of Zürich and for The Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology (within the UK Government Office for Science). His research involves using synthetic biology tools to engineer artificial hybridization barriers.
Manjunatha pursued a PhD in protein evolution by engineering synthetic protein domains from protein fragments, at Max-Planck Institute in the lab of Prof. Andrei Lupas. He continued his interest on evolution, by studying small synthetic gene regulatory networks, at FOM-Institute AMOLF, in the lab of Prof. Sander Tans. He later moved to the group of Dr. Mark Isalan to rewire gene networks and develop molecular genetic tools to control gene expression, by engineering synthetic transcription factors, at EMBL-CRG Systems Biology. He is continuing his research on rewiring of gene networks at Imperial.
Tib has 15 years of research experience on the area of the interaction between insect vectors and pathogens, both in the laboratory and diseases endemic countries. His current research focuses on the development of cost effective and simple techniques to assay the entomological parameters and on testing the efficacy of exogenous peptides and metabolites against Plasmodium falciparum inside the mosquito vector and also their side effects on the mosquito. He is also involved in the development of integrated and bio -secure insectary/Cl3 laboratory facility for the future testing and application with genetically modified mosquito in the field settings in Africa.
Dave did his PhD at UCL, where he used various genome-wide approaches, as well as molecular biology, to study ageing populations of cells. Currently, he is working as part of a two-lab team to develop anti-malarial synthetic gene-drive systems in mosquitoes.
Astrid worked on cell engineering in the yeast Pichia pastoris during her Master at the Technical University Graz. Her PhD at the Centro de Regulación Genómica Barcelona focused on quantification and modelling of spatio-temporal expression patterns driven by cis-regulatory elements in Drosophila melanogaster. At the DZNE in Bonn, she started with genome engineering via CRISPR/Cas9 in Drosophila, which she now pursues in Anopheles in order to introduce anti-malarial effectors.
In 2017 Sofia received her Ph.D in Parasitology at the University of Camerino (Italy) where she worked on the characterization of plant extracts activity against different stages of Plasmodium life cycle. Sofia’s position at Dr. Nikolai Windbichler Lab is focused on the development of new laboratory assays aimed at standardizing P. falciparum mosquitoes infection and to support the generation of genetically modified mosquiotes able to block parasite transmission.
Alex undertook his bachelor's degree in biochemistry at Imperial College, before returning as a 1+3 PhD student. He is working on minimal gene drive systems using the fly as a model.
George studied biochemistry at an undergraduate level, and completed his Master’s degree in ‘Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology’, studying patterns in intrinsic mosquito behaviour. He is currently part of a team led by Professor George Christophides and Dr. Nikolai Windbichler, aiming to engineer a synthetic mosquito population with anti-malarial traits through the mechanism of gene drive.
Paolo received his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and has an MSc in “Reproductive and Developmental Biotechnology” from the University of Teramo in Italy. His research involves using synthetic biology tools to engineer artificial hybridization barriers in Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae. He is also a diehard fan of Juventus F.C. the Vecchia Signora!
Barbara obtained her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology in Prof. Maurizio Gatti’s lab, in Rome, working on cell division and cytokinesis in Drosophila melanogaster. During her Post Doc in the lab of Prof. William Sullivan at UCSC (University of California Santa Cruz) she pioneered the first time-lapse analysis of the direct effects of anticancer agents on key cellular events in the Drosophila embryo. She then joined the lab of Prof. John Tamkun at UCSC to study chromatin remodelling and transcriptional regulation in vivo. Furthermore, she worked on Drosophila suzukii, introducing new genetic tools in this non-model organism using CRISPR technology. Using this approach, she is now aiming to target the X-chromosome in a range of insects to control different pest of vector species with an XY sex determination system.
Former Lab Members:
- Nathan Dennison