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Snezhka Oliferenko

Snezhana (Snezhka) Oliferenko studied biochemistry and virology at Lomonosov Moscow State University before joining Lukas Huber’s lab at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, for her Ph. D. studies. Snezhka then moved to Singapore to work as a postdoc with Mohan Balasubramanian. In 2002, she established her research laboratory at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory(TLL) in Singapore. At the end of 2013, she moved her lab to the Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King’s College London, UK. Since August 2016, her lab is located in the new Francis Crick Institute in London. Her research is funded by the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Scheme.

email to: snezhana.oliferenko(at) or snezhka.oliferenko(at)

gu ying

Ying Gu did her Ph. D. on nervous system development in fruit fly with Fengwei Yu at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) in Singapore. She has been a postdoc in Oliferenko lab since the summer of 2012, working on evolution of cellular division site positioning. Ying wants to understand how the cell cycle and cell polarity machineries can be put together to produce different behaviors.

email to: or

masha makarova

Maria (Masha) Makarova did her undergraduate studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University and then joined the lab of Natalia Lazarevich at Cancer Research Center in Moscow for her Ph. D. studies on gene regulation during hepatocellular carcinoma progression. She started her postdoc in the lab in 2013. Masha's recent work suggests that differential regulation of membrane biosynthesis may produce strikingly dissimilar mitotic programs. Masha wants to link underlying cellular metabolism to the emergence of a particular mode of mitosis.

email to: maria.makarova(at) or maria.makarova(at)


risa mori

Risa Mori studied at University College London before working with Takashi Toda at the London Research Institute (Cancer Research UK) - now the Francis Crick Institute. She did her Ph. D. on the mechanisms underlying microtubule nucleation in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Risa joined the lab in the beginning of 2015. She is interested in understanding how the nuclear envelope breaks and reforms in S. japonicus.

email to: risa.mori(at) or risa.mori(at)

gerard pieper

Gerard Pieper joined the lab for his Ph. D. studies at the end of 2015. He received his degree from University of Amsterdam and worked on his Masters project in Yves Barral's lab at ETH Zurich. Gerard wants to discover how chromatin-nuclear envelope interactions are controlled throughout the cell cycle.

email to: gerard.pieper(at) or gerard.pieper(at)

Sherman Foo has started his Ph. D. with us in 2016. Sherman did his undergraduate degree at the National University of Singapore with the final year spent in Randall Division in the lab of Andrew Beavil. Sherman is interested in discovering the roles of lipid metabolism in emergence of different strategies of mitotic nuclear envelope remodeling.  

email to: or

Sara Alam joined the lab in September 2017, as a Ph. D. student. Sara studied at University College London, working towards her MSci degree in the lab of Sara Mole at LMCB. Together with the lab of Jürg Bähler at UCL, Sara wants to probe the metabolic programs in S. pombe and S. japonicus with a view of understanding how they may have influenced the divergent cell biology of these related organisms.

email to: sara.alam(at)



Aleksandar Vjestica (Ph. D. student, now a postdoc in Sophie Martin’s lab, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Dan Zhang (Ph. D. student, now a Young Investigator at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory in Singapore)

Candice Yam (Ph. D. student, now a postdoc in Uttam Surana’s lab, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, A*STAR, Singapore)


Liling Zheng (Ph. D. student, now an associate professor at Zhejiang University, China)


Yu He (Ph. D. student, now lives in Tokyo, Japan)


Rahul Thadani (research assistant, now a postdoc in Julia Cooper's lab at NIH, via Ph. D. with Frank Uhlmann at the Francis Crick Institute)


Liang Meng Wee (research assistant, now a postdoc in Carlos Bustamante’s lab, University of California, Berkeley, via Ph. D. with Phil Zamore at UMass Medical School)


Yuen Chyao Ling (research assistant, now works at Changi General Hospital, Singapore)

Chai Sook Keat (research assistant, now a Ph. D. student in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Simon Sprenger, a Ph. D. student from David Teis's lab in Innsbruck. Simon has been collaborating with Gerard on understanding mitotic NE dynamics in S. japonicus


We had many wonderful undergraduates working with us in Singapore. Some still stay in touch: Ranjay Jayadev (now a Ph. D. student at Duke University), Haochen (Jerry) Yu (now a postdoc at ETH, Zurich) and Pooja Padmini from Bharathiar University in India.

After our move to London, we've been having fun hosting the following students:

Behzad Karkaria, King's, final year project 2015, who is now a Ph. D. student in the LIDo program

Ana Rodriguez, University of Seville, an Erasmus-funded summer student 2015, now working on her Ph. D. at University of Edinburgh

Preveina Mahadevan, King's, summer student 2015, funded by King's Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Karishma Valand, King's, who was a summer student in 2015 and came back for her final year project 2016

Constantinos Poyiatzis, King's, a Wellcome Trust-funded summer student 2016

Laura Palmer, King's, summer student 2016, supported by King's Undergraduate Research Fellowships scheme - who also came back for her final year project 2017. Laura is starting her MSc at UCL later in 2017

Derron Abdulla, King's, final year project 2017

Nikita Komarov, King's, 2016-2017, including a stint as a summer student supported by King's Undergraduate Research Fellowships scheme. Nikita is an undergraduate who has been working with Masha Makarova and Gerard Pieper

Copyright © 2016 by Snezhana Oliferenko