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Lab members

Tom Ellis

Principal Investigator

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I’m Tom, born and educated in the UK with a spell doing research in the USA too. I run the group which means overseeing all theses cool projects, coming up with exciting new ideas and answering way too many emails. In my spare time I don't have spare time.


Koray Malcı

Research Associate 

Hi! My research interest is designing and programming microorganisms to do cool stuff; I also like to implement modelling and automation to accelerate this process. Currently, I am working within the NextSkins consortium to develop engineered living materials to solve real-world problems. When I have free time, I enjoy playing strategy games and exploring nature.


Anastasiya Kishkevich 

Research Associate

Hi! I am a yeast geneticist and interested in biotechnology and metabolic engineering of yeast.  I am developing strains which will be able to secrete high quantities of peptides and proteins of interest for pharma and biotech. In non-lab time I enjoy Earl Grey tea, English gardens, and the seaside. 


Klaudia Ciurkot

Research Associate

Hi! I have a background in yeast engineering and developing CRISPR-based tools to make this task easier. I joined Ellis lab to work on Synthetic Genomics, an emerging field that will improve our understanding of the genome. Inside the lab, I am an S. cerevisiae enthusiast and outside – dogs.


Linde Van Landuyt

Research Associate

With a passion for cutting edge technologies and the tackling of biomolecular problems, I joined the Ellis lab to blend the experience from my PhD with the Synthetic Human Genome project. Besides biotechnology,  I am enthusiastic about dancing, cooking, hiking and traveling.

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Alex Van de Steen

Research Associate

Hi I’m Alex and I believe that large scale implementation of biotechnology is needed for humanity to develop sustainably. I am excited to be working within the Ellis Lab on protein biomaterials in partnership with industry, to offer new possibilities over traditional materials. Beyond research, I enjoy bouldering and the odd bit of pottery. 

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Fankang Meng

Graduate Student

Hi, I’m Fankang, and I love synthetic biology. In my PhD, I'm developing synthetic tools and systems to explore the infinite possibilities of bio-design. I also love space exploration. I hope that maybe one day, I can apply synthetic biology to help us become a multi-planet civilization.


Xinyu (Jane) Lu

Graduate Student

Hi, I’m Xinyu (Jane). I’m a PhD student in this lab. I’m currently working on biocircuit design and construction. Maybe in the future, I’m going to do some research about regional defragmentation of yeast genome for preferable synthetic control. In my free time, I love traveling and playing flute.


Ivy Li

Graduate Student

Hello! My research area involves using living microorganisms to create new materials made of bacterial cellulose. Specifically, in my PhD, I'm working with the NextSkins consortium to create engineered living materials that are functionalised by using a mix of different microorganisms. Outside of the lab, I have a passion for sports like swimming and surfing, photography, and the bioeconomy


Anastasiya Malyshava

Graduate Student

Hi, I’m Anastasiya from Belarus. I'm a PhD student working on synthetic genomics. I will use genome engineering to reshape the yeast genome and to relocate several cell cycle genes together into new synthetic clusters. I believe this approach could shed light on why eukaryotic genomes don’t cluster their genes according to function. Outside the lab I enjoy dancing, drawing, playing violin and taking photos of everything aesthetically pleasing.


Annalise Zouein

Graduate Student joint

with Francesca Ceroni's Group

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” I apply this in my daily life as a PhD student working on biosensing in blood cells towards new tools to remedy a deadly world. In my spare time I enjoy learning new crafts, cooking and travelling.


Oliver Hernandez

Graduate Student joint with Naomi Nakayama's group

Hi! I'm Oli. My PhD project focuses on elucidating engineering principles to design self-organised multicellular patterns. To do this I am focusing on auxin, a hormone from plants that I use to control multicellular development in budding yeast! Outside of the lab I love all things related to movement, currently enjoying weightlifting, calisthenics and martial arts.


Alison Heggie

Graduate Student joint with Teresa Thurston's group

Hi, I’m Alison! My PhD project is focussed on engineering bacteria to target tumours. Outside the lab I enjoy playing hockey, trying out different places to eat, and travelling.

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Mia Fukino

MSc Student

Hi! I am Japanese American from Luxembourg. I am an MSc student, completing my research project under Tom Ellis’s group. In my project I am functionalising cellulose with different growth factors and cell adhesion peptides to act as 3D bioscaffolds for cell culture. Last but not yeast, I enjoy travelling and finding yummy places to eat.


Shiyu Yu

MRes Student

Hi, I'm Shiyu, a master student working on optogenetic switches of yeast. Outside of the lab, I usually spend my spare time on gym and café.


  • Dr Kenneth (Marcus) Walker: PhD, Postdoc and BC star: Oct 2016 - Sep 2022

  • Luis-Enrique Garcia Rivera: MRes: Jan 2022 – Sep 2022

  • Dr Joaquin Caro-Astorga: Postdoc and Fellow: Nov 2018 Aug 2022

  • Dr Fabio Liberante: Postdoc and Sanger Institute Legend: Nov 2019 – Apr 2022

  • Olivia Gallup: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • Yuqian Huang: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • Cerys Barclay: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • Dr Vivianne Goosens: Postdoc and Microbe Queen: Nov 2016 - Jan 2021

  • Dr William Shaw: PhD, Postdoc and Ultimate YTKer: Oct 2014 - Nov 2020

  • Yue (Casey Chen), MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2020 – Sep 2020,

  • Dr Benjamin Blount: Postdoc Hero and Beer Expert: Nov 2010 - Feb 2020

  • Fiachra Sweeny, MRes: Jan 2019 - Oct 2019

  • Dr Wolfgang Ott, DFG Fellow: Aug 2018 - Aug 2019

  • Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro, ICR Fellow: Aug 2017 - Aug 2019

  • Dr Linda Dekker Postdoc: Sep 2017 – Aug 2018

  • Dr Charlie Gilbert PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2014 – Jul 2018

  • Dr Olivier Borkowski Postdoc: Dec 2014 – Feb 2018

  • Dr Georgios Pothoulakis PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2012 – Aug 2017

  • Dr Vivek Senthivel (RA): Mar 2017 – Aug 2017

  • Dr Tim Weenink: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2012 – Nov 2016

  • Alice Boo: BioEng MEng: Nov 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Rob McKiernan: Bioinformatician: Jan 2014 – Jan 2017

  • Dr Francesca Ceroni: Postdoc and ICL Research Fellow: Sep 2012 – Oct 2016

  • Dr Benjamin Reeve: PhD (Bioeng): Nov 2011 – Apr 2016

  • Sabine Wagner: visiting PhD (Munich): May 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Dr Dejana Jovicevic: PhD (Bioeng): Apr 2012 – Apr 2016

  • Robert Chen: Visiting Whitaker Fellow: Oct 2014 – Sep 2015

  • Hugo Villanueva: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2015 – Sep 2015

  • Michael Florea: Biology BSc: Oct 2013 – Aug 2015

  • Dr Arturo Casini: PhD (LifeSci): Oct 2010 – Jun 2015

  • Dr Elena Martinez-Klimova: PhD (Bioeng): Jan 2011 – May 2015

  • Marios Koutsakos: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Jan 2014 – Dec 2014

  • Marta Garcia Bellmunt: Technician: Mar 2013 – Nov 2014

  • Dr Ollie Wright: Postdoc Superstar: Aug 2012 – Dec 2013

  • Dr Rhys Algar: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2010 – Oct 2013

  • Mihails Delmans: BioEng BEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Isuru Goonatilake: BioEng MEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Joshua Smit: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Joachim De Jonghe: BioEng Msc: Jan 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Henrik Hagemann, Bianca de Blasi, Jocelyne Holdbrook, Sophie Morse, Yutong Wu: BioEng BEng Oct 2013 – Jun 2014

  • Dr Pascal Püllman: Postdoc and Pichia star: July 2022 - May 2023

  • Dr Mateo Sanchez Lopez: Marie Curie Fellow: Jan 2021 - May 2023

  • Dr Lucie Studena: PhD (Bioeng): Aug 2018 – Aug 2022

  • Dr Amritpal Singh: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2017 - Aug 2022

  • Dr Alicia Graham: UROP Jun 2016-Sep 2016 & PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2018 - Mar 2023

  • Yao Wang: BioEng MSc Feb 2022 Sept 2022

  • Shufei Wang: Bioeng MEng Jan 2022 - July 2022

  • Choi Lo (Czarina): BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – July 2021

  • Hia Ming: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • James Urban: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • Marianne Buat: BioEng MEng Jan 2021 – Jun 2021

  • Dr Glen Gowers: PhD (Bioeng): Oct 2016 – Apr 2020

  • Silvia Hernandez Arago, MRes: Jan 2019 - Oct 2019

  • Keith Kam: BioEng MEng: Oct 2018 - Aug 2019

  • William Beardall: BioEng MEng: Nov 2018 - Jun 2019

  • Niko McCarty: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2018 – Sep 2018

  • Rachatida (Luke) Det-Udom: Visiting PhD & Newton Fellow: May 2017 – May 2018

  • Brooke Rothschild-Mancinelli: MRes Sys & Syn Bio & RA: Feb 2017 – Feb 2018

  • Jelle Van Der Hilst: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2017 – Sep 2017

  • Akash Das: BioEng Msc: Dec 2016 – Sep 2017

  • Ariana Miano, Alex Leung, Francesco Guagliardo, Monika Zbytniewska, Sergi Fayos Villalta: BioEng BEng Oct 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Matthew Layton: BioEng MEng: Nov 2016 – Jun 2017

  • Dr Ali Awan: Postdoc and Fungal Wizard: Jul 2013 – Jan 2017

  • Maureen Driessen: Technician: Jun 2014 – Jan 2017

  • Dr Carlos Bricio Garberi: Postdoc and Music & Star Wars Guru: Jul 2014 – Sep 2016

  • Jack Ho: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Alicia Graham: ICL UROP student: Jun 2016 – Sep 2016

  • Michaela Murgiano: visiting MSc (Italy): Oct 2015 – Mar 2016

  • Simon Arsene: BioEng Msc: Dec 2014 – Sep 2015

  • Despoina Paschou: BioEng MEng: Nov 2014 – Jun 2015

  • Arinbjorn Kolbeinsson: BioEng MEng: Nov 2014 – Jun 2015

  • Thomas Hargest: BioEng Msc: Jan 2013 – Sep 2013

  • Nicolas Kylilis: MRes Sys & Syn Bio: Feb 2012 – Sep 2012

  • Anna Kress: Visit from Aachen University: Apr 2012 – Sep 2012

  • Piotr Fabr: BioEng MEng: Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Yaksha Novicic: BioEng BEng:  Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Jiayue (Nina) Zhu: BioEng BEng: Nov 2011 – June 2012

  • Fabio Chizzolini: visiting MSc (Italy) Sept 2010 – July 2011

  • Charles Fracchia: Biology BSc: May 2011 – July 2011

  • Hung Hsu: BioEng BEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011

  • Riham Satti: BioEng MEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011

  • Serge Vasylechko: BioEng MEng: Nov 2010 – June 2011

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