Péter Lénárt

group leader


Péter is originally from Budapest, Hungary. He completed his PhD in 2004 at EMBL, Heidelberg followed by a postdoc at IMP, Vienna. Since 2008 he is back to EMBL, first as staff scientist and since 2011 as group leader at the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit.

Philippe Bun

postdoctoral fellow


Philippe comes from Paris, where he studied how mechanical cues affect cell polarity at the Institut Jacques Monod during his PhD. His goal now is to understand the mechanism of contraction of the F-actin network required for chromosome congression in starfish meiosis. 

Natalia Wesolowska

postdoctoral fellow


Natalia is from Poland. She did her PhD with Yikang Rong at the NIH where she worked on Drosophila telomere organization. She is now investigating the mechanism by which actin facilitates nuclear envelope breakdown in the starfish oocyte.

Johanna Bischof

PhD student


Johanna comes from Dresden, Germany. Before coming to EMBL she did her Masters at the University of Bath, UK. She is taking a biophysical approach to understand contraction waves that coincide with cell cycle transitions in the oocyte.

Masha (Mariia) Burdyniuk

PhD student


Masha comes from Ukraine. She did her Masters in Heidelberg University. For her PhD project she is exploring how actin- and microtubule-driven mechanisms of chromosome capture are coordinated with one another during starfish meiosis.

Kálmán Somogyi



Kálmán comes from Hungary, where he used Drosophila genetics to understand the function and phylogeny of Nimrod genes. Now Kálmán works actin's role in early divisions of starfish embryos and delves into the question of how the starfish oocyte establishes polarity.



Joana Pinto

PhD student


During her PhD project Joana revealed how centrioles are eliminated during the meiotic divisions in starfish oocytes, preparing the egg for fertilization. She then moved on to a postdoc to Nate Goehring's lab at the Crick Institute.

Ermin Hadzic

postdoctoral fellow


Ermin established protocols for proteomics in starfish oocytes and used this to identify novel regulators of actin nucleation. He then moved back to his home country, Luxembourg to an administrative position enjoying "no stress" and a "colossal salary".

Masashi Mori

postdoctoral fellow


Masashi characterized the contractile actin network necessary for chromosome transport in meiosis and discovered the separate structure of the actin shell. He is now Assistant Professor at Osaka University.

Laura Kessler



Laura is masters student at the University of Konstanz. During her internship she initiated the investigation of actin structures during maturation of the Xenopus oocyte.

Manuela Adriano Moreira



During Manuela's time as a trainee in the lab, in cooperation with Ermin, she investigated the localization of actin nucleators in the starfish oocyte.

Hiroshi Kondo



Hiroshi spend about a year in the lab as part of his Master's studies. He assisted Masashi in investigating meiosis-specific functions of actin during starfish oocyte meiosis. He is starting his PhD work in Erik Sahai's lab at the Crick Institute.

Sarah Thome



Sarah studied biotechnology in Esslingen and did her bachelor thesis in our lab to identify and characterize regulators of actin-driven chromosome transport in starfish oocytes. She is now Research Assistant in Xuan Li's lab at the University of Cambridge.

Imre Májer



Imre studied physics in Budapest and spent 6 months in the lab before starting his Master's at ETH Zürich. Imre initiated the analysis of the contraction wave at polar body formation, what became the basis for Johanna's project. Imre is now doing his PhD in South Korea.

Klaske Schukken



Klaske studied at the Cornell University and spent a summer with us to study whether starfish oocytes contain localized polarity determinants. Klaske is now a PhD student in Floris Foijer's lab at theUniversity Medical Center Groningen.

Henning Falk



Henning spent two months in the lab as part of the practicals in his Masters Program. Henning worked on quantifying the dynamics of the F-actin meshwork involved in chromosome transport in starfish oocytes. He is now a PhD student with Alexander Aulehla at EMBL.