our people
Hiro Ohkura
Hiro Ohkura(group leader)
Hiro obtained his PhD from Kyoto University, Japan in 1990 under the supervision of Prof Mitsuhiro Yanagida. After a postdoc in Prof David Glover's lab in Dundee University, he started his lab in 1997 at The University of Edinburgh. In 2008, he was appointed as Professor of Cell Biology. He had been a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow for 20 years since 1997, and is a Wellcome Investigator in Science from 2018. He is also one of the founding members of The Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology.
Julia Niziol
Julia Niziol(research assistant)
Julia obtained her bachelor's degree in Biophysics in 2021 from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, followed by a master's degree from the same institution in 2023. During those years, her research focused on extracellular vesicles and the development of a novel methodology for positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy studies with biological samples. In 2024, she embarked on a new chapter by joining Ohkura lab as a research assistant. Beyond her scientific pursuits, Julia enjoys traveling, nature walks and trying out new coffee spots.
Igor Dasuzhau
Igor Dasuzhau(research assistant)
Igor obtained his Bachelor's degree in Natural Sciences in 2022, from the University of Cambridge. There, he worked in Dr Karam Teixeira's lab on the germline and somatic repression of transposons in Drosophila. In 2023 he obtained his Master's Degree in Biochemistry in Dr Svetlana Khoronenkova's lab, investigating the use of a small molecule drug in the suppression of neuroinflammation. After working in the Khoronenkova lab post-graduation, he joined the Ohkura lab in 2024 as a research assistant. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano, learning new languages, and kickboxing.
Rohan Singh
Rohan Singh(PhD student)
Rohan obtained his bachelor's degree in microbiology from University of Delhi in 2021. Then, in 2022, he graduated with Master's in Cell Biology from the University of Manchester where he focused on relating calcium dynamics to the cell divisions and mechanical stress/strain in the developing Xenopus laevis gastrula in Dr. Sarah Woolner's lab. From January 2023, he started his PhD Biological Sciences in Prof. Ohkura group at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Darwin Trust, where he mainly works on meiotic spindle nucleation in Drosophila oocytes. In most of his free time, he loves to write, do photography, trek and play games.
Rayane Kaade
Rayane Kaade(PhD student)
Rayane obtained her bachelor's degree in Life and Earth Sciences in 2018 from Lebanese University, Lebanon. In 2019 she moved to France to pursue her master's degree in Biotechnology-Proteomics, and she graduated in 2020 from Lille university - France. In October 2021 she joined the Ohkura lab as a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Darwin Trust. In her spare time, Rayane enjoys hiking, jogging, and watching movies.
Gera Pavlova
Gera Pavlova(postdoc)
Gera graduated from Kazan Federal University (Kazan, Russia) in 2013 with major specialization in Biochemistry. As a PhD student Gera was hired by Prof. M. Gatti to the Lab of Cell Division of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology SB RAS (Novosibirsk, Russia) in 2014. During PhD training she was searched and studied proteins involved in spindle assembly and functioning in Drosophila S2 cells. Gera obtained her PhD from IMCB SB RAS in Jan 2020 with the project describing the role of transcriptional factors in Drosophila mitosis. Hereafter Gera joined the Hiro Ohkura's Lab as a postdoc in March 2020. At her free time she enjoys knitting and soap making.
Xiang Wan
Xiang Wan(PhD student)
Xiang obtained his bachelor degree from Nanjing Agricultural University (China) in 2016. After graduation, he furthered his study and completed his master thesis at Dr. Shao-chen Sun's lab where he focused on porcine oocyte maturation, obtaining the degree in June 2019. From January 2020, he started his PhD study in Prof. Ohkura group at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Darwin Trust, where he mainly works on molecular dissection of the meiotic spindle in Drosophila oocytes. In most of his free time, jogging is his only way to unwind.
Emiliya Taskova
Emiliya Taskova(PhD student)
Emiliya graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2018, with honours in molecular biology. In 2016 she completed a summer internship programme in Prof. Takeaki Ozawa's lab at the University of Tokyo, investigating an optogenetic system for the activation of a mammalian kinase. Later on, in 2017, she took part in the summer school at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich where she worked in Prof. Cyril Zipfel's lab on verifying putative interactors of a kinase involved in plant immune signalling. She joined the Ohkura lab in 2019 as a technician. Outside the lab, Emiliya enjoys learning new languages, playing antichess and hiking.
Emma Peat
Emma Peat(technician)
Emma has worked in technical positions in the NHS and Dundee and Edinburgh Universities. After leaving employment to have her family, she has since returned to work in the Ohkura Lab providing technical support. Emma's hobbies include fossil hunting, fish keeping and cake making as well as volunteering for a local youth group.
Fiona Cullen
Fiona Cullen(research assistant)
Fiona joined the Ohkura lab when he became independent in 1997, and previously worked in David Glover's lab in Dundee as a general assistant. She has worked on numerous different projects using yeast and Drosophila, and at present is working on female meiosis in Drosophila.

Former members of the lab

Ola (Edinburgh University)

Carmela (Oxitec)

Li Ern (Imperial College London)

Jule (Edinburgh University)

Elsa (Nagoya University)

Charlotte (Edinburgh University)

Dan (Edinburgh University)

Pedro (Oxsed Limited, Oxfordshire)

Mariana (Arctoris Ltd, Oxfordshire)

Simona (Edinburgh University)

Lucia (Edinburgh University)

Pierre (NovaGray, Montpellier)

Kathryn (University College London)

Verdiana (Edinburgh University)

Alex (Edinburgh University)

Ricardo (Oxford Nanoimaging, Oxford)

Mila (Flo Health)

Robin (Edinburgh University)

Manuel (Communications Biology, Springer Nature)

Sophie (Universite de Rennes, France)

Ponsit (Prince of Songkhla University, Thailand)

Elvira (College de France, Paris)

Sara (Edinburgh University)

Agata (Edinburgh University)

Karolina (Polpharma Biologics, Gdansk)

Heather (Edinburgh University)

Sally (Melbourne University)

Nathalie (Toulouse)

Heather (Edinburgh University)

Benjamin (Wilmer Innovation Center, Singapore)

Ana (Genentech, California)

Oscar (Medical training, King College London)

Neil (Imperial College)

Nick (Cambridge University)

Amy (Sheffield University)

Anne (Livingstone)

Nicola (Edinburgh University)

Sarah (Glasgow)

David (Lonza Biologics, Berkshire)

Karen (Edinburgh University)

Anne (QuintilesIMS, Tronto)

Nicola (Cambridge University)

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