Tatjana Haitina, Researcher, PI, Docent
I am fascinated by the gene regulatory circuits that control cell differentiation and to what extent these are shared between different animal species. I received my Master's in Molecular Biology at the University of Latvia and completed my PhD at the Medical Faculty of Uppsala University under supervision of Professor Robert Fredriksson. During that time, in the new era of genome sequencing, I discovered tens of novel genes in a number of vertebrate species and described their activity, together with pharmacological profiles of the membrane receptors and transporters they code for. To widen my scientific expertise, I designed my postdoctoral project and started to explore regulatory processes of skeletal development in a zebrafish model and I got completely hooked on this. Currently, I am a Principal Investigator at the Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University. Together with my team I continue to study the molecular mechanisms of the tissue formation, their conservation during animal evolution, and comparison between the health and disease states. When I am not doing science, I take care of my forest garden, walk in the nature or work with textile crafts.

PhD student (open position, supported by Vetenskapsrådet)

Post doc (open position, supported by Carl Tryggers Stiftelse)

Jake Leyhr, PhD student (supported by the Evo Devo research program)
I completed my BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences at the Univeristy of Exeter (UK) in 2016 before moving to Sweden to pursue a Master’s in Evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University. It was during this time that I became hooked on evolutionary developmental biology (after seeing a fluorescent trangenic zebrafish for the first time) and after I graduated in 2018, I stayed to extend these studies as a PhD student. My work focuses on the evolution and development of the vertebrate skeleton including cartilage, bones, joints, and associated soft tissues including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, using zebrafish as a model organism. Being in a diverse research program surrounded by palaeontologists, I’ve been able to apply cutting-edge 3D imaging (synchrotron µCT scanning) to my research as well as getting involved in studying ancient fossil specimens. Outside of the lab I enjoy running and strength training, and take every opportunity I can to travel to new countries and experience different languages and cultures.

Jiaying Xie Chen, project student 2024, University of Barcelona, supported by Erasmus


Karen Desmedt, project student 2024, Hogent University, supported by Erasmus

Past Lab Members

Postdoctoral researchers

Daniel Ocampo Daza
Postdoctoral researcher 2017-2020 (supported by Vetenskapsrådet)
Molecular evolution of extracellular matrix sulfotransferases in vertebrates.

PhD students

Laura Waldmann
PhD student 2016-2021 (supported by Vetenskapsrådet).
PhD thesis: The role of Nkx3.2 and Gdf5 during zebrafish skeletal development. ISBN 978-91-513-1110-4.

Jan Stundl, guest PhD student, 2017
Transcriptome analyses through developmental stages of basal actinopterygians.

Philipp Pottmeijer, co-supervised 2018-2023
Emmanouil Tsakoumis, co-supervised 2017-2021
Bianca Vlcek, co-supervised 2019-2021
Willian Silva, co-supervised 2014-2018

Anna Jerve, co-supervised 2015-2016.
PhD thesis: Development and three-dimensional histology of vertebrate dermal fin spines. ISBN 978-91-554-9596-1.

Project and Master Students

Elsa Leflaec 2023, Lille University


Inés Gonzalez Aspe 2022

Branco Vanhaverbeke 2020

Sara Gillnäs, 2019

Tara Dijkman 2018
Lina Stacker 2018
Jietse Verweirder 2018
Jake Leyhr 2017-2018
Thibaut D’hooge 2017
Marlene Schmidt 2017
Michiel Mooren 2016
Jelle Cokelaere 2016
Erik Elgh 2016
Laura Waldmann 2015
Onur Özer 2015

Henning Onsbring Gustafson 2014, 2012

Last modified: 2023-10-24