The Laboratory for Centrosome and Cytoskeleton Biology  

Institute of Human Genetics, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf 


Principal Investigator


Dr. Jay Gopalakrishnan Ph.D.

Surely not the Boss but trying to be the leader


  • From July 2018: Univ.-Professor, Institute for Human Genetics, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • January 2013 - June 2018: Independent research group leader and HFSP young investigator, Center for molecular medicine (CMMC), University of Cologne, Germany
  • July 2012 - January 2013: Post-doctoral research, Hyman lab, MPI-Dresden, Germany, (Advisor: Prof. Anthony Hyman)
  • March 2006 - June 2012: Post-doctoral research, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, USA. (Advisor: Prof. Tomer Avidor-Reiss. Mentors: Profs. Danesh Moazad, Tim Mitchison, and Tom Rapoport)
  • July 2004 - March 2006: Career break due to health issues, jobless and terrible times
  • April 2001 - June 2004: Ph.D. student, Technical University of Berlin, Germany (Advisor: Prof. Lorenz Adrian)
  • 1999 - 2000: M.S (By Research), Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
  • 1994 - 1998: Bachelor studies in biochemistry and pharmacology, Madras Medical College (MMC), Chennai, India



Our Postdoctoral Scientists



Dr. rer. nat Arul Mariappan Ph.D.

Scientist, Microscopist, IT, Lab manager, Teacher, and Liaison of glioma translational research between the lab, clinic, and companies

  • Research Interest:  Centrosome and cilium biology in human cancers (in particular Glioma), and super-resolution microscopy
  • Exceptional skill: Can image even an elephant under his microscope, offering Indian food to others in lunch.
  • Email:


Dr. Steffen Erkelenz Ph.D.

Scientist and the Bear

  • Research Interest:  Genetic engineering and cellular biochemistry of cilia proteins, regulatory elements of cilia in Glioma, cilia evolution in brain development and many more
  • Exceptional skill: Creating a positive environment. Let me know if you want to clone an elephant and express it. And I dont eat lunch.  If you want to kill your time, talk to me about RNA splicing!
  • Email:


Dr. Elke Gabriel Ph.D.


  • Research Interest:  Stem cells, tissue engineering, brain organoids and microcephaly
  • Exceptional skill: Can engineer any kind of brain tissue in the dish.  Talk to me about neurodevelopmental disorders, I can help you.
  • Email:


Dr. Omkar Suhas Vinchure Ph.D.

Scientist, GlioOrg member

  • Research Interest:  Glioblastoma multiforme, cilium biology in cancer, recurrent and therapy-resistant glioma, microRNA
  • Exceptional skill: Molecular biology. Team leader. Mediator
  • Email:




Dr. rer. nat Anand Ramani Ph.D.


  • Research Interest:  Cilia checkpoint, stem cell-based brain organoids, technology development and pretty much everything
  • Email:



Our Graduate Researchers


Nazlıcan Altınışık M.Sc.


Research Interest:  Microcephaly due to DNA damage 

  • Exceptional skill: Can edit genes and engineer tissues as long as it is connected to primary cilia!! I want to make the most complicated paper with ultra complex biology of brain development.
  • Email:


Dhanasekaran Rathinam M. Tech.


  • Research Interest:  Primate specific cilia and human microcephaly
  • Exceptional skill: Fine stem cell handling and cell engineering.
  • Email:


Vaishnavi Karthikeyan M.Sc.


Research Interest: FMRP and biochemistry

  • Exceptional skill: Handling of iPSCs
  • Email:


Philipp Yuen M.Sc.

GlioOrg member

  • Research interest: Glioblastoma multiforme, cilium biology
  • Exceptional skill: Immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, chipping off unnecessary incubation time
  • Email:


Manish Naik M.Sc.


Research Interest: CCB53 and molecular biology

  • Exceptional skill: Public speaker, scientific representative, standup comedian, positive vibe transmitter, artist, poet, singer, dancer, coke enthusiast, guitarist-to-be 

Master's students

Minh Tran B.Sc.

GlioOrg member

  • Research interest: Glioblastoma multiforme, bioinformatics
  • Exceptional skills: Data visualization. Coding. Anything can be modeled with the right math and passion.
  • Email:



Maria Fenner

  • Glio-Org and Transcriptomics Administrator



Soo Kai Ter M.Sc.


Research Interest:  Cilia biology in glioblastoma (both naive and recurrent), centrosomes, target identification and drug discovery

  • Exceptional skill: Lab organization is his second nature
  • Email:

Lab group photos


The Hague, 2022



Düsseldorf, 2021



Cologne, 2018 



Cologne, 2017