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Lab meeting with the Koltowska lab

Posted by , on 18 April 2024

Where is the lab?

You can find us in Uppsala, Sweden!

Lab website:

Research summary

Here in the Koltowska lab, we are interested in all things lymphatic vessel-related. How lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are specified, gain their identity, end up in the right place to form vessels, and how these vessels function.

Lab roll call

Hannah Arnold has been a postdoc in the lab for five years and is interested in lymphatic development, focusing on how LECs migrate and interact to navigate their environment.

Marleen Gloger has been a postdoc in the lab for five years as well and is interested in lymphatic vessel development, specifically LEC cell proliferation, and how these processes are altered in disease conditions such as cancer and metastasis formation.

Di Peng has done a PhD in the group and now continues as a postdoc. She is very fond of observing cellular events during development using different live imaging techniques. Her projects focus on regulation of lymphatic endothelial behaviours. 

Faidra Voukelatou has recently started her PhD in the group and is interested in cancer as well as lymphatic vessel research. She enjoys working with zebrafish as an animal model to investigate the dynamics of brain cancer invasion and vasculature.

Renae Skoczylas has been a research engineer in the lab for 6 years and enjoys all things zebrafish and lymphatics.  She is particularly happy generating new mutant lines for the lab using CRIPSR technology and being involved in and helping with any other lab members’ projects.

Favourite technique, and why?

Kaska Koltowska: Microscopy! There is something incredibly magical in looking down the microscope and observing life in high magnification. Using microscopy to look at zebrafish heartbeat and blood flowing through the vessels never stops to amaze me!

Apart from your own research, what are you most excited about in developmental and stem cell biology?

Kaska Koltowska: I think how gene expression is regulated and the steps coordinating cell specification is incredibly fascinating. The level of developmental reproducibility in every embryo is just mind-blowing. Biology gets it right almost every time, and if it does not, we can learn something very important.

How do you approach managing your group and all the different tasks required in your job?

Kaska Koltowska: I don’t think I use any specific managing tools. I dedicate time to discussing science with every member of the group regularly. This helps to keep the projects focused. When a project is coming up close to completion I dedicate more time for it. It helps a lot that the team is very efficient and group members can manage themselves very well so my input is minimal. For myself, I often make a weekly prioritisation plan of the most important tasks that need to be done that week and try to stick to it.

What is the best thing about where you work? 

We are positioned between two wider communities. That of Vascular Biology, where our lab is located and encompasses ten research groups, and the Uppsala Zebrafish community where our fish are housed alongside five other groups and one service platform.

What’s there to do outside of the lab?

Uppsala is a small but busy student city where you can enjoy restaurants and cafes for a ‘fika’ break. It is located close to nature giving us the opportunity to enjoy the forest for a walk or BBQ in the summer and snow sports in the winter. It also provides an excellent backdrop for walking the boss’ dog. On the other hand, Uppsala is a short train ride to Stockholm so it is easy to enjoy big city life on the weekends and go to museums, theatres or concerts.

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Categories: Lab Life

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