Current members

Yu-Chien Hung (Postdoc)

I received my PhD from the Institute of Physiology at National Taiwan University under the supervision of Dr. Chih-Chiang Chan. My doctoral work investigated how mitochondrial proteins work in the process of apoptosis and autophagy pathways underlying neurodegeneration. I have worked on  experimental design and practice of Drosophila and cell lines. In the Chen Lab, I am focusing on understanding the interactions between photoreceptors and brain circuits as well as the relationship of sleep deprivation and light stimuli in Drosophila

Mehran Akhtar (PhD student)

I was born and raised in a countryside village in northern Pakistan (Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Since high school, I have been fascinated by genetics; the role of genes in biological activities and gene mutations in diseases. This drove me to study biotechnology in my bachelor’s and master’s with research projects in human immunogenetics and microbial genetics. Currently, I am doing PhD in Genetics at the University of Leicester, UK, and working on exploring the mechanistic role of nystagmus-associated genes in vision and sleep disorders, especially the latter, using Drosophila as a disease model. I am planning to continue working in academia in future in neurogenetics, especially vision and sleep genetics.

Xinghua Li (PhD student)

I am a current PhD student in Dr Chen’s lab at University of Leicester. Applying my prior experience in working with Drosophila melanogaster during my iMsc (King’s College London), I am currently focused on investigating the effects of sleep and circadian clock on cancer progression via Drosophia model.

Farhiya Hansan (MSc student)

Current MSc student working on sleep regulatory role of Nystagmus associated genes 

Nithish Sattoju (MSc student)

With Pharm. D (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree and 2 years’ experience as academician and clinician and researcher, I’m currently pursuing Master's in Molecular Genetics at University of Leicester with research focusing on correlation between sleep patterns and Neurocalcin expression in Drosophila eye photoreceptors under the guidance of Dr. Ko-Fan Chen. I’m keen in continuing my profession of researcher and academician. I am also actively seeking funded PhD opportunities to delve deeper into genetic aspects of neurodegenerative or neurodevelopmental disorders with ultimate goal of contributing significantly to field of neurogenetics, bridging clinical insights with genetic understanding and striving for the cure.

Clelia Siefer-Gaillardin (Erasmus +)

Current Erasmus intern working on sleep regulatory role of phototransduction- associated genes