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.