Taija Mäkinen (PI)


I am interested in understanding the complex interplay between cells and their environment during vascular morphogenesis.


Nina Daubel


I obtained my Master’s degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. For my thesis work I joined the group of Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid at the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology, where I studied dynamics in nuclear architecture. I am interested in aspects of cell biology and development in general. My PhD project focuses on the characterization of lymphatic endothelial progenitor cells.

Maike Frye


I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Biomedicine in Münster. During my PhD and postdoc in the lab of Prof. Dietmar Vestweber, I analyzed the regulation of blood endothelial junctions. I joined the Mäkinen lab in 2014 as a Postdoc and changed the vessel type. Now I am working on lymphatic endothelial junctions and on the role of Gata2 in lymphatic development. 

Magda Hernandez Vasquez


I received my PhD in Pharmacology from CINVESTAV-IPN in Mexico City. During my PhD in Prof. Jose Vazquez´s lab, I characterized the molecular mechanisms by which GPR124/TEM5, an orphan adhesion GPCR, promotes endothelial cell adhesion. In 2017 I joined the lab as a postdoc. Now I am working on characterising two new lymphatic endothelial transcription factors.

Ines Martinez-Corral


I received my PhD in Molecular Biology at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid. During my PhD in the transgenic mouse unit, I designed and characterized genetic mouse models for the study of the lymphatic system. In 2010 I joined Taija’s lab where I focused my research on the analysis of lymphatic vessel development during early embryogenesis, and functional characterization of Kif11, a novel lymphedema associated gene.

Henrik Ortsäter


I received my PhD in Medical Cell Biology from Uppsala University in 2005. After post doctoral work on diabetes research at Karolinska Institute I joined the Mäkinen lab in 2014. I’m working on techniques to monitor lymphatic vessel function using NIR in vivo microscopy.

Simon Stritt


I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Julius-Maximilians University in Würzburg. Up to now I have studied the role of cytoskeletal proteins in platelet production and the pathogenesis of platelet disorders in the lab of Prof. Bernhard Nieswandt. In 2016 I joined Taija’s lab focusing on the role of the cytoskeleton in determining endothelial cell function and on the origin of lymphatic endothelial progenitor cells.

Sofie Wagenius

Yan Zhang


I received my PhD in Biology from Tsinghua University in China, where I worked on the molecular basis of convergent extension movement during embryogenesis. I joined Mäkinen lab in 2015 as a postdoc. Now my work is focusing on the organ-specific mechanisms of lymphatic morphogenesis. 

Yang Zhang


I obtained my Master’s degree in Nanobiophysics from TU Dresden, Germany. I am interested in cell fate control during development in general. My PhD work focuses on understanding organ-specific development of the lymphatic vasculature.