Top row: Axel Poulet (with Sevan), Max Bales, Hae-Rim Lee, Arthur Helwig, Andrew Verdesca

Below: Sudheesh AP, Josien van Wolfswinkel, Arcadia Kratkiewicz, Ida Kulidzan, Xinyi Zhou,




Josien van Wolfswinkel received her M.Sc. in Cell Biology from Utrecht University, Netherlands. For her graduate research she worked in the laboratories of Ronald Plasterk, Albert Heck, and Rene Ketting at Utrecht University and the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology to study the molecular mechanism of RNA interference in the nematode C. elegans. After her postdoctoral research on planarian regeneration in the lab of Peter Reddien at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research / MIT, she has started her own lab in the Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, working on the RNA biology of stem cells.

Josien van Wolfswinkel



Hae-Rim obtained her M.Sc. in Botany and Microbiology from Yeung-Nam University in Korea. Her graduate work in the lab of Ki-Joong Kim in the Department of Taxonomy and Ecology at Korea University focussed on the phylogeny and evolution of jasmin. Her postdoctoral work took her from plants via genomics to planarians, and in the Van Wolfswinkel lab she studies the impact of transposons on planarian biology. 

Hae-Rim Lee


Axel obtained his M.Sc. from Auvergne University in France specialising in bioinformatics and data modelling. He continued to obtain his PhD from Auvergne University and Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK working on 3D analysis of chromatin organization in a joint project between the labs of Christophe Tatout and David Evans. In the Van Wolfswinkel lab Axel continues this passion and studies the chromatin organisation of planarian cells. 

Axel can tell you all you want to know about New Haven restaurants or about computational pitfalls - especially if you bring coffee.

Axel Poulet


Krishnakali graduated with a M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta in India. She obtained her PhD in Genetic, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Southern California working in the lab of Robert Maxon on the role of neural crest cells in cranial development. She is passionate about microscopy, and in the Van Wolfswinkel lab she is interested in the spatial dynamics of stem cells and regenerating tissues. 

Krishnakali is an avid performer of Indian classical dance and a very talented teacher.

Krishnakali Dasgupta


Sudheesh obtained his M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Mahatma Gandhi University in India. His PhD work in the lab of Rakesh Laishram at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology focussed on the regulation of RNA 3' end processing. In the Van Wolfswinkel lab he is disentangling the regulatory RNA pathways in planarians. 

Sudheesh AP

Graduate students


Danyan received her B.Sc. from Peking University and came to Yale as a graduate student in the Yale World Scholars BBS program. After gaining experience in molecular biology by working on Post Transcriptional Gene Silencing in Arabidopsis, she has now switched her focus to the piRNA-mediated regulation of planarian stem cells. 

Danyan is an avid jogger and a big fan of chocolate cake.

Danyan Li


Andrew is a graduate from Brown University with a double major in Biology and English. He has a passion for aging research and in the Van Wolfswinkel lab he is exploring the mechanisms that planarians use to maintain their apparently indefinite life spans. 

Andrew also is an extremely fast skier and talented writer which he uses for making complex science accessible to a wide audience.

Andrew Verdesca


Arcadia received her B.A. in Biochemistry from Smith college, and gained further experience in molecular research as a postgraduate associate at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Arcadia is fascinated by chromatin biology and gene regulation and she studies the ways in which RNAs regulate chromatin in planarians. 

Arcadia has a passion for science outreach and for baking the best cookies you ever tasted.

Arcadia Kratkiewicz


Yan received her B.Sc. from Beijing University. Yan has a solid background in biochemistry, and will now apply this to study the regulation of the planarian stem cells. She is also interested in computational approaches to enhance her cell biological studies.

Yan enjoys reading and sharing food with friends.

Yan Cheng

Postgraduate Associates


Anthony graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a major in biology and a minor in engineering. He is interested in the intersection between research and medicine and in the effect of foreign nucleic acids on planarians. He has lived all over the world  and enjoys exploring new places by practicing his photography.

Anthony Chua


Xinyi is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Genetics and Genomics. She is interested in stem cell regulation and particularly enjoys microscopy. She is also a very talented artist with experience in set building for theatre productions and in science illustration.

Xinyi Zhou

The old days

Summer 2021


Left to right: Andrew Verdesca, Eve Wattenberg, Arcadia Kratkiewicz, Krishnakali Dasgupta, Michael Zelko,

Francine Nihozeko, Anthony Chua, Danyan Li, Hae-Rim Lee, Axel Poulet, Sudheesh AP

Fall 2019


Danyan Li, Andrew Verdesca, Michael Zelko, Brian Jones, Francine Nihozeko

Fall 2017


Top: Danyan Li, Josien van Wolfswinkel, Carmen Conroy

Below: David Taylor, Brian Jones, Cliff Aquino

Summer 2016


Top: Susanna Liu, Josien van Wolfswinkel

Below: Carmen Conroy, Shiyuan Mao, Kwasi Enin