Lab in the spotlight :

Prof. Rami Aqeilan

weekly spotlight


Daniel J Steinberg
M.D. PhD student

What drove me to choose this lab?

It was actually a happy accident – I was in my first year of medical school and I was just studying immunology, so I looked for a lab in the immunology department. The first lab on the list was Rami’s, and his research topics sounded so interesting that I forgot all about the original reason.

My research 

I study developmental and epileptic encephalopathies using patient-derived human brain organoids, with an emphasis on diseases related to the WWOX gene. This basically means I use cells from children with these diseases to create a miniaturized “version” of their brain to study its development and the diseases.

A funny thing in our lab is that although our lab is in the Immunology and Cancer Research Department, my field of research is neurological diseases in children. And this is not just me – our lab’s research topics are so diverse… let’s just say that the confused looks on department members’ faces every time we present our work are priceless.

A first impression I got when I arrived or a thing I remember from my beginnings in the lab

The first thing I remember was feeling overwhelmed – I couldn’t imagine how all these students do such complex experiments and how they even understand them. Now I see that little by little – everyone who wants to can do it.

A memorable event we had as a lab

At our last departmental retreat we all went kayaking, and our lab was split between two boats. Long story short – it’s funny to have a water fight with graduate students, but it’s even funnier getting splashed by your professor.

My first paper is being published these days in EMBO Molecular Medicine. The journal is open access, so feel free to check it out by clicking here 

In five years I will be…

As I am in the academic reserve, the future is “non negotiable” 🙂