Lab Members


Sha Liu (PI)

sha.liu (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Sha was born and raised in Wuhan, China, and conducted his PhD research at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he studied developmental genetics in zebrafish.  He then moved to Baltimore to perform the postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University, USA with Dr. Mark Wu, studying the molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying sleep and circadian rhythm in fruit flies.  After seven years in the US, he flew across the ocean again to set up his own lab at VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium.


El-Sayed Baz (Postdoctoral Fellow)

elsayed.baz (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Sayed was born and raised in Sharkia, Egypt.  He received his doctoral degree from the University of Kassel, Germany, where he studied the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian rhythm in cockroaches.  After this, he worked as a lecturer of Behavioral Physiology and Neuroethology at the Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.  He joined the Flysleep lab in February 2018 to conduct his postdoctoral research.  His goal is to investigate the roles of sleep in synaptic plasticity at the cellular level.  His many hobbies include embroidery and design.


Chang-Hui Tsao (Postdoctoral Fellow)

changhui.tsao (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Chang-Hui was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, and conducted his PhD research in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the National Defense Medical Center.  He then joined the Suewei Lin lab to conducted his postdoctoral research at the Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, where he studied how hunger is represented in the brain and how it controls food-seeking behavior.  After 4 years, he moved to Europe to join the Flysleep lab.  He loves travel, food and Japanese culture.


Joana Dopp (PhD Student, FWO PhD Fellow)

joana.dopp (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Joana is from Cologne, Germany.  She received her MSc in Neuroscience from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2016.  During this time, she studied sleep-wake disturbances in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease at the University Hospital Zurich.  After her master studies, she studied synaptic plasticity of human neurons transplanted into mice at Imperial College London.  She joined the Flysleep lab in October 2017.  In her free time, Joana enjoys traveling, photography, scuba diving, and snowboarding.


Miranda Dyson (PhD Student, FWO PhD Fellow)

miranda.dyson (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Miranda comes from Nottingham, UK.  She received her BSc in Biomedical Science at Manchester Met University before moving to London to first work as a Clinical Research Assistant and to complete her MSc in Neuroscience at King’s College London.  She then worked for 2 years as a Research Technician at University College London studying ALS-FTD in Drosophila.  Miranda joined the Flysleep lab in June 2019.  In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, aerial arts and scuba diving.


Yifan Wu (PhD Student, FWO PhD Fellow)

yifan.wu (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Yifan comes from Changsha, China.  He received his MSc in Neuroscience from Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC), during which he was trained as an electrophysiologist by Professor Jianyuan Sun (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Professor Jakob Sorensen (University of Copenhagen). After his Master studies, he joined Professor Anna Beyeler’s lab at the University of Bordeaux as a Research Technician and studied the role of insular circuits in anxiety and emotional processing.  In his free time, he loves binge-watching TV, and sleeping.


Jiekun Yan (Technician/Lab Manager)

jiekun.yan (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Jiekun comes from Changchun, China. She received her BSc in Biophysics from Jilin Agricultural University in 1985. before moving to Belgium to work as a university teacher for 10 years (Assistant 3 years, Lecturer 7 years), and to complete her MSc in ‘Molecular Biology and Biotechnoloyg’ at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium in 2000.  Before joining the Flysleep Lab in April 2020, she worked in the labs of Bassem Hassan and Dietmar Schmucker for 20 years .  In her free time, she enjoys swimming, singing and dancing.


Antonio Ortega (PhD Student)

antonio.ortega (AT) kuleuven.vib.be

Antonio comes from Huelva, Spain.  He achieved a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Seville in 2016.  Before joining the Flysleep Lab in February 2019, he completed his Master Thesis in Bioinformatics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where he worked on free software tools for the quantitative analysis of Mass Spectrometry proteomics data.  In his free time, Antonio enjoys learning languages (both human and programming), exercising and traveling.


Lisa van Ninhuijs (Technician) 2018-2020

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