Jan Mašek, PhD

Group leader

Originally coming from the laboratory of Vitezslav Bryja in Brno where I got charmed by the Wnt/b-catenin signaling pathway. I continued in Prague in Zbynek Kozmik´s lab focusing on the role of transcription factor Tcf7l1 in early events of the mammalian neural crest cell development. I did my postdoc in Emma Andersson´s lab at Karolinska institute studying the specificity of the individual Notch ligands towards their receptors in the context of early liver formation and disease.

My current goal as a group leader is to create a thriving research hub for studies of signaling cross-talk in various contexts of mammalian development and disease.

MSc, Katarína Kováčová

Lab manager

My career as a lab technician began at Loschmidt Laboratories in Brno (, specialized in protein engineering research. After moving to Prague I worked as a research assistant at Zbynek Kozmik Lab under the leadership of Ondrej Machon, where we studied transcription factor Meis2 and its roles in zebrafish and mouse embryonic development. I am excited I can now become part of Janek’s laboratory and constantly improve my lab skills under his leadership.

Daniel Oliveira


Originally coming from Portugal, I did my Bachelor in Biochemistry at the University of Algarve. Afterwards, I enrolled in a Master of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Algarve. I did my MSc. internship at CABIMER, Seville, Spain, studying cell fusion as a regenerative therapy for treating ischemic stroke.  Afterwards, I joined José Bragança’s lab at the University of Algarve, where I studied the role of the transcriptional co-activator Cited2 in maintaining the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells as well as its role in cardiac differentiation. Continuing my interest in stem cell differentiation, I joined Matthias Futschik’s lab, where I studied the role of alternative splicing and its impact on molecular interaction networks during stem cell differentiation.

I did my PhD in Helena Karlström’s lab at Karolinska Institute, where I investigated the role of NOTCH3 dysfunction in disease and for therapy development with a focus on CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy) where I was charmed by the Notch signaling pathway.

I recently joined the Masek lab as a postdoc, where I hope to continue investigating the role of the Notch signaling pathway in mammalian development and disease. My project will explore the bidirectionality of Notch ligands signaling in mammals and disease.

MSc, Anna Maria Frontino

PhD student

I have always been interested in cell biology as well as molecular mechanisms those underlying mammal development. During my bachelor’s and M.Sc internships in Federico Cremisi’s lab at the University of Pisa, I had the chance to learn a lot about stem cell biology and its potential in therapeutic approaches for neurological disease as well as a fundamental tool to recapitulate and study human and mouse neurodevelopment in vitro. My undergraduate work focused on the role of transcription factor ZBTB20 in human neurogenesis using a hiPSC-derived model of the dentate gyrus.

It’s amazing how environment, as well as extrinsic and intrinsic stimuli throughout development, affects crucial pathways, contributing to the modulation of high order functions. Currently, I am a very curious PhD student at Dr Masek’s lab. My PhD project aims to study and uncover the ”Bi-directional” signaling of Notch ligands in mammals.

MSc, Fabio Turetti

PhD student

Coming from Italy, I did my pre-Ph.D. studies at the University of Milan. During my master’s thesis, I spent more than 1 year at the National Institute of Molecular Genetics “INGM” in Milan, in the Lab. of Professor Stefano Biffo
studying alterations of lysosomal biogenesis and activity in a pathogenic mutation causing Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome.
Now, I want to go deeper into the role of the signaling pathways in the development and for that, I am very excited to start my PhD path in Dr Masek’s lab in which I will be focused on deciphering the direct Wnt/Notch cross-talk in mammals.

Hana Hajšmanová


I am a master’s student of Molecular biology and Biochemistry at Charles University. I am very excited to begin my journey in Janek’s lab and keep on increasing my knowledge about the molecular basis of embryonic development and the effect of signalling pathways on various diseases.

photo: michal “kunes” kovac