Meet the people behind the science.

Dr Carsten Gram Hansen

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I did my MSc in Aarhus, Denmark carrying out research on the serotonin transporter. I then moved to Cambridge to pursue a PhD with Dr Ben Nichols at the MRC- Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the Cell Biology division. Through a Lundbeck foundation Post Doctoral Fellowship I stayed on to maximise the output of my PhD findings. After a six-year stint in Cambridge, via a Post Doctoral Fellowship from the Danish Science Foundation I moved to San Diego to work with Professor Kun-Liang Guan. While there I studied the cellular signalling pathway called the Hippo Pathway. In Nov 2015 I was recruited to the University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research on a Chancellor’s Fellowship to set up a new lab. I am now a Senior Lecturer.

I am pleased that our team is diverse, international and that all are great team citizens. Through our shared interest in discovery based inter disciplinary Science, we seek to address fundamental biological questions. We strive to be challenged and to make important discoveries, but also seek to have fun along the way.


Dr Omar M. Salem – Post Doc 2022-

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Born and raised in Egypt, I moved to the UK to continue my undergraduate studies. I received a First Class BSc (Hons) in Cell Biology from the University of Stirling. I later joined the University of Edinburgh for a MSc by Research in Biomedical Sciences. My PhD project (2018-2021) at the Gram Hansen lab was focused on studying the Hippo pathway regulation of Prostate Cancer development, progression and metastasis.

I am now working on the Hippo pathway as a therapeutic target.

Read about Omar’s work

and here

Lisa Kölln – PhD student (2017-)

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(Based at the University of Strathclyde, Prof. Gail McConnell lab

In my PhD project I am investigating the Hippo pathway in Malignant Mesothelioma. For that I use advanced imaging techniques in the lab of Prof Gail McConnell at the University of Strathclyde. Before I moved to Scotland, I finished my Master’s degree in Physics at the University of Potsdam.

Read about Lisa’s work

Susanna Riley – PhD student (2019 -)


Originally from rural West England, I completed a BA (Hons) in Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Oxford in 2017 before moving to the University of Edinburgh for an MSc by Research in Biomedical Sciences. I then began the Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Tissue Repair. My research in the Gram Hansen lab focusses on the role of the Hippo pathway in embryonic development and regeneration using the zebrafish.

Read about Susanna’s work

Dr Richard Cunningham – Post Doc (2019 -)


After completing my undergraduate studies at Trinity College Dublin, I came to Scotland where I obtained my MSc in Bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow. I stayed on in Glasgow, subsequently carrying out my PhD in Professor Andrew Biankin’s group, exploring the potential in targeting tumour metabolism in pancreatic cancer. As part of the Gram Hansen lab, my research is centred on disentangling the role of the Hippo pathway in the formation and progression of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Read about Ricky’s work

DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abj2132

Krishna Purohit – PhD student  (Sep 2020 – )


I have a BSc honours in Biochemistry and hold masters in Biochemistry (University of Edinburgh) and Bioinformatics and System Biology (University of Manchester). As part of the MRC Precision Medicine DTP my PhD project in the Gram Hansen lab focuses on investigating the role of cancer mutations using a novel omics technique called proteogenomics, with the aim of stratifying diagnosis and treatments for mesothelioma patients.

Read about Krishna’s work

Siyang Jia – PhD student 2021 –

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Sijang was a MSc student with us and is now back for more! Siyang is part funded by the CSC and is studying how the Hippo pathway regulates cancer onset and development. 

Read about Siyang’s work


and Here



 Shijia Xia – Biomedical MSc student 2022


Yue Lin – Biomedical MSc student 2022


Dr Jiwon Park – PhD student (2017 – 2021)


My research focuses on the role of mechanotransduction signals in relation to the Hippo pathway. I completed my undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Biomedical sciences (Pharmacology) at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. After graduating, I started on the  MRC-funded Precision Medicine Doctoral Training Programme in the Gram Hansen Lab.

Read about Jiwon’s work doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.066


Dr Valentina Rausch – PhD Student (2016 – 2019)


Alumni of the Gram Hansen Lab, revealed the interaction between the Hippo pathway and caveolae. Dr Rausch was the first PhD student in the lab, and handed her thesis in after 3 years and 18 days! Now academic Post Doc.

Read about Valentina’s work while in Edinburgh

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.11.066,

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8910-2_8.

DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02857-19.


MSc and Honours
  • 2020 Jon Corres (MScR) 2nd Project. Obtained overall a Distinction. Now a PhD student back in Spain.
  • 2020 Josh Martin (MScR) 2nd Project. Obtained overall a Distinction. Now a PhD student at BARTS Cancer Center.
  • 2019-2020 Emelie Shepherd (MScR) 1st Project. Obtained overall a Distinction.
  • 2018 Duncan Maclean (Honours student), moved on  to continuing his Medicine Degree at the University of Edinburgh.
  • 2017 Tamara Hussain (Honours student), moved onto working at Charles River.