The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) Young Investigator Award 2016 goes to Leo Kurian


Leo Kurian received the Young Investigator Award 2016 for his outstanding research from the German Stem Cell Network.

Stem cells play a crucial role in the development of organs and different body processes such as hematopoiesis. This year’s awards of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN - focus on both developmental biology and regenerative medicine.

Leo Kurian who received the Young Investigator Award 2016 is interested in understanding how a single cell embryo develops into an adult organism. His specific interest is the development of the heart. Leo Kurian and his research team employ a holistic approach combining stem cell-based developmental models with state-of-the-art systems biology approaches to investigate the molecular basis of cell-fate decisions during cardiogenesis. They have been instrumental in developing novel stem cell-based models to study embryogenesis as well as in identifying hidden regulatory layers programming cardiac development. The Kurian lab aims to extend their findings to devise novel therapeutic strategies for cardiac regeneration.

Leo Kurian completed his basic education in chemistry followed by a Master’s degree in biotechnology in India. He obtained his PhD in genetics from the University of Cologne. He spent his post-doctoral years in the Belmonte lab at the Salk Institute and in the Yeo lab at UCSD (both in San Diego, California), where he established stem cell-based models to study programming and reprogramming of cell-fate decisions. In 2014, he established an independent group to study the regulatory basis of cardiac development aging and regeneration as associated Junior Research Group at the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne of the University of Cologne.

The complete press release from the German Stem Cell Network for download: