Welcome to the Murawala lab


Prayag Murawala, Ph.D.

– Assistant Professor, MDIBL, MHH & University of Maine

Prayag studied across India – Bharuch, Anand, Vadodara, Mumbai, Bangalore – before settling for his graduate studies in the lab of Dr. Jomon Joseph at the NCCS in Pune (2005-2010). He then moved to Europe in Dr. Elly Tanaka’s lab at the MPI-CBG. Along with Elly, he moved from the MPI-CBG to CRTD, Dresden to the IMP, Vienna (2011-2020). After exploring Europe, he has moved to the east coast of the USA to start his lab at the MDIBL, Salsbury Cove in 2020.  Dr. Murawala currently holds a joint assistant professor position at the MDIBL, USA, and at the Clinic for Kidney and Hypertension Diseases, Hannover medical school, Germany. 

– My publications

Minjoo Kim

– Research Assistant, MDIBL

I am a recent graduate from the University of Maine at Augusta, where I acquired bachelor of art’s degree in Biology. My educational path includes attending universities in South Korea, Delaware and Maine. In my new role as a Research Assistant in the Murawala Lab, I am studying cellular redundancies during tissue regeneration.


Marko Pende, Ph.D.

– Postdoctoral Fellow, MDIBL

I studied biology at the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2014, I received my MSc degree in Molecular Biology with main focus on Neuroscience at the University of Vienna in Prof. Hans Lassmanns group. In 2015, I received a second MSc degree in immunology with main focus on Neuroimmunology at the University of Vienna in Prof. Hans-Ulrich Dodt’s group. I did my PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University of Vienna and at the Center for Brain Research, Medical University, Vienna in Prof. Dodt’s group. I received the Constantin von Economo young investigator prize (2018). During my Ph.D. (2015-2020), I developed novel tissue clearing techniques and combined them with light-sheet microscopy to clear and image large samples. In my new role as a postdoc in the Murawala Lab, I am combining utilizing my expertise of tissue clearing to study role of nerves in limb regeneration.

– My publications

Sofia-Christina Papadopoulos

– Graduate student, Hannover Medical School

I studied biology at the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2016, I completed my bachelor’s studies specializing in Microbiology and Genetics. In 2019, I received my MSc degree in Molecular Medicine with main focus on cancer research. After my master’s studies, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer) as a laboratory technician for one and a half years where I conducted method transfer and implementation. I have now joined the Murawala lab as a Ph.D. student to study the role of the thyroid pathway during axolotl limb regeneration.

– My publications


Vijayishwer Singh Jamwal

– Graduate student, University of Maine

I did my Bachelor’s in Life Sciences from Jammu University and Master’s in Science in Zoology from Garhwal University, India. Later, I joined as a Junior Research Fellow at CSIR-Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), India to study the differentiation of iPSCs to various cell types to be used for tissue engineering. Additionally, I have explored the role of biomaterials in the progressive healing during tissue injury. My primary research interest lies in studying the patterning of tissue during cardiac and limb regeneration in axolotl to translate the mechanism to other non-regenerative animals.

– My publications


Johannes Roeles

– Resident physician / Visiting scientist

I did my medical doctorate (Dr. med.) from Hannover Medical School, Germany. Currently, I am serving as a resident physician at the Clinic for Kidney and Hypertension Diseases, Hannover Medical school. I am  passionate about vasculature in kidney.  I am a visiting scientist in the Murawala Lab at MDIBL, where I am learning the basis of tissue clearing and light-sheet microscopy which I want to apply to African turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri). Additionally, I am looking at systemic effect of metamorphosis. 

– My publications


Sallie Boggs, Ph.D.

– Visiting scientist

I retired as an associate professor emrita from from University of Pittsburg Medical School over 20 years ago. Now, I am volunteering in the Murawala Lab to keep my mind active. My research started with questions about the effects of radiation. What is a “safe” dose? Because the lowest dose of whole-body radiation that caused death, did so because bone marrow stem cells were radiation-sensitive. Can we protect bone marrow and kill cancer cells selectively with radiotherapy? If the bone marrow cells themselves were cancerous, could we kill them and transplant “good” bone marrow? What is the identity of bone marrow stem cells? How do we identify them, and track their proliferation and differentiation?  Could we transplant them? These questions led me to go on a sabbatical in the lab of Oliver Smithies, where I participated in the first targeted insertion of a gene into human cells using homologous recombination. Oliver later got a noble prize for his many contributions which included knockout mice. In the Murawala Lab, I see a chance to catch up research of the last 20 years and to continue to help answer questions on tissue regeneration.

– My publications