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Cecile is now a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory for molecular ecotoxicology, Division for Marine and Environmental Research , Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.


Dr. Cecile Otten


Research Associate in Zoophysiology Group 

Department of Biochemistry & Biology 

University of Potsdam 

Phone: (0331) 977 5932 



Education / work experience 

I studied Biology at the University of Heidelberg and graduated in 2004. During my Diploma thesis in the lab of Dr. Thomas Surrey at the EMBL in Heidelberg, I characterized the Kinesin LmaKin1 of Leishmania major. Then, in December 2004, I joined the lab of Prof. Salim Seyfried at the Max-Delbrück-Centre (MDC) in Berlin. I obtained my PhD from the Humboldt University in Berlin in November 2009 for my work on the functional analysis of the xirp genes during zebrafish embryonic muscle development. My research focus is zebrafish heart and cardiovascular development. 



12/2004 – 12/2007 „International PhD Program“: scholarship of the Max-Delbrück-Centre, Berlin. 


Projects & interests 

My main interests lie in unraveling mechanisms of organogenesis, in particular heart morphogenesis, in zebrafish. Currently, I am working closely together with colleagues and collaborators on the Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM) disease, a severe condition for which we hope to identify new potential drugs since there is no established medication available today. To reach that goal, we are trying to understand the function of the disease-relevant CCM genes, as well as performing an unbiased chemical compound screen to suppress the CCM loss-of-function effects in the zebrafish.  



  • Cui S., Otten C., Rohr S., Abdelilah-Seyfried S., Link B. A.  „Analysis of aPKClambda and aPKCzeta reveals multiple and redundant functions during vertebrate retinogenesis“  Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 2007 Mar;34(3): 431-44 doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2006.11.016 
  • Rohr S., Otten C., Abdelilah-Seyfried S.  „Asymmetric involution of the myocardial field drives heart tube formation in zebrafish“  Circ. Research 2008 Feb 1; 102(2): e12-19 doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.107.165241 
  • Zhang J., Piontek J., Wolburg H., Piehl C., Liss M., Otten C., Christ A., Willnow T.E., Blasig I.E., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. "Establishment of a neuroepithelial barrier by Claudin5a is essential for zebrafish brain ventricular lumen expansion" PNAS 2010 Jan 26; 107(4): 1425-30 doi: 10.1073/pnas.0911996107 
  • Otten C., van der Ven P.F., Lewrenz I., Paul S., Steinhagen A., Busch-Nentwich E., Eichhorst J., Wiesner B., Stemple D., Strähle U., Fürst D.O., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. „Xirp proteins mark injured skeletal muscle in zebrafish“ PLoS One 2012;7(2): e31041 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031041 
  • Otten C., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. „Laser-inflicted injury of zebrafish embryonic skeletal muscle“ J. Vis. Exp 2013; 71: e4351 doi: 10.3791/4351
  • Veerkamp J., Rudolph F., Cseresnyes Z., Priller F., Otten C., Renz M., Schaefer L., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. „Unilateral dampening of Bmp activity by nodal generates cardiac left-right asymmetry“ Dev. Cell 2013 Mar  25; 24(6): 660-667 doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.026 
  • Wieffer M., Cibrian-Uhalte E., Posor Y., Otten C., Branz K., Schutz I., Mossinger J., Schu P., Abdelilah-Seyfried S., Krauss M., Haucke V. „PI4K2beta/AP-1-based TGN-endosomal sorting regulates Wnt signaling“ Curr. Biol. 2013 Nov 04; 23(21): 2185-2190 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.017 
  • Lombardo V.A. & Otten C., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. „Large-scale zebrafish embryonic heart dissection for transcriptional analysis” J. Vis. Exp. 2015 Jan 12; (95):52087 doi: 10.3791/52087 
  • Renz M. & Otten C., Faurobert E., Rudolph F., Zhu Y., Boulday G., Duchene J., Mickoleit M., Dietrich A.C., Ramspacher C., Steed E., Manet-Dupé S., Benz A., Hassel D., Vermot J., Huisken J., Tournier-Lasserve E., Felbor U., Sure U., Albiges-Rizo C., Abdelilah-Seyfried S. „Regulation of β1 integrin-Klf2-mediated angiogenesis by CCM proteins” Dev Cell. 2015 Jan 26;32(2):181-90 doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.12.016