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Sergey V. Plotnikov, PhD

Associate Professor

University of Toronto

Department of Cell & Systems Biology

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cell Biology

National Institutes of Health (NHLBI), Waterman Lab

Postdoctoral Fellow, Quantitative Imaging 

University of Connecticut Health Center

PhD, Cell and Developmental Biology 

Institute of Marine Biology (Vladivostok, Russia)

Sergey Plotnikov Profile | University of Toronto (

PhD Student

BSc Biochemistry UofT 2018
BSc Cell & Molecular Biology UofT 2018

Hong Kong
Joined April 2017

Ernest is investigating calcium signalling in lamellipodia of migrating cells. He is a superb microscoptician and active on sci-twitter -- follow him @ernest_iu!

Outside of the lab, Ernest plays the guitar and is a big fan of french bulldogs, corgis, and pugs!

Ernest's publications

PhD Student

BSc Biology UCLA 2020

Jericho, New York
Joined September 2022

Karan is starting her project on calcium signalling at focal adhesions. She spent two years at Kyoto University as a research assistant in the Kageyama and Matsuda labs. 

Karan is a former camp counsellor who enjoys skiing, podcasts, and baking better banana bread than Sergey does!

Alexander Bogatch
Post Bac Research Assistant

BSc Biochemistry 2023
BSc Molecular Genetics & Microbiology 2023

Mississauga, ON
Joined April 2019

Alex is a longtime undergrad and now research assistant in the lab working with Ernest on the lamellipodia project. Our cloning expert! 

Alex is very creative -- he plays piano and electric guitar, crochets, embroiders, paints, builds lego, and is learning to sew!

Alex's publications

Undergraduate Student

Health & Disease Major
Molecular Genetics & Microbiology Major
Immunology Minor

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Joined April 2022

Published Author!

Daphne is a Research Opportunities Program student for the summer and fall of 2022 examining nuclear compression with Fernando. 

She is Halifaxian and wrote a book on her great grandaunt titled Chinese Wallflower!

Fernando Valencia
PhD Student

Hon. BSc Chemistry UTM 2018
Hon. BSc Biology UTM 2018

Joined July 2017

Fernando is studying mechanosensitive actin polymerization by the formin Dia1. He is an expert in laser experiments and a great mentor and teacher!

Fernando's desk is decorated with lots of animals and he is a member of the Toronto zoo!

Fernando's publications

MSc Student

Hon. BSc Neuroscience UofT 2022
Minor Immunology and Physiology

Toronto, ON
Joined May 2023

Daniel is starting his journey in the Plotnikov Lab and we're very excited to have him!

Daniel is avid listener of music and loves to play and watch soccer!

Undergraduate Student

Immunology Major
Cell & Systems Biology Major

Hong Kong
Joined March 2022

Arthur is a CSB498 independent research student trying to understand how calcium regulates responses to viscous fluid.

Arthur is a gym-bro but one of the nice ones and brings to the lab apple that he himself cuts and peels!

Meet Our Microscopes

Yokogawa CSU-X-1 Spinning Disk Unit on Nikon Eclipse Ti2 Inverted Microscope


Our trusty workhorse! 

Nikon H-TIRF Module (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) on Eclipse Ti2 Inverted Microscope 


Super resolution at the imaging interface!

CREST Optics Spinning Disk Unit on Nikon Eclipse Ti2 Inverted Microscope


Great for FRET!

Nikon A1R MP Upright Multiphoton Microscope


Image deep into tissue! Great for micropattering!

Lab Alumni

Rico Dong Undergraduate Student 2022-2023, Undergraduate Researcher in Dept. of Biochemistry

Rosiey Yang, M.Sc. Masters Student 2018-2022, Medical Writer

Joy Du Undergraduate Student 2020-2022, Medicine at McMaster University

Chen Tuo Undergraduate Student 2020-2022, Biochemistry PhD Student at UofT

Ajay Singh Undergraduate Student 2021, Molecular Biophysics PhD Student at UofT. 

Linda Li Undergraduate Student 2019, Cell and Systems Biology PhD Student at UofT, Saltzman Lab

Gregory Ossetchkine Undergraduate Student 2019, Research Tech at Mt. Sinai Hospital

Alessia Fischbacher Undergraduate Student 2018-2019, Accelerated Nursing at UofT

Sarah Deng Undergraduate Student 2017-2018, Cellular & Physiological Sciences PhD Student at UBC, Tanentzapf Lab (our collaborators!)

Antonio Ajhert Undergraduate Student 2017-2018, PharD Student at UofT


Toronto | Ontario | Canada

© 2023 by Plotnikov Lab
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