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Elisabeth Kugler is a scientist at the interface of biomedical image analysis and science communication. She is a member of several scientific organizations, such as the Royal Society for Biology and the Royal Microscopical Society. She has an AFHEA accreditation and is a Chartered Scientist.

Elisabeth created her own science communication company, Zeeks. After less than 18 months, her company has been selected for a national business development program and shortlisted for two awards. She regularly speaks and writes about chronic illness and women in STEM and co-hosts the Keep it Science podcast.

She conducted her BSc in Biology and MSc in Molecular Biology at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and interned at the Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria) and EMBL Heidelberg (Germany).

For her PhD at the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), Elisabeth biomedical image analysis pipelines to quantify and describe the 3D zebrafish brain vasculature. Additionally, she discovered and characterised a previously undescribed cell membrane behaviour in brain vessels, termed kugeln.

For her PostDoc as UCL Research Fellow, she aims to build an image-based model to describe neurovascular development in the zebrafish retina.

Portrait headshot photo of Elisabeth Kugler

Awards, Nominations, and Funding


  • Selected for the NatWest Business Accelerator program with Zeeks

  • Finalist for Global StartUp Award of the Year by UK StartUp Awards (North East, Yorkshire and the Humber)

  • Finalist for Creative StartUp Award of the Year by UK StartUp Awards (North East, Yorkshire and the Humber)


  • Best Image Award - 2nd Place - Microscopy Conference 2021 Joint Meeting of Dreilaendertagung Multinational Congress on Microscopy 22-26 August 2021 (MC2021)

  • Royal Microscopy Society (RMS) Scientific Imaging Competition 2021 shortlist and virtual gallery exhibition

  • Rank Prize Funds Seeing Science photography competition in the Optoelectronics category



  • Light sheet fluorescence microscopy conference (LSFM2020) best poster award 

  • Honourable Mention Award in the Natural and Life Sciences category Doctoral Researcher Award(DRA2020)

  • Winner of the Insigneo bridging fund to produce career development fellowship applications focusing on combining wet lab techniques within silico modelling.

  • Winner of the Insigneo image competition to highlight the range of Insigneo’s research and help raise awareness of the applications of in silico medicine.


  • Winner of the Ian Peake Award 2018 for academic excellence and outstanding contributions to the Department from the Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease Department for work in establishing the IICD Student Society (alongside other colleagues) and also for making excellent progress in my PhD, in which I discovered a novel form of endothelial cell behaviour termed kugel formation.

  • Successfully applied for the Researcher-Led Activity Funding 2018-2019 as co-applicant from theUniversity of Sheffield "Think Ahead"Training Program for supporting activities organized by the PGRFaculty Forum.

  • Securing ongoing annual budget for IICD Student Society from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease for activities organized by the IICD Student Society.



  • PhD node studentship from the Infection, Immunity, and Cardiovascular Disease Department at theUniversity of Sheffield



  • EMBL visiting scientist remuneration to conduct my master thesis at EMBL Heidelberg, Germany  

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