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ESR
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CHARLOTTE BAKER

FRIEDRICH BIALAS

JOÃO NOGUEIRA

MAKSYMILLIAN
ZEGOTA

MARCO LUCCHINO

PADMA AKKAPEDDI

ROBERTO RUSSO

SILVIA BALDO

TUULI HAKALA

XHENTI FERHATI

 

 

 

 



 

ESR


CHARLOTTE BAKER

Charlotte received an MSci in Natural Sciences (2013) from the University of Bath, UK. After graduating she relocated to Sweden for a two year graduate programme position at AstraZeneca. This experience sparked her passion for research and the development of new medicines. She had the opportunity to work on many different drug projects and with different teams in the Innovative Medicines department. She enjoyed working in an interdisciplinary environment which led her to pursue a PhD project in the field of Chemical Biology. Currently, she is working in Dr. Gonçalo Bernardes' lab in Lisbon. The focus of her PhD project will be to investigate novel ways of selectively inducing cancer cell death.

Project Title:
Investigating selective cytotoxicity of cancer cells

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FRIEDRICH BIALAS

Friedrich is currently working on his PhD as part of the Becker group at the Institute of Biological Chemistry of the University of Vienna. Although an organic chemist by training, he has some experience in biochemistry as well.

Friedrich grew up in Leverkusen, Germany. Upon finishing high school, he was awarded the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) - award for best high-school graduate in chemistry. He then absolved his civilian service at the NaturGut Ophoven, which is an environment education project, where children learn about renewable energy, managing resources and wildlife protection. In 2010, Friedrich began his studies in chemistry at the Heidelberg University (Ruperto-Carola). He took an interest in biochemistry and wrote his bachelor thesis in the Sinning group at the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH), where he also worked as a lab assistant and tutor for the biochemistry module. During his postgraduate studies he researched hydrogels formed through metal coordination bonds (Macromolecules, 2016, 49 (11), pp 4229–4235) and light-responsive protein constructs in the Spatz group of the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, where he also wrote his master thesis.


In addition to his studies, he pursued his passion for historical European martial arts, through which he met a talented young actress called Diana. He competed in a number of international tournaments, which eventually took him to discover the inspiring city of Vienna, where they now live.

Project Title:
Posttranslationally modified Silaffins as Tools for Drug Delivery

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JOÃO FARIA NOGUEIRA

João was born on November 24, 1990 in Leiria, Portugal. He received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Universidade de Évora, where he realised his passion lies within the medical research field. He took his MSc in Biomedical Engineering at Universidade Católica do Porto, where he developed skills in fields such as biomaterials, medical imaging, chemical engineering and medicinal nanotechnology. Naturally driven by the challenge, he seized the opportunity to study at University of Oxford to complete his MSc thesis where he did research work under the supervision of Prof. Ben Davis and Dr. Jürgen Schneider. There, he managed to successfully develop a contrast agent for MRI – a truly interdisciplinary project. At the moment, he is enrolling for an ITN Studentship to carry out research within the Chudasama group on protein modification using pyridazinediones, at University College London.

Project Title:
Pyridazinediones – A Versatile Tool for Protein Modification

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MAKSYMILLIAN ZEGOTA

Żegota graduated from the University of Warsaw with a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 2016. In both his BSc and MSc theses, he specialized in synthetic organic chemistry which he finds fascinating as a field of research. He had the opportunity to participate in the Erasmus programme. He spent a semester on the Åbo Akademi (Turku, Finland) and 2,5 months on the University of Parma (Parma, Italy). Working in different laboratories in an international environment was a wonderful experience for him. After graduation he decided to undertake PhD studies in the area of protein bioconjugation.

Project Title:
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MARCO LUCCHINO

Marco Lucchino graduated in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies at the University of Turin, Italy - Department of Drug Science and Pharmaceutical Technology in March 2015. As a student, he was member of the group of Professor Kamyar Afarinkia at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics in Bradford, UK, for six months in 2014, where he was involved in the synthesis of Sterol-like fluorescent probes that have been used as preliminary tool to investigate the role of phytosterols as chemopreventative agents. For a total of six months between 2013 and 2014, he was a trainee, in a Pharmacy where he was involved in preparing galenic forms, in part of the laboratory management and in dispensation of medicine. In April 2015, as winner of Erasmus Traineeship scholarship, he joined Dr. Didier Desmaele’s team at the University of Paris Sud – Institut Galien - UMR CNRS 8612 directed by Professor Patrick Couvreur, where he worked as trainee for three months on a project focused on the synthesis of Squalene-Cisplatin conjugates that have been used to prepare nanoparticles as drug delivery system.

Currently he is a PhD student at the Curie Institut in Paris working on a multidisciplinary project entitled “Molecular Engineering for Targeted Cancer Therapy”.

Project Title:
Molecular Engineering for Targeted Cancer Therapy

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PADMA AKKAPEDDI

Padma is a holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from India. During her masters she worked extensively on antimicrobial peptide mimetic and bactericidal polymer coatings. During her work she also focus of polymer based gene delivery system, which in turn triggered her interest towards Antibody drug conjugates. Currently, she is a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Gonçalo Bernardes where she is working on Development of Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Project Title:
Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the Treatment of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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ROBERTO RUSSO

I was born in Napoli in 1991, where I lived, apart from a year in the United States as an exchange student, until I finished high school. I studied chemistry at the University of Bologna, earning a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Materials’ Chemistry magna cum laudae. After finishing my bachelors’ degree I moved to Milano to complete my studies, where I obtained a master’s degree magna cum laudae in Chemical Science at the University of Milano, with a thesis on “Synthesis of amphiphilic glycodendrimers with a rod-like core as potent antagonists of DC-SIGN” under the supervision of prof. Anna Bernardi. In April 2016 I joined the University of Lisboa as a PhD student in the research group of dr. Pedro Gois with the co-supervision of dr. Gonçalo Bernardes, working on the project “Design and synthesis of biocompatible molecular handles for boronic acids conjugation”.

Project Title:
Design and synthesis of biocompatible molecular handles for boronic acids conjugation

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SILVIA BALDO

I was born 22nd July 1988 in Italy, I graduated in chemistry at the University of Pisa and continued the studies at the University of Bologna where I obtained my MS degree in organic chemistry at the Scuola di Science. My master thesis was performed in the field of peptides derivatives; and under the supervision of Prof. Luca Gentilucci I worked on the synthesis and characterization of novel RGD mimetics, with following conjugation on functionalized zeolite nanocrystals, for theranostic and therapeutic applications. After my diploma, I awarded a traineeship grant issued by Scuola di Scienze and this let me perform postgraduate research in the Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry workgroup of prof. N. Sewald’s, at Bielefeld University, Germany. Here, during a period of six months I worked on the development of tumor-selective peptide conjugates as homing devices, based on RGD-peptidomimetics combined with highly cryptophycin derivatives. Now I am currently doing a Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowships under the supervision of Dr. Pedro Gois at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Lisbon.
My research interest is centred on organic chemistry with a specially emphasis on synthesis as a tool to construct target-based drugs to tackle unmet medical needs and to solve problems of biological significance. I have participated to several conferences and talks. I have also been member of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) in the Organic Chemistry division.

Project Title:
Synthesis of therapeutically useful multivalent boronate complexes

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TUULI HAKALA

Tuuli Hakala did her Bachelor’s and Master’s studies in biomedical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, Finland. During her studies she focused on biophysics and micro and nanotechnology. Tuuli got involved in research during her second year of bachelor studies and joined Pofessor Paavo Kinnunen’s Helsinki Biophysics and Biomembrane Group (HBBG) in the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University. During her time in HBBG she studied lipid-protein interactions and properties of model bilayers. In fall 2013 she visited the Quake Group in Stanford for three months, and received good basic understanding and know-how on microfluidics, which she has applied in her later research. After finishing her studies in April 2016 she joined Professor Sami Franssila’s Microfabrication Group and examined the hydrophobic recovery of PDMS and capillary filling. Currently Tuuli is a PhD student at the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge and is supervised by Professor Tuomas Knowles and Dr Gonçalo Bernardes.

Project Title:
Microfluidic approaches for the study and control of protein self-assembly

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XHENTI FERHATI

I studied chemistry at the University of Florence, where I obtained both the Bachelor degree in Chemistry and the Master degree in Organic Chemistry. As an undergraduate student, I worked in the group of Prof. A. Goti and Prof. F.Cardona, where I also performed my Master thesis. I worked on Organic Chemistry applied to the synthesis of biologically interesting compounds, and thanks to the collaboration with Prof. Paoli at the Department of Biochemistry, I gained expertise in biochemical and enzymatic assays. At the end of the academic studies, I obtained a research grant from AIRC which allowed me to work in the group of Prof. C. Nativi (University of Florence), where I worked on carbohydrate and peptide chemistry.

Project Title:
Design of novel acid-cleavable linkers to conjugate drugs to antitumor antibodies

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