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Visiting scientist

Dominika Berdecka

Dominika Berdecka

Dominika is a visiting PhD student, coming from 3B's Research Group in Portugal, a partner in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network "Tendon Therapy Train". With a background in cell biology and biochemistry, she has been focusing on engineering an in vitro microenvironment for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation towards the tenogenic lineage, employing biochemical and magnetic stimulation. It is envisioned that a successful strategy for guiding MSC commitment to the tendon-like phenotype would require a microenvironment recapitulating several cues provided by native tendon milieu, including biological and biophysical stimuli. Hence, the aim of Dominika's visit at cBITE is a high throughput screening of combinations of supplementation with growth factors and surface topographies to identify the optimal in vitro culture conditions for the induction of tenogenic differentiation of selected human MSC populations.

Laurence Burroughs

Laurence Burroughs

Laurence Burroughs (University of Nottingham) carried out his undergraduate studies at The University of York where he received his MChem degree in 2007. After his undergraduate studies he continued at The University of York to carry out his PhD research under the supervision of Dr. Paul A. Clarke, investigating plausibly prebiotic routes to carbohydrates. In 2011 Laurence received his PhD in Organic Chemistry, after which he spent a short period at ACM Global Laboratory, York as an analytical scientist. In 2013 he joined The University of Nottingham to work with Prof. Simon Woodward developing synthetic routes to novel organic semiconductors. In 2016 Laurence moved to work on biomaterials development utilising polymer microarray screening with Prof. Morgan Alexander.

Laurence’s current research aims to enhance our understanding of material-cell interactions in an effort to develop highly optimised biologically-relevant systems. He investigates the impact of both chemistry and topography on cell response in a high-throughput manner by combining a range of substrate chemistries with the surface patterning approach of TopoChip technology. Of particular interest to Laurence’s research are systems that enhance the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and those that promote the growth and maturation of cardiomyocytes.

Students

Rianne Helgers

Rianne Helgers

Rianne Helgers is a 22 years old first year master's student who is originally from Sittard, the Netherlands. She finished her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University and did her minor in Biological Health Sciences. During her bachelor she did her internship at Human Biology and tested the effect of different wavelengths on body parameters. This academic year she is doing her master's in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University with a major in Regenerative Medicine. For the upcoming three months, she will focus on the response of flexor tendon derived cells to TGF-β2 exposure, supervised by Aysegul Dede. In her spare time she works at restaurant Umami and at Draagkracht and her hobbies include spending time with friends, going to the movies, fitness and is a member of the student rowing association Saurus.

Jingyun Wu

Jingyun Wu

Jingyun grew up in Beijing and studied clinical pharmacy in China, now he is a master student majoring in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University. During 2011 to 2016, he did his bachelor in Hubei University of Science and Technology, during his bachelor, he did internship in neuropharmacology department, where he learned about the toxicity and pharmacology of metformin in treating diabetes-induced Alzheimer’s disease by participating in the research project “ The construction of the Improved Type II Diabetic models of Rats”. Before he obtained his bachelor degree, he worked as a junior pharmacist at the GI Medicine Department in the Central Hospital of Xianning, Hubei province, China. This year, he chose the specialization in Regenerative Medicine and will start doing internship in cBITE, MERLN, with the supervision of Pascal Vroemen. He is also an amateur violinist, globetrotter and fitness lover in his free time.

Francesca Bolk

Francesca Bolk

Francesca was born and raised in Berlin, Germany, and part of her higher education was performed in Barrow-in-Furness, England. In 2015 she graduated from the Maastricht University College (UCM) with a focus on biomedical sciences and neuroscience. During her Bachelor she participated in a project at MERLN regarding the effects of scaffold geometry on MG63 cells and her Bachelor thesis was focused on the use of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for gene delivery under the supervision of Dr. Sabine van Rijt (MERLN). Currently she is enrolled in the Masters Program Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University, following the specialization of Regenerative Medicine. During her internship at cBITE she will be under the supervision of Aliaksei Vasilevich and will investigate monocyte migration in response to proinflammatory factors.

Iris Wijnen

Iris Wijnen

Iris Wijnen is originally from Dordrecht, the Netherlands. After living in Germany, the United States and Belgium as a child, she returned to the Netherlands to complete her bachelor’s degree in Breda. For her graduation internship, she worked on a project about mitochondrial dynamics and small-fiber neuropathy at the department of Clinical Genomics at Maastricht University. Following her bachelor's degree, Iris continued studying for her master's degree in biomedical science. After a specialization in genetics and genomics, Iris is now working on her junior practical training at MERLN, under the supervision of Aurélie Carlier and Nadia Roumans, where she is investigating mechanotransduction pathways involved in topography-induced cell behavior. Her hobbies include playing guitar, reading and baking. In addition, she is a scout leader for cubs (7-10 year-olds) and scouts (11-15 year-olds) and chairman for Scouting St Hubertus in Kerkrade, South Limburg.

Adrián Seijas Gamardo

Adrián Seijas Gamardo

Adrián studied Biotechnology in Spain and now he is doing a Master in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University. During his bachelor he worked as a scientific communicator at high schools and other events, becoming part of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Association of León (ABLe). He collaborated during an internship at the Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain) at the Neurobiology Department, learning about Alzheimer and stroke. He worked at the Cell Biology Department of León University researching about endocrine disruptors in Zebrafish, presenting this bachelor thesis research at the Biotech Annual Congress 2017. At the moment, he is combining his Master studies with the work at the Marketing Department of his Faculty as a social media reporter. During his internship at MERLN, supervised by Urandelger Tuvshindorj, he is working on the cell communication between mesenchymal stem cells and monocytes/macrophages. The interaction of these two cell types modulates immunological responses. He will be focusing on how this behaviour changes when the cells are forced to grow in a specific shape.

Bianca Lourens

Bianca Lourens

My name is Bianca Lourens and I am a third year bachelor student studying at the Maastricht Science Programme at Maastricht University. I grew up in Zambia and moved to the Netherlands 2.5 years ago to pursue my studies in Science. I focus on mainly molecular biology and neurosciences. I will be doing my bachelor thesis research based on imaging capabilities to explore possibilities in distinguishing monocytes from healthy donors and monocytes exposed to proinflammatory factors. I will be working under the supervision of Aliaksei Vasilevich.

Fred Zhaoji Shen

Fred Zhaoji Shen

Fred grew up in Shanghai and now is achieving his master degree in Data Science and Knowledge Engineering department of Maastricht University. During his bachelor time, he developed interest in bioinformatics and system biology through several projects and courses. Due to his background, he focuses on omics data analysis, mathematical modelling and image processing and contributing his parts to biomedical field is his future goal. He is joining cBITE for his master thesis under the supervision of Aurélie Carlier, which aims to construct a computational model linking extracellular matrix properties to biomedical signaling pathway.

Floris Honig

Floris Honig

Floris Honig holds a joined Bachelor's degree in nanobiology at the TU Delft and Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Nanobiology focuses on the complexity of life at the nanoscale by bridging between biology, physics and mathematics. Regarding this he worked on several research projects, with topics ranging from drug delivery systems for cancer therapy to purification and preparation of membrane proteins. He is currently following a master's in biomedical engineering at TU Delft, specialising in biomaterials and tissue biomechanics. His interests are within the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, applying his nanobiology expertise to solve problems in the biomedical field. He is joining cBITE for his internship and master thesis project starting with a project that focuses on assessing the expression level of mechanical sensitive markers on topographical surfaces.

Staff alumni

  • Nick Beijer, 2018, PhD student: Topographically enhanced cell culture systems to induce and monitor mechanobiology.
  • Frits Hulshof, 2016, PhD student: Topochip: Technology for Instructing Cell Fate and Morphology via Designed Surface Topography.
  • Jenny Brinkmann, 2016, PhD student: Dynamic bioactive surfaces for cells using cucurbiturils.
  • Maqsood (Max) Ahmed, 2014, postdoc: High-throughput screening of fiber spun scaffolds.
  • Anouk Mentink, 2014,  research technician and lab manager.
  • Eelco Fennema, 2014, PhD student: An analysis of trauma and its solutions in bone tissue engineering.  
  • Bach Le Quang, 2014, PhD student:Decellularized cartilage matrix  as an alternative for demineralized bone matrix.
  • Nathalie Groen, 2014, PhD student: High throughput screening of bone graft materials.
  • Vanessa LaPointe, 2014, postdoc: Molecular biology in 3D.
  • Karolina Janeczek, 2013, PhD student: Endothelial differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Hemant Unadkat, 2012, PhD student: The effect of topography on cell behaviour.
  • Joyce Doorn, 2012, PhD student: Paracrine signaling of human mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Anindita Ganguly, 2012, PhD student: Clinical translation of bone tissue engineering.
  • Ana Barradas, 2012, PhD student: Molecular mechanism of osteo-induction.
  • Hugo Andre Alves, 2010, PhD student, Ageing and human mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Jun Liu, 2009, PhD student, Bioluminescent imaging in tissue engineering.
  • Jojanneke Jukes, 2009, PhD student, Embryonic stem cells in cartilage tissue engineering.
  • Hugo Fernandes, 2009, PhD student and postdoc,The role of extracellular matrix in bone tissue engineering.
  • Ram Siddappa, 2008, PhD student, Protein kinase A signaling in bone tissue engineering.
  • Sanne Both, 2008, PhD student, Mouse embryonic stem cells in bone tissue engineering.
  • Ruud Licht, 2007, research technician, Target discovery for bone-regeneration.

 

Student alumni

  • Zarina Nauryzgaliyeva, 2017: Braille code for cells: hMSCs protective response to cellular deformation induced by surface topographies
  • Estela Arteaga, 2017: Study of the effect of topographies in human mesenchymal stem cells and cardiomyocyte size and proliferation
  • Rika Reihs, 2017: Digitalizing life at the interface: Finding the missing links between biomaterial properties and biological pathways
  • Ben van der Veer, 2017: Changing epigenetics with a Braille script for cells: The effect of micro topography on global histone acetylation and methylation in human mesenchymal stem cells
  • Bram van Steen, 2017: Live Cell imaging reveals dynamic cell response to microstructured topographies
  • Luc Sondorp, 2016: Gene regulatory effects of bone graft materials on osteoblasts
  • Jéré van Lente, 2016: Topography screening with mesenchymal stem cells

 

Visiting scientist alumni

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  • cBITE-laboratory for Cell Biology-Inspired Tissue Engineering
  • MERLN Institute
Maastricht University
Universiteitssingel 40
6229 ER Maastricht
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