Our 13 Early Stage Researchers

Martina Pirro, from Italy, graduated with an MSc in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Torino (Italy). In 2016 she started her GlyCoCan PhD project under the supervision of Dr. Paul Hensbergen (Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics, LUMC, Leiden, NL). Her work involves the glycoproteomic analysis of secreted and cell surface glycoproteins from colorectal cancer cell lines.

Inês Gomes Ferreira, from Portugal, received her Master’s degree in Biochemistry for Health from Nova Medical School (New University of Lisbon). Within GlyCoCan she is working under the supervision of Prof. Fabio Dall’Olio at the Department of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES) at the University of Bologna (Italy). Her PhD project is entitled “Functional relationship of CRC-associated glycans with malignant phenotype and transcriptome changes”.

James Biwi, from Zimbabwe, obtained his MSc in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Thereafter, he worked as a Medicinal Chemist at the Integrated Drug Discovery Unit H3d, Cape Town. His GlyCoCan PhD project is guided by Prof. Christophe Biot and Dr. Tony Lefebvre at the Structural and Funtional Glycobiology Unit (UGSF), University of Lille. James’s research is geared towards the development of a chemical reporter strategy to define the dynamics of intake and utilisation of monosaccharides in colorectal cancer cells.

Maximilianos Kotsias, from Greece, obtained his MSc in Health Biology at the University of Bologna, Italy in 2016. He joined Ludger in 2016 as a Marie Curie Fellow within the GlyCoCan consortium and is currently working on “Automated techniques for assessment of O-link based novel glycan associated biomarkers from colorectal cancer tissues” under the supervision of Dr. Daniel I.R. Spencer.

Katarina Madunic, from Croatia, graduated with a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicinal Biochemistry at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her GlyCoCan PhD project is supervised by Prof. Manfred Wuhrer (LUMC, Leiden, NL). The main focus of her research is to investigate colon cancer microheterogenity in individual specimens using FFPE tissue sections.

Giulia Trimaglio, from Italy, received her Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Torino, Italy. For her Master’s internship she visited the University of Lille I – Sciences and Technologies (France) via the Erasmus Plus Program. For her GlyCoCan PhD project she is working under the supervision of Dr. Yoann Rombouts at the IPBS-CNRS (Toulouse, France). The main focus of her research is the characterization of colorectal cancer glycosignatures involved in the macrophage polarization.

Athanasios Blanas, from Greece, graduated with an MSc in Molecular Basis of Human Disease at the University of Crete. After a 6-months internship via the Erasmus Plus Program in Amsterdam, he started his GlyCoCan PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Yvette van Kooyk and Dr. Sandra van Vliet (Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam). His scientific interests are mostly focused on the combination of the fields of Molecular Immunology and Glycobiology.

Fanny Deschepper, from France, obtained an MSc degree in Biology and Health and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University Lille I – Sciences and Technologies. She is working on her GlyCoCan PhD project entitled “In vitro and in vivo studies of the role of Lewis antigens in selectin binding and transendothelial migration” under the supervision of Dr. Paula Videira at the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Roberta Zoppi, from Italy, received her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Perugia, Italy, and her MSc in Molecular Biology and Virology at the School of Medicine, Imperial College, London. Within GlyCoCan she is involved in the development and validation of novel antibodies for sialylated antigens under the supervision of Dr. Paula Videira at the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal.

Jelena Šimunović, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, graduated with an MSc in Pharmacy at the University of Sarajevo. During her Master’s she visited the University of Zagreb via the Central Europe Exchange Program. Within GlyCoCan she is studying haptoglobin glycosylation in colorectal cancer under the supervision of Prof. Gordan Lauc at the Glycoscience Research Laboratory, Genos Ltd., Zagreb, Croatia.

Ana Momčilović, from Serbia, graduated with an MSc in Molecular Biology and Physiology at the University of Belgrade (Serbia). She started her research career in the Laboratory for Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering (IMGGI), University of Belgrade. Within GlyCoCan she is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Maja Pucic Bakovic and Dr. Marija Pezer (Genos Ltd, Croatia) on N- and O-glycome analysis of plasma, IgG and IgA and the evaluation of their value as biomarkers in diagnosis, patient stratification and survival in colorectal cancer.

Valeria Kuzyk, from Russia, obtained her MSc in Biochemistry at the Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. She also studied one semester at the University of Turku (Finland). Currently, she is carrying out her PhD research within the GlyCoCan consortium under the supervision of Prof. Govert Somsen (VU University Amsterdam, NL) and Prof. Manfred Wuhrer (LUMC, Leiden, NL). The project covers the glycoproteomic analysis and profiling of blood serum cancer antigens in colorectal cancer.

Hyun Il Oh, from South Korea, graduated with an MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Science at the Chung-Ang University, South Korea. His GlyCoCan PhD project is supervised by Dr. Daniel Varón Silva at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPIKG) in Germany. The main purpose of his research is to establish a chemo-enzymatic platform for the synthesis of highly defined glycopeptide standards.