Konstantinos Zifkos

ESR1: Konstantinos Zifkos

Project: Formation mechanisms of endothelial extracellular vesicles (EV) in thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CTH, Mainz (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Katrin Schäfer (CTH), Prof. Dr. Christophe Dubois (C2VN), Dr. Stefan Kauschke (Boehringer Ingelheim)


About Konstantinos:

Coming from Greece, I completed my Bachelor’s studies in the field of Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2016. Being eager to explore further the biochemical properties of drug formulations, I enrolled for a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark. Driven by my passion to work in interdisciplinary projects that focus on exploring the behaviour of biological systems, I have recently joined the TICARDIO PhD programme. TICARDIO will give me the opportunity, to work and interact in a multidisciplinary environment with different people and groups that will eventually aid me in achieving my long-term research goals.

Contact: k.zifkos@uni-mainz.de


Qi Luo

ESR2: Qi Luo

Project: Converging and distinct roles of coagulation factors (F) XI and XII in vascular thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CTH, Mainz (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Philip Wenzel (CTH), Dr. Judith Cosemans (CARIM), Dr. Stefan Heitmeier (Bayer)


About Qi:

I’ m Qi Luo and I am from China, I graduated from Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, China with a master degree in Internal Medicine (hematology), my research interest is thrombosis and hemostasis. TICARDIO project is a great opportunity to broaden my horizon and enrich myself. I am honored to join the TICARDIO PhD program, and in next 3 years, I will focus on investigating the roles of coagulation factors (F) XI and XII in vascular thrombo-inflammation. Thanks for this opportunity.

Contact: Qi.Luo@unimedizin-mainz.de

Anxhela Habibi

ESR3: Anxhela Habibi

Project: Blood coagulation and vascular protease-activated receptors to steer vascular remodelling

Home institution: CARIM, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Leon Schurgers (CARIM), Prof. Dr. Wolfram Ruf (CTH), Dr. Stefan Kauschke (Boehringer Ingelheim)


About Anxhela:

I’m Anxhela Habibi, I’m 25 and I come from Italy. I pursued my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the University of Padua and my master’s degree in Molecular and Medical Biotechnology at the University of Verona. During my second year of master I took part in the European Union’s Erasmus+ program at the University of Bonn (Germany). In Bonn, I conducted my master’s thesis at the Institute for Experimental Hematology and Transfusion Medicine.

Contact: a.habibi@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Hang Lam Li


Project: Vessel wall-driven platelet and neutrophil activation

Home institution: C2VN, Marseille (France)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Christophe Dubois (C2VN), Prof. Dr. Leon Schurgers (CARIM), Dr. Stefan Kauschke (Boehringer Ingelheim)



Ronald Saraswat

ESR5: Ronald Saraswat

Project: Senescence in vascular dysfunction and thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: C2VN, Marseille (France)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Francoise Dignat-George (C2VN), Prof. Dr. Katrin Schäfer (CTH), Prof. Dr. Albert Sickmann (ISAS)


About Ronald:

I originally hail from India, where my lifelong interest in science lead me to study a Bachelors in life sciences from Shivaji College, Delhi University. I further pursued a Masters in Neuropharmacology from National University of Ireland, Galway. I was later involved in an industry linked project, in developing proof of concept applications of extra cellular vesicles, for a pulmonary disease. An enriching laboratory experience has brought me to working in a project investigating senescence in cardiovascular disease, working towards a Ph.D. within the TICARDIO consortium. For my PhD, I have hosting institutions at; C2VN, CTH and ISAS, where I look forward to exploring the state-of-the-art in medicine and research, while addressing latest inquiries in cardiovascular disease.

Contact: ronald.saraswat@etu.univ-amu.fr



ESR6: Trisha Lahiri

Project: Tissue factor pathway and extracellular vesicles in thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CTH, Mainz (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Wolfram Ruf (CTH), Prof. Dr. Francoise Dignat-George (C2VN), Dr. Philippe Poncelet (BioCytex)


About Trisha:

I come from a small town named Dhanbad in Northern India. I completed my bachelors (BTech) in Biotechnology from VIT University (India), where I was offered an opportunity to pursue my thesis project at University of Coimbra, Portugal. This brief scientific experience started my love for both research and Europe, and motivated me to do my Masters in Molecular Biology from Lund University, Sweden. Following my Masters, I was fortunate to get a scholarship to work at Gothenburg University, Sweden as a Research Assistant, to study the impact of Galectin3 on neutrophil mediated phagocytosis. Motivated by my desire to pursue interdisciplinary research and to work across Europe, I joined the perfectly suited TICARDIO Program in November 2020 for my doctoral studies. I believe the unique collaborative experience along with its opportunities and challenges will certainly shape my scientific career for the better.


Vanessa Bröker

ESR7: Vanessa Bröker

Project: Regulation of smooth muscle cell phenotype switching by tissue factor pathway inhibitor

Home institution: CARIM, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Tilman Hackeng (CARIM), Prof. Dr. Philip Wenzel (CTH)


About Vanessa:

I obtained my B.Sc. Applied Biology and M.Sc. Biomedical Sciences at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Rheinbach (Germany). In between, I worked in a cancer research laboratory at Charité University Hospital in Berlin (Germany). My master’s thesis was performed in a Stem Cell Laboratory in Bonn (Germany) evaluating the differentiation efficacy of equine induced pluripotent stem cells. In 2020, I had the great opportunity to start my PhD at Maastricht University (The Netherlands) within the TICARDIO ITN. In this project, I study the role of Tissue Factor Pathway Inhibitor in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis.

Contact: v.broker@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Pengyu Zhang

ESR8: Pengyu Zhang

Project: Endothelial-derived inhibiting and activating pathways of platelets in thrombosis

Home institution: ISAS, Dortmund (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Albert Sickmann (ISAS), Prof. Dr. Johan Heemskerk (CARIM), PD Dr. Kerstin Jurk (CTH)


About Pengyu:

My name is Pengyu Zhang and I am from Shanxi Province of China. I received my B.Sc. in Pharmacy at Dalian Medical University in 2016 followed by my M.Sc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in July 2019 after a research internship at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Science. During this period, my research focused on three sections, including separation and preparation of Traditional Chinese medicines, construction of targeting GPCRs model and discovery of active compounds on adrenergic receptor. Since Dec. 2019 I conduct my PhD-studies at the Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften-ISAS–e.V. My project is located in bioanalytical chemistry and deals with proteomic investigation of human thrombocytes. In the next three years, I will focus on endothelial-derived inhibiting and activating pathways of platelets in thrombosis.

Contact: pengyu.zhang@isas.de

Claudia Schönichen

ESR9: Claudia Schönichen

Project: Mechanisms of platelet and coagulation activation in inflammatory vessel-on-a-chip models

Home institution: CARIM, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Johan Heemskerk (CARIM), PD Dr. Kerstin Jurk (CTH), Prof. Dr. Albert Sickmann (ISAS), PhD Dr. Marijke Kuijpers (CARIM)


About Claudia:

In 2015 I graduated with a M. Sc. in Molecular Medicine from Freiburg University. Next to my studies I worked as a student assistant in the lab of Dr. Daniel Duerschmied, where I first became acquainted with thrombo-inflammation in the context of cardiovascular research.During my studies I served a 6-month internship at Hoffmann La Roche, Basel and a 3-month scholarship in the platelet research group of Wolfgang Bergmeier at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA. Nicely tying up to my studies, I am excited for the challenges and opportunities within the TICARDIO PhD program.

Contact: c.schonichen@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Akhil Antony Konkoth

ESR10: Akhil Antony Konkoth

Project: Multifaceted functions of extracellular vesicles in a thrombus and in thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: C2VN, Marseille (France)

Supervisory team: Dr. Romaric Lacroix (C2VN), Dr. Rory Koenen (CARIM), Dr. Philippe Poncelet (BioCytex)


About Akhil:

Akhil was awarded a BSc in nursing, NITTE University and an MSc in Medical Physiology from SRM University India, and holds a master’s in Clinical Neuroscience from the National University of Ireland. Following his graduation, he worked as a research assistant in REMEDI and the Department of Psychology at NUIG. His research interests and experience include extracellular vesicles, vascular biology, and neuroscience. Akhil’s current PhD project focuses on deciphering the differential role and properties of MV with murine thrombus model to identify the MV subsets with a novel treatment target or biomarker potential in thrombo-inflammation.

Contact: akhil.konkoth@etu.univ-amu.fr

Adarsh Kumar Mohapatra

ESR11: Adarsh Kumar Mohapatra

Project: Alternative splicing in the regulation of thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CARIM, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Supervisory team: Dr. Elisabetta Castoldi (CARIM), Prof. Dr. Pierre Morange (C2VN), Tim Beissert (TRON)


About Adarsh:

Namastey, my name is Adarsh and I come from Paradeep, India, a major seaport town where the beaches are serene and the sunsets are extraordinary. I completed Masters in Life Sciences from Central University of Tamilnadu, with distinction. My Master’s thesis was on Evaluation of role of Sirtuins in neuronal steroidogenesis in hyperglycemic rats. As ESR 11, I will work on detection and genetic determinants of splicing isoforms of coagulation factors (FV) to reveal pro- and anticoagulant functions and their contribution to risk of thrombosis in existing patient cohorts. I will also undergo training in validation of RNA-based biomarkers by qPCR.

Contact: a.mohapatra@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Stefano Spada

ESR12: Stefano Spada

Project: Deregulated transcriptome 3’ end diversification affecting thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CTH, Mainz (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Sven Danckwardt (CTH), Dr. Elisabetta Castoldi (CARIM), Dr. Stefan Heitmeier (Bayer)


About Stefano:

I am an Italian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technologist, with a background in Biochemistry and Protein Chemistry. During my Master’s Thesis in Padua (Italy)  I had the chance to dedicate myself to the mechanistic study of a rare disease and at the same time I got introduced to the field of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), developing a real interest in such a subject. After a period in a Biotech Company, focused on tissue engineering and cellular reprogramming, I decided to apply for TICARDIO, finding extremely inspiring and challenging having the chance to contribute solving a widespread and life-threatening condition such as CVD.

Contact: stefano.spada@unimedizin-mainz.de  

Rocío Alejandra Vacik Díaz

ESR13: Rocío Alejandra Vacik Díaz

Project: Epidemiolomics of thrombin generation in thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: C2VN, Marseille (France)

Supervisory team: Prof. Pierre Morange (C2VN), Prof. Dr. Sven Danckwardt (CTH), Dr. Stefan Heitmeier (Bayer)


About Rocío:

With a degree in Medical Technology, I developed a strong interest for applied research early in my career. During my first years of studies, I started assisting in the Department of Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Chile and completed my final dissertation on the application of sequencing technologies in the diagnostic of Leber Hereditary Optic Athrophy.  After the completion of my studies I followed two traineeships in bioinformatics and molecular diagnostic using omic approaches at the Genetics Department of The University medical center of Groningen in the Netherlands, and the University of Granada, Spain. After that, I started working in the hematology and hemostasis section at the public Hospital San José. My aim now is to find new answers and contribute to generate new knowledge in the field.

Contact: rocio.vacik-diaz@univ-amu.fr

Alejandro Pallares Robles

ESR14: Alejandro Pallares Robles

Project: Multifaceted analysis of coagulant activity in venous thrombo-inflammation

Home institution: CTH, Mainz (Germany)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Philipp Wild (CTH), Prof. Dr. Hugo ten Cate (CARIM), Dr. Stefan Heitmeier (Bayer)


About Alejandro:

My name is Alejandro Pallares Robles, I came from Spain where I complete my education with a Bachelor degree in Biology. Afterwards, I complement my background with a double MSc in Genetics and Bioinformatics. During those years I gained a deepened point of view regarding high-throughput sequencing data such as RNA-seq and ChIP-seq under the perspective of personalized medicine. I am interested in the analysis of different type of information (-omics, laboratory markers and clinical information) and using the state of the art approaches in bioinformatics and statics. My goal in this project is merging different types of information from coagulation assays, proteomics, genotyping and relevant clinical information from different human based cohort studies under the scope of thrombo-inflammation.

Contact: Alejandro.pallaresrobles@unimedizin-mainz.de

Gaukhar Baidildinova

ESR15: Gaukhar Baidildinova

Project: Phenotyping atherothrombosis in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease

Home institution: CARIM, Maastricht (Netherlands)

Supervisory team: Prof. Dr. Hugo ten Cate (CARIM), Prof. Dr. Philipp Wild (CTH), Dr. Gillian Mimnagh (2M)


About Gaukhar:

Gaukhar obtained her bachelor's degree in Biotechnology at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). After winning the Scholarship of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, she got an opportunity to get the Master’s degree at University College London, UK, where her research was dedicated to Alzheimer’s study. In TICARDIO program Gaukhar is involved as a PhD candidate in the project 15 “Phenotyping atherothrombosis in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease”.

Contact: g.baidildinova@maastrichtuniversity.nl