Initiate a pilot prevention trial in individuals at high risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis

Giulia Frazzei

Her initial studies in molecular immunology at the University of Milan focused on the identification of altered immune regulatory mechanisms in autoimmune diseases. In particular, she studied the role of T regulatory cells, and their immune regulation mediated by microRNAs and extracellular vesicles (EVs). To pursue her interest in translational immunology, she then undertook an MSc in Clinical Research at NUI Galway, Ireland. She is excited to be part of the ARCAID PhD project, which will enable her to merge her background with her current course of study and come back to the research on autoimmune diseases. Outside of research, she enjoys reading, volunteering and hiking. She loves food, wide-open spaces, music and ballet. Long_Bio


Adaptative immune system, Autoimmunity, Clinical trials


Clinical studies of treating-to-target in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Agner Parra 

Research oriented Medical Doctor with a M.Sc. in molecular and cellular biology from the Erasmus Mundus program “Leading international Vaccinology Education”. Having a progressive experience in biomedical research with a strong interest for advance immunology and clinical research, for his M.Sc. thesis he worked at Sanofi Pasteur R&D department assisting in the development of innovative breakthrough vaccines. The ARCAID PhD project is an exiting opportunity for him to take up new challenges that allow him to combine his skills and capabilities helping improving life quality on the individual and social levels. Outside of research, he enjoys traveling, learning new languages and to be outdoors in nature. Long_Bio


Clinician, Biomedical Scientist, Immunologist


Gene expression in the HLA complex in autoimmune disease

Unfortunately vacant


Clonal isotyping of the B cell response in autoimmunity

Armando Olivieri 

MSc in Genetics and Molecular Biology at University of Rome La Sapienza (Oct 2019). Scientific interest is focused on regulation of gene expression and its alteration in diseases and how gene mutations can be responsible of the outbreak of human diseases. For his MSc thesis he studied the histone variant H3.3 which mutations are highly correlated in ALT positive tumours. Outside the lab he likes to travel abroad, hiking, jogging and having many friends to share his interests with. Long_Bio


Molecular biology, Regulation of gene expression, Gene Editing


Study the molecular and cellular features of human lymph node T cells during the earliest phases of systemic autoimmunity

Aoife O’Byrne

Following her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Warwick Aoife obtained an MSc in Immunology from King’s College London. During her masters she undertook a six month research project with Professor Leonie Taams and was awarded the prize for Best Overall Performance in the 2018 cohort. Her passion for scientific research led her to exploring the role of cholesterol metabolism in CD4 T cell cytokine induction with Dr. Esperanza Perucha before embarking on the incredibly exciting ARCAID PhD program. Outside the lab Aoife enjoys exploring new countries, cultures, food and all things rugby. Long_Bio 


Cell signalling, Immunology, T cell biology


Mesenchymal stromal cells as key orchestrators in RA

Marina Jiménez

Biotechnologist by the Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (Spain), Marina obtained her MSc in Biomedicine at Universidad de Barcelona (Spain) in 2021. Her strong interest about the immune system and its unknowns led her to embark on this exciting PhD project under the supervision of Dr. van Baarsen. Outside of research, Marina really enjoys discovering new places and is passionate about music, animals and all kinds of arts. Long_Bio


Immunology, molecular and cellular biology, stem cells


The B cell lineage in ANCA-associated vasculitis: functional characterisation and identification of novel targets

Ana Merino

After graduation from my BSc in Biochemistry in the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) in 2019, studying T cells during my thesis, my strong interest in immunology made me enroll in the MSc in Advanced Immunology at the University of Barcelona (Spain), from where I recently graduated (July 2020), working with Embryonic Stem Cells and T cells. But if a field captivated me, it was autoimmunity. Therefore I am very excited to study the role of B cells in ANCA-associated vasculitis. Besides science, I love everything related to art and culture, specially painting, food, traveling, movies, music, food, learning, nature and learning new languages!! Long_Bio


State-of-the-art in vivo PET-CT imaging of immune cell subsets in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer

Eva Philippon

Completed her BSc and MSc in Biotechnology at the ENSTBB (Institute of Biomolecules of Bordeaux). During her studies, she did many placements in both public and private sectors while gaining experience in the lab in different topics. She has a strong interest in medical research, especially in the fields of Immunology and Oncology, and aims to contribute to meaningful advances during her career to help patients. During her spare time, she loves spending time with friends, enjoying good food and drinks, exploring the city and going to music and art events. Long_Bio


Molecular and cellular biology, Immunology, Oncology


Characterize the molecular pathways activated during the pre-clinical phase of spondyloarthritis

Ihsan Hammoura

After completing her bachelor degree in biology she continued with her MSc degree in cellular and molecular biology at the American University of Beirut on the role of retinoblastoma protein Rb and the combined role of Rb and p53 in the context of kidney development. She is highly passionate about research and would like to apply the skills that she has learnt to answer various scientific questions.


Molecular and cellular biology, Developmental Biology, Kidney

ESR 10

Pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity of therapeutic antibodies in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis

Dimitrios Nikolakis 

After graduation from the department of pharmacy at University of Patras he conducted his undergraduate research in the field of Molecular Pharmacology. During his MSc degree studies in the department of medicine at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, he focused on the area of drug development for autoimmune diseases, with emphasis on rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In the framework of the ARCAID project he will be involved in the optimization of current treatment options, as well as in the development of new potential therapies in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis.


Pharmacology, Drug Development, Autoimmune Diseases

ESR 11

Understanding auto-immune disorders through computational modelling.

Utkarsh Mahamune

Utkarsh Mahamune has a BSc in computer science and engineering followed by experience within IT-sector in India. In 2019, he obtained his MSc in computational life sciences from Jacobs University Bremen (Germany). He has worked on transcriptomic data for NAFLD patients with genome-scale metabolic models to understand the disease progression. Outside of research, he likes to travel, he loves cooking and likes to explore different cuisines. He has a fondness for photography. Long_Bio


Transcriptomic data analysis, Computational biology, Computational modelling

ESR 12

Bioinformatics analysis of T-cell and B-cell repertoires

Daria Balashova 

After a degree in mathematics from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) in 2013 she continued research under supervision of Prof. Elena Yarovaya. Her scientific interests are branching random walks and Markov processes. After her MSc in 2018 at the Bioinformatics Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia), she took part in several projects. Daria spends her free time with friends and family, sports (hiking, skiing, snowboarding), attending a modern theater school and travels. Long_Bio


branching random walk, machine/deep learning, computational immunology

ESR 13

Understanding the etiology of IBD associated extraintestinal manifestations and cancer

Sofía Frigerio Liddle

Sofía obtained her MSc in Biological Sciences at University of the Republic, Uruguay (March 2020) on the immunomodulation during fasciolosis, a parasitic infection which causes chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. Current scientific interests are the immunomodulation during chronic infections such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Long_Bio


Immunology, Inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic inflammation

ESR 14

Activated PI3 kinase delta in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Elham Mirfazeli

Elham received her BSc and MSc in Molecular and Cell biology from University of Tehran, Iran. She took part in several different projects in molecular biology, stem cell biology and medical genetics. Her scientific interest is using computational methods to solve problems related to human health and diseases. Outside the lab, Elham enjoys playing violin, swimming, traveling and exploring different cultures. Long_Bio


Computational biology, Immune disorders, Lupus

ESR 15

Uncovering how HIV hides in immune cells: metabolic reprogramming of CD4 T cells during infection

Sona Allahverdiyeva

Sona is from Azerbaijan. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Biology of Baku State University, Azerbaijan, in 2015. In July 2019, she received her MSc from the Faculty of Biology and Health Sciences in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Montpellier, France. Then she accepted a temporary appointment at Academic Medical Center (AMC) as a Scientific Researcher in Ben Berkhout team. Her project was about disabling the replication-competent HIV provirus in the reservoir by combined CRISPR-Cas action. Long_Bio


HIV-1, CRISPR-Cas, metabolism 

ESR 16

Metabolic reprogramming of human myeloid immune cells during chronic inflammation

Chiara Geyer 

Her BSc at the Eberhardt-Karls University of Tübingen focused on the subjects of Immunology and Virology. Then she broadened her experience in the field of Immunology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (Sweden) to investigate the disease mechanisms of overactive Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome in the inherited primary immune disease X-linked neutropenia. In 2019 she obtained an MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Bochum (Germany). Long_Bio 


Immunology, Virology, Signal transduction

ESR 17

Immune monitoring of macrophages in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis and immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced rheumatic manifestations

Aiarpi Ezdoglian

Several research projects in autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura made her passionate about immunological and pathophysiological aspects of autoimmune conditions. She gained clinical experience working as a pediatrician in an immunology department and decided on an MSc in immunology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland on checkpoint inhibitors in autoimmune, healthy and malignant B cells. Using various techniques including confocal microscopy, ELISA, cell culturing, nuclear and cytoplasmic isolation and flow cytometry  After her research project she was offered a part-time flow cytometry application specialist and data analyst position in Ian Frazer Cytometry Center. Long_Bio


Immunology, Flow cytometry, Pediatrics

ESR 18

Molecular imaging of angiogenesis and therapeutic effects of anti-angiogenetic agents in rheumatoid arthritis

Fatemeh Khodadustvaskasi

Studying radiology as her BSc and MSc in radiopharmaceutical sciences, provided her with comprehensive skills and a broad view in a wide variety of imaging modalities. Her personal interest is the evaluation and translation of the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of novel molecular targets involved in the development and progression of rheumatic diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and cancer by means of molecular imaging techniques. Long_Bio


Molecular Imaging, PET, Radiopharmaceuticals, Rheumatic Diseases, Cancer Targeted therapy

ESR 19

Development of immune competent gut on chip model

Melis Asal 

 Obtained her BSc in the Bioengineering Department from Manisa Celal Bayar University and  conducted her MSc in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department of Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center working on combining bioengineering principles with tissue engineering approaches for clinical applications. She worked on constructing a functional on-chip lacrimal gland tissue using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) by integrating this tissue construct with a microfluidic platform. Driven by a lifelong interest in bioengineering she is eager to continue her education in the field of organ-on-a-chip systems, being aware of the great potential these systems harbor in terms of constructing immune competent models. Long_Bio


Tissue engineering, Microfluidics, Stem Cells

ESR 20

Development of immune competent lymph node on chip model including lymph node stromal cells, lymphocytes, and dendritic cells.

Andrew Morrison

Andrew obtained his MSci in Immunology & Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen in 2018 and was awarded the Immunology/Pharmacology prize for outstanding academic achievement. During his MSc, he completed an industrial placement with Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, working on investigating IL-17A signalling events. He returned to Basel on a further postgraduate internship, this time uncovering mechanisms behind the cGAS/STING pathway. With almost two years in industry, Andrew decided the next step of his scientific career was to pursue a PhD at the Amsterdam UMC. Long_Bio


autoimmunity, adaptive immunity, organ-on-chip