• Meet our team!

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  • Placin-Delgado.png     Chief Editor: Dr. Gonzalo Delgado

    I obtained a Ph.D. (Hons) in Biomedicine at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona in 2014, studying the functional interaction between two cell membrane proteins implicated in amino acid transport, cell-extracellular matrix adhesion and cancer development in human cells. Prior to this, I did a master’s degree in Molecular Biology at Lund University in Sweden in 2008, on the subject of telomere homeostasis using yeast as a model organism. I also completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 2006, specialising in Organic Chemistry (and Biochemistry in 2007), from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain. I have participated in several Spanish and international congresses and workshops, including the Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Federation of European Biochemical Societies Annual Congresses.

    Interests:

    I love traveling and experiencing the world from different perspectives, discovering new people and cultures. I also like spending time with my friends, enjoying a hard-earned beer or cooking together. I also practice adventure sports when I can, including diving, canyoning, snowboarding, and climbing.

    Research experience:

    Master’s degree project in Lund University studying telomere homeostasis in yeast cells, studying DNA-binding characteristics of protein Cdc13. Ph.D. studying the structure and function of the interaction between 4F2hc and CD147 proteins, and the role in amino acid transport, 1, 3-integrin function (cell adhesion and spreading) and their implication in cancer development and metastasis in mouse and human cells.

  • Ruben.png.79f20d7b82635d6e7bc6791eb2bc57     Deputy Chief Editor: Dr. Rubén Peco Navío

    I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Granada in 2001. I then earned my Ph.D. in 2007 at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg  on generating mouse knockout models to better understand the pathophysiology underlying a group of monogenic diseases known as creatine deficiency syndromes.

    During this time I was sponsored as an intern by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts to join the NASA Planetary Biology Internship under the supervision of William Hagan of the New York Center for the Study on the Origins of Life at the College of Sant Rose where I learned basic prebiotic chemistry.

    Afterwards I joined the Mouse Mutant Transgenic Core at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona in 2007.Here I assisted IRB researchers In the design/generation of targeting constructs and gene targeting experiments in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    In 2008 I moved to the Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory at Michigan State University, contracted by the Andalusian Program for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy (Fundación Progreso y Salud) where I learned basic human stem cell research and focused on alternative methods for generation and genome editing of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

    From 2011 until 2016 I worked at the Center of Regenerative Medicine generating human, mouse and rat iPSCs and performing genome editing using CRISPR technology.

    Interests:

    I have always thought that knowledge is the most valuable possession and so I have made reading and travelling my main passions. I like to be up to date in scientific and philosophical topics, in particular biomedicine and bioethics. I also enjoy reading Vedic literature and old Greek and Latin classics. Whenever life gives me the chance, I quickly take off to places where I can learn something about the human race.

    Research experience:

    General molecular biology techniques (PCR, DNA cloning, automated sequencing, Southern, Northern and Western blotting, Real-Time and Taq-man PCR). Generation of virus-based and virus-free human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells using retroviruses, minicircles and episomal vectors.
    Genome editing of mouse-human-rat embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cells using CRISPR. Recombineering techniques (classic and I-SceI stimulated) for targeting vector construction and engineering of bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC). Molecular biology software and genome browsers, with database expertise. Pathology, metabolic and behavioral phenotyping of genetically modified mice.

    Published research includes:

    • Vassena R., Heindryckx B., Peco R., Pennings G., , Raya A.,, Sermon K., Veiga S.. Genome engineering through CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the human germline and pluripotent stem cells. (2016) Hum Reprod Update
    • Hansson M.L., Albert S., Gonzalez Somermeyer L., Peco R., Mejia-Ramirez E., Montserrat N., Izpisua Belmonte J.C.  Efficient delivery and functional expression of transfected modified mRNA in human Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Retinal Pigmented Epithelial cells (2015) J Biol Chem 290 (9): 5661-72.
    • Eberhard N., Mayer C., Santic R., Peco R., Wagner A., Bauer H.C., Sperk G., Boehm U., Kofler B. Distribution of Alarin Immunoreactivity in the Mouse Brain. (2012) J Mol Neurosci 46 (1): 18-32.
    • Kan H.E., Buse-Pot T.E., Peco R., Isbrandt D., Heerschap A., de Haan A. Lower force and impaired performance during high-intensity electrical stimulation in skeletal muscle of GAMT-deficient knockout mice. (2005) Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 289 (1): C113-9.
    • Schmidt A., Marescau B., Boehm E.A., Renema W.K., Peco R., Das A., Steinfeld R., Chan S., Wallis J., Davidoff M., Ullrich K., Waldschütz R., Heerschap A., De Deyn P.P, Neubauer S, Isbrandt D. Severely altered guanidino compound levels, disturbed body weight homeostasis and impaired fertility in a mouse model of guanidinoacetate (2004) Nmethyl transferase (GAMT) deficiency. Hum Mol Genet 13 (9): 905-21.
  • 57e28ba499b3c_Heatherversion1-update.png     Print AuditorDr. Heather Shawcross

    I obtained a first class BSC (Hons) Biology with Industrial Experience at the University of Manchester, which included a year’s placement at AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals. I then went on to read for a prestigious 4--year British Heart Foundation sponsored PhD in Cardiovascular Medicine, also at the university of Manchester. My project focused on the mechanisms underlying age-related hypertension, and the effect ageing has on the physiology and functionality of the resistance circulation. Since my PhD I have pursued a career in scientific writing and publication management.

    Interests:

    I love experiencing the great outdoors to see all that nature has to offer. Whether it’s camping, walking, cycling or road-tripping I love exploring the world around me and making new friends along the way. I also enjoy exercising, cooking and baking when time allows.


    Published research includes:

    • Melrose H., Edwards G., Heagerty, A.H., Austin C. The anti-contractile effects of PVAT are modulated by age: the role of nitric oxide. 2015 J. Hypertens. 33(S1):e127
    • Withers SB, Bussey CE, Saxton SN, Melrose HM, Watkins AE, Heagerty AM Mechanisms of adiponectin-associated perivascular function in vascular disease. 2014 Aterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 34(8):1637-42
  • Dilys.thumb.png.b8999e88e38c3da0a6b7fc2a     Senior Science Writer: Dr. Dilys Edwards

    I began my career by working in a research laboratory for a fertiliser company whilst studying Chemistry part time in Ipswich. I then studied Nutrition and Naturopathy in Sussex, where I earned my PhD in Child Nutrition, before changing careers to work in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries where I obtained further qualifications in Quality Management. My various roles have all included many forms of writing, from assisting with the compilation, writing and review of New Drug applications and Clinical Trial Exemption applications to the FDA, to being the main author of site Quality Manuals and protocols including health and safety, production, laboratory analysis, raw material quality and various routine scientific reports.

    Interests:

    I enjoy researching and offering nutritional / lifestyle advice and I grow as many of my own fruit and vegetables as I can (organically of course!). My main hobbies are yoga, cycling and walking and craftwork, and keeping on top of new scientific developments in the nutrition field

     

  • Rajitha.thumb.jpg.ecad23000a67502a3b8cdd     Science Writer: Dr. Rajitha Hanarasinghe

    I obtained a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom, in 2014, which focused on the development, characterisation and elucidation of the mechanisms of a novel modified surface for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. I also carried out computational modelling to uncover the vibrational information of thiol molecules. Prior to this, I completed a MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, also at the University of Greenwich, in 2009. Here my research investigated the synthesis and characterisation of gold nanoparticles. For my undergraduate degree, I completed a BSc in Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Genetics at Bangalore University, India in 2007.

    I have participated in several local and international congresses and workshops, including the 3rd EuChems congress. I was also a finalist at the SET for Britain competition where I presented my work at the House of Commons. I have been involved in implementing research on CKDu in Sri Lanka and have been part of the team of scientists for international collaborations, for example between China and Netherlands. I have also recently been successful with a grant application (£24,000) for environmental analysis in a newly settled area in Sri Lanka.

    Interests:

    I love traveling and experiencing the world from different perspectives, discovering new people, food and cultures. I also like to read books and collect stamps.

    Research experience:

    The development and characterisation of a patterned modified surface for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and the synthesis and analysis of gold nanoparticles. I also have experience in electrochemistry, lithography, spectroscopy, microscopy, mass spectrometry, nanotechnology, computational modelling and surface chemistry.