Vito Foderà, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator



Vito Foderà received his MSc (2005) and Ph.D. in Physics (2009) from the University of Palermo (Italy), with projects focused on the characterization of hydrogel-based devices for applications (M.Sc.) and (in)stability of peptides and proteins (Ph.D.). In 2009 he was appointed as a Research Associate at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge (UK). In 2012 Vito was awarded the Marie Curie IEF for Career Development grant that allowed him to join the Dept. of Drug Design and Pharmacology (University of Copenhagen). In 2014 he became Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen, and in 2016 tenured Associate Professor of Biophysics in the “Drug Delivery and Biophysics of Biopharmaceuticals” group at the same department. In 2018 he is recipient of the Villum Young Investigator award and is the PI of the related 5-year initiative “ProSmart”.



Jijo Vallooran, Assistant Professor, Aug 2019- July 2022



Jijo Vallooran received his M.Tech. (2008) from Cochin University of Science and Technology, India. He did Ph.D. in Soft Matter (2014) from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) with projects focused on stimuli-responsive liquid crystals for drug-delivery and biosensor applications. ETH Zurich awarded Pioneer Post-doctoral Fellowship for his PhD work, which he jointly did at Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (ieLab) and Soft Materials Lab at ETH Zurich. In 2017 he joined at the Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich as a Post-doctoral Fellow on Lipid self-assembly and Protein Crystallization. In 2019, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen.



Min Zhang, Postdoc, Jan 2021- Dec 2022 (with Nikos Hatzakis)


Min Zhang completed her PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry in Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, before joining University of Copenhagen as a postdoc in February 2017. She received a postdoc stipend from Lundbeck Foundation Experiment grant in November 2020 and she is based at the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen to perform a project in a collaboration between Nikos Hatzakis´ group and Vito`s Lab. Min focuses on the study of the growth mechanism of protein aggregates by super-resolution microscopy.



Xin Zhou, PhD Student, Oct 2017- March 2021


Xin Zhou completed her undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at Ocean University of China, joining Shenyang Pharmaceutical University as a master student in 2012. Thanks to a fellowship from the China Scholarship Council (CSC), she joined Vito´s Lab as a PhD student in 2017. Xin focus on development of hybrid self-assembled protein-surfactants systems, with a focus on the connection between kinetics of the growth, structures and physico-chemical properties of the final composite.



Camilla Dyngbo Thorlaksen, PhD Student, Mar 2018- May 2021


Camilla D. Thorlaksen completed her undergraduate and Master’s degree in Nanoscience at the University of Copenhagen, with a semester abroad at Purdue University, USA. During her Master she joined the Nano Enzyme group under the supervision of Nikos Hatzakis, with focus on setting up novel fluorescence assays for lipases. Now she continues her career as an industrial PhD student at Novo Nordisk, enrolled in the PhD program of Pharmaceutical Sciences, with Vito as a main University supervisor. Camilla focuses on investigating the impact of single protein aggregates characteristics on immunogenicity risk.



Dirk Fennema Galparsoro, PhD Student, Nov 2018- Oct 2021


Dirk Fennema Galparsoro completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Basque Country, before joining the University of Copenhagen as a Master student in Nanoscience (2016). He completed a master project on protein self-assembly under the supervision of Vito (June 2018) and since November 1st 2018 he is a PhD student based at the University of Palermo (Italy). The PhD project is co-financed by the VILLUM “ProSmart” initiative and the University of Palermo and is a collaboration between Vito´s lab and the Molecular Biophysics and Soft Matter group in Palermo (Associate Professor Valeria Vetri). Dirk focuses on the realization of protein nano- and micro-materials for applications as delivery systems for small molecules, with a focus on advanced microscopy approaches to characterize such materials.


Hussein Chaaban, PhD Student, Dec 2018- Nov 2021



Hussein Chaaban completed his master degree in Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Copenhagen in 2018, and joined Vito`s Lab first as a master student in 2017 and as a PhD student in 2018 financed by the VILLUM “ProSmart” initiative. Hussein focuses on the development of a new platform for the control of protein superstructures in gel- and solid-like phases to obtain highly versatile biomaterials for drug delivery and wound healing. His approach is mainly based on neutron and X-ray scattering techniques to study structure and dynamics of the materials.


Kleopatra Kalouta, PhD Student, Nov 2020- Oct 2023


Kleopatra completed the MEng in Chemical Engineering studies at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece, before coming to Copenhagen to pursue a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, in 2017. Kleopatra joined Vito’s group in 2018 to conduct her master thesis project and she then continued as a research assistant at the “Drug Delivery and Biophysics of Biopharmaceuticals” group of the University of Copenhagen. Starting November 2020, Kleopatra is a double degree PhD student at the University of Copenhagen (supervised by Vito) and the University of Palermo (supervisor Associate Professor Valeria Vetri) and the PhD project is co-financed by the VILLUM “ProSmart” initiative and the University of Palermo. Her research focus is on the production and characterization of waterborne, protein nanostructures with low-to-zero impact for drug delivery applications.


 Master Students 


   Fharhat Safi Nazar


Mariam Daoudi



Masoud Hosseini


Gabriella Johannesen





Maya Linea Bjaaland


Anders Wilgaard Sinkjær


Project Review Day on September 11, 2019



Picture from the curling game on September 11, 2019


Picture from October 2017. From left: Vito, Anas, Akshit, Dirk, Michele, Hussein, Xin, Gloria and Adrian


Evelina Jovaisaite 2019-2020 (next destination: unknown)

Sarah Al-Rawi 2019-2020 (next destination: unknown)

Reem Abushalleeh 2019-2020 (next destination: unknown)

Nora Chehajber 2019-2020 (next destination: unknown)

Adriana-Maria Stanciu 2019-2020 (next destination: unknown)

Ivana Fileš 2018-2019 (next destination: Associate Analytical Scientist in Oral Formulation Research, Novo Nordisk A/S)

Adrian Dario Juncos Bombin 2017-2018 (next destination: PhD student at the University of Belfast)

Jeff Jin Rong Quach  2017-2018 (next destination: unknown)

Gloria Singla 2017-2018 (next destination: Research Associate, Seattle Genetics)

Akshit Jaiswal 2017-2018 (next destination: unknown)

Gretha Di Donato 2017-2018 (next destination: Research Fellow, University of Milan, Italy)

Michel Corezzi 2016-2017 (next destination: Marketing Trainee, Sanofi Genzyme)

Anas Jaaloul 2016-2017 (next destination: Technical Sales Consultant at Phenomenex)

Edres Sayed Sayedi 2016-2017 (next destination: unknown)

Aleksandra Bartosik 2016-2017 (next destination: Research Quality Compliance Officer, Mundipharma, Cambridge UK )

Bruno Luigi Carlo Borro 2015-2016 (next destination: PhD student at the Dept. of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen)

Martin Nors Pedersen 2012-2015 (next destination: PostDoc at ESRF, Grenoble, France)

Selma Turan 2014-2015 (next destination: Lundbeck, Denmark)

Ula Lapinska 2012 (next destination: PhD Student at the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK)
Thea S. Wind 2011 (next destination: IV/WRS Coordinator at Novo Nordisk A/A, Copenhagen, Denmark)