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”.



Samuel Lenton, Postdoc, Dec 2021- Nov 2023



Sam completed his PhD at the Institut-Laue Langevin and Keele University, where he used a combination of X-ray and neutron scattering to investigate the function of intrinsically disordered proteins originating from milk and other biofluids. Since then, he has completed postdocs in the UK and more recently at Lund university, using a range of biophysical techniques with a focus on X-ray and neutron scattering to study biological macromolecules. He joined Vito´s group in 2021 to study phase separation in amyloid systems, a project founded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.



Mai Bay Stie, Postdoc, Jan 2021- Dec 2023


Mai (002).jpg

Mai Bay Stie holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU, 2016) and a PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH, 2021). She joined the Foderà Lab as a Postdoc in January 2021 financed by the VILLUM “ProSmart” initiative. Mai is also affiliated with the Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery. Her research focuses on the development of new and innovative drug delivery systems mainly based on proteins, from particles prepared in bulk to nanofibers prepared by electrospinning. She uses a large range of fabrication techniques together with advanced in vitro cell-based assays and ex vivo methods with fresh tissue.



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.



Camilla Dyngbo Thorlaksen, PhD Student, Mar 2018- July 2022


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- Mar 2022


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- Mar 2022



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.


Giorgia Puleo, PhD Student, Jan 2022- Dec 2024


Giorgia graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Palermo (UNIPA) in Italy in 2020. In 2021, she was awarded a six-month scholarship for research activities at UNIPA in collaboration with the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Sicily "A. Mirri” with a project titled: "Development of experimental procedures for the quantitative determination of active molecules on biological samples.”. Giorgia joined Vito’s group at the beginning of 2022 for her double degree, industrial Ph.D., which is carried out in collaboration between the University of Palermo (supervisor Associate Professor Valeria Vetri), the University of Copenhagen (supervised by Vito), and EmoLED, an Italian company in the field of photonics and photobiomodulation. Her research is focused on the production and characterization of new nanomaterials based on photocatalysts in combination with nanoparticles for photodynamic therapy.

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Xining Zhang, PhD Student, Mar 2021- Feb 2024


Xining Zhang started his graduate study in nanoscience and technology program at Sino-Danish College of Sino-Danish Center (SDC) in Sept 2018. He got his MSc degree from University of Copenhagen in Jan 2021 and enrolled in SDC Ph.D program from Mar 2021. Now, he is pursuing his double degrees of PhD from Sino-Danish College of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Copenhagen (supervised by Vito). Xining focuses on the synthesis and characterization of novel nanostructures and studying the interactions between nanostructures and amyloid peptides.


 Master Students 


Xuedan Sun

Maya Linea Bjaaland

Gajan Sivananthan  Khalid Mohamed Mohamoud Omar Hussein El-Abed Mehanna

Mohammed Nazmul Islam

Shah Taj Malik

Helhaam Shireen


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


Halimah Masood Feroze 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Anders Wilgaard Sinkjær 2020-2021 (next destination: PhD Student, University of Copenhagen)

Gabriella Johannesen 2020-2021 (next destination: unknown)

Mariam Daoudi 2020-2021 (next destination: unknown)

Fharhat Safi Nazar 2020-2021 (next destination: unknown)

Masoud Hosseini 2020-2021 (next destination: Quality Assurance Professional, AP Operations at Novo Nordisk)

Evelina Jovaisaite 2019-2020 (next destination: Biosafety Specialist at Coloplast)

Sarah Al-Rawi 2019-2020 (next destination: Junior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at ConvaTec)

Reem Abushalleeh 2019-2020 (next destination: Pharmacovigilance Officer hos Lægemiddelstyrelsen

Nora Chehajber 2019-2020 (next destination: Processupporter hos Rigshospitalet)

Adriana-Maria Stanciu 2019-2020 (next destination: Associate Scientist at Ferring Pharmaceuticals)

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)