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Vito Foderà, Associate Professor and Principal Investigator

 

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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”.

 

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Samuel Lenton, Postdoc, Dec 2021- Nov 2023

 

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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.

 

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Mai Bay Stie, Postdoc, Jan 2021- Dec 2023

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Hussein Chaaban, Postdoc, Aug 2022- July 2024

 

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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 until 2022. Hussein’s PhD focused on studying the stability and aggregation of proteins in the presence of Hofmeister ions using a range of biophysical techniques with a focus on X-ray scattering, microscopy approach, and molecular dynamics. Hussein will continue as an industrial postdoc at LEO Pharma associated with the Foderà lab. The main focus of the postdoc is to elucidate how antibodies against interleukins affect its ability to bind with cytokines, and the possible role related to atopic dermatitis. The project will combine biophysical, structural and simulation approaches.

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Xuedan Sun, PhD Student, Nov 2022- Oct 2025

 

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Xuedan Sun completed her undergraduate degree in pharmacy at the China Pharmaceutical University, before joining the University of Copenhagen as a Master student in Medicinal Chemistry in 2020. She joined Vito’s group to do an individual study in 2021 and then completed her master thesis project in 2022. Xuedan is a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen from November 2022 financed by the China Scholarship Council. Her research focuses on the generation and characterization of protein-based biomaterials and the evaluation of their physico–chemical properties for drug delivery and wound healing.

 

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Xuezhi Zhuo, PhD Student, Oct 2020- Sept 2023

 

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Xuezhi Zhuo completed his master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in 2019, studying polymer nanoparticle formulation. He joined the Solid State Pharmaceutics group first at the University of Copenhagen in 2020 as a PhD student, focusing on protein-based amorphous formulations. And now, he is affiliated with  Vito´s Lab (September 2022) to investigate the fundamental mechanism behind the stabilization in the solid amorphous form and in the supersaturated solution based on protein-based amorphous solid dispersions.

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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.

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Giorgia Puleo, PhD Student, Jan 2022- Dec 2024

 

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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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Filippo Vitale, PhD Student, Jan 2022- Dec 2024

 

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Filippo obtained a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in Italy in 2018, and in March 2021, he completed the Master Degree in Chemistry  at the University of Palermo (UNIPA). Filippo joined Vito’s group at the beginning of 2022 for his double degree, industrial Ph.D., which is carried out in collaboration between the University of Palermo (supervisor Associate Professor Delia Francesca Chillura Martino), the University of Copenhagen (supervised by Vito), and Novagenit s.r.l, an Italian company in the field of orthopedic implant. His research is focused on producing and characterizing new nanostructured composites with antibacterial activity to film onto orthopedic prostheses.

 

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Inna Brakti, PhD Student, Sept 2022- Aug 2025

 

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Inna completed her Master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen, where she combined NMR, SAXS, CD spectroscopy and ITC to study a large, intrinsically disordered transcription factor domain and its interaction with a small, folded hub protein. From September 2022, she i a joint PhD student between the groups of Vito Foderà and the Biophysical Analysis team at Novo Nordisk A/S, where Minna Grønning Jensen will be her main industrial supervisor. She will work on the PhD project “Explore, develop and implement prediction methods for physical in-use stability”.

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Xining Zhang, PhD Student, Mar 2021- Feb 2024

 

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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.

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 Master Students 

 

Niyosha Ghalibaf

Bergþóra Lára Hilmarsdóttir

 

 

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Project Review Day on September 11, 2019

 

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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

Alumni

Dr. Dirk Fennema Fennema Galparsoro 2017-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Dr. Camilla Thorlaksen 2018-2022 (next destination: Novo Nordisk A/S)

Dr. Xin Zhou 2017-2021 (next destination: unknown)

Maya Linea Bjaaland 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Gajan Sivananthan 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Khalid Omar 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Hussein El-Abed Mehanna 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Mohammed Nazmul Islam 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

Shah Taj Malik 2021-2022 (next destination: Novo Nordisk A/S)

Helhaam Shireen 2021-2022 (next destination: unknown)

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)

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