Lab members - Cipitria Lab
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Lab Members

Current Members

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ROCÍO CÁRDENAS

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Fernando López)

After studying Biotechnology at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Rocío completed a 9-month internship at the University of Trieste (Italy) in the field of Nutritional Biochemistry, thanks to the Erasmus+ program. Her love for cellular biology led her to pursue a Master’s in Tissue Engineering and Advanced Therapies at the University of Granada, where she discovered her passion for the fields of regenerative medicine and advanced therapies. With the aim of contributing to this ground-breaking fields, she decided to join Amaia Cipitria’s group, where she is pursuing her doctoral thesis in collaboration with Fernando López at CIC biomaGUNE, with the aim of developing biocatalytic materials for their application in biomedicine. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading as well as traveling and exploring new places.

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JONE BERASAIN

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Robert Aguirresarobe)

Jone is a biologist who studied at the University of the Basque Country. Throughout her academic journey, a profound passion for histology and cellular biology led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Tissue Engineering and Advanced Therapies in Granada. During this program, Jone focused extensively on working with biomaterials, functionalizing them mechanically and immunologically. This experience not only deepened her awareness of the potential of Advanced Therapies but also her determination to excel in this field. Her excitement for contributing to the cutting-edge field of regenerative medicine and exploring new avenues in biomaterials and cellular therapies, led her to join Amaia Cipitria’s lab to pursue a doctoral thesis on injectable hydrogels for CAR-T cell therapies. She loves traveling in van camper and discovering hidden places to relax and be surrounded by nature.

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LAURA FALLERT

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Dorleta Jiménez)

Laura obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Maastricht and pursued her MSc in Oncology at the Vrije University of Amsterdam. During her Master´s, she performed her minor internship at the Leiden University Medical Center to evaluate the performance of a enzyme-activatable fluorescent probe for breast cancer resection. For her Master’s Thesis at the Cancer Center Amsterdam, she developed a 3D cell culture model to explore the potential of exosome inhibition to restore treatment response in breast cancer cells. Determined to be a driving force in this field of research, she joined Amaia Cipitria´s group as a doctoral researcher and in collaboration with Dorleta Jiménez at CIC biomaGUNE. She will develop 3D printed breast cancer models to monitor drug response and investigate bone as well as lung metastatic events, aiming to develop a platform for personalized therapy. During her free time, she likes to get creative on paper as well as in the kitchen and enjoys any beach related activity.

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DR. NAIKE SALVADOR

Postdoctoral researcher

Naike studied Biology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she also obtained her PhD in Genetics (after a short research stay in Australia). She took some time off her scientific career to go as a volunteer to Ethiopia. Afterwards, she fully dived into the molecular side of cancer with a postdoc in Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (USA). Then, she deepened her knowledge in DNA damage repair during a second postdoc at Intituto de Medicina Molecular (Portugal). Her strong interest for in vitro modeling led her to join Amaia Cipitria’s lab back in the Basque Country, where she was born. She loves hiking, rock-climbing and singing.

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DR. OIHANE MITXELENA

Postdoctoral researcher

After obtaining a BSc in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Navarra, Oihane moved to London to increase her knowledge with the MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine at the University College London (UCL). She returned to her hometown to do her PhD in Applied Engineering at the University of Navarra, where she developed microfluidic platforms for the validation of new targeted therapies in personalized medicine against osteosarcoma. Following her passion for regenerative medicine, she joined Amaia Cipitria’s group as a postdoctoral researcher. She loves nature and adventures, so you can find her excited in any amusement park or thinking about new experiences such as skydiving!

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UNAI HERAS

Doctoral researcher

After finishing his Master’s Thesis in our group working with bone mimicking 3D-printed scaffolds for breast cancer models, Unai decided to start his PhD on 3D-bioengineered models to analyse cell-ECM interactions in dormancy-inducing and early metastasis engineered microenvironments. He graduated in Industrial Engineering at University of the Basque Country, where he worked as an intern student with 3D printers, 3D scans and digital software for biomedical applications. His strong interest in biomedical research led him to study a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, expanding his knowledge to biomaterials, cell culture or cancer. Born in the Basque Country he loves the mountains and the sea, but where you could best know him is in any event with music.

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DR. LEIRE ITURRIAGA

Lab manager

Leire earned her BSc in Chemistry (Organic) and Master´s Degree in New Materials from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She carried out her thesis project at AZTI-TECNALIA and obtained the PhD in Materials Science and Technology also from UPV/EHU. After the PhD, she worked on projects related to the development of biomaterials (School of Engineering of Gipuzkoa, UPV/EHU), the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes by cell therapy (School of Pharmacy, UPV/EHU), the synthesis of polymer-drug conjugates for cancer treatment (IQAC-CSIC) and developing scaffolds that modulate the immune response (POLYMAT). Her desire to continue working in the exciting field of tissue regeneration along with the aspiration to gain knowledge in cancer led her to join Amaia´s group. She loves reading, travelling and planting and caring for trees.

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DANIELA S. GARSKE

Research Assistant

After her training as a biological technical assistant, Daniela’s continued interest in Biology led her to study Medical Biotechnology at the TU Berlin. During this time she joined Amaia Cipitria’s group (then still located at the Julius Wolff Institute at the Charité Berlin) as a student helper. She decided to stay for her diploma thesis and then continued as a research assistant. She supports the doctoral students of the group in their projects in aspects like cell culture, hydrogel synthesis, in vivo experiments and histology. She loves reading, being crafty and creative and if it’s windy you can also spot her windsurfing across Berlin waters.

Claudia A. Garrido

CLAUDIA A. GARRIDO

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Katharina Schmidt-Bleek)

Claudia carried out her bachelor studies in Chemistry in her home country, Ecuador, and pursued her Master’s degree in Toxicology in Potsdam University. Her main research interests are material science and tissue regeneration. She looked for a PhD project in biomaterials and enrolled at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies graduate school as a member of Amaia Cipitria’s group. She is working on the project patterned hydrogels for bone regeneration.

Anna-Dorothea Heller

ANNA-DOROTHEA HELLER

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Angelo Valleriani)

Anna joined our project group for her master’s thesis in 2019. Before that she was studying Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science at the TU Berlin, where she also did a semester abroad at UC Berkeley. Because she was excited about the possibility to continue her research of developing a computer model for bone metastases growth, Anna stayed with us as a PhD student. Born right into the middle of the Thuringian Forest she could not help but love any activity that has to do with mountains. If she’s not lost in papers you can either find her devouring books or spending too much money on vinyl records.

Nicky Tam

NICKY TAM

Doctoral researcher (co-PI Dr. Rumiana Dimova)

Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Nicky obtained a BSc in Physiology and Physics from McGill University in Montreal and a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he worked on the development of a 3D cell culture model to study prostate cancer cell interactions. Moving ever eastward, he crossed the Atlantic in 2020 Anno Domini and now works at the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces with synthetic model lipid membranes to develop a bottom-up model system to study how extracellular environments affect exosome formation. Nicky is passionate about food, especially eating it and is a big fan of finding fractal patterns in vegetables.

Alumni

Sarah Young

DR. SARAH YOUNG

PhD in Biochemistry, 2022
Now: Science policy officer at Max-Planck-Society, Berlin Office

Hubert Taieb

DR. HUBERT TAÏEB

PhD in Bioengineering, 2022
Now: Mitacs postdoctoral researcher at McGill Uni. and Dragonfly (ORS), Montreal

Sadra Bakhshandeh

DR. SADRA BAKHSHANDEH

PhD in Bioengineering, 2022
Now: Associate editor at Nature Reviews Bioengineering

Sharen Heinig

SHAREN HEINIG

MSc in Bioinformatics, 2022
Now: Scientific assistant at Charité University Hospital Berlin

Sanem Özayral

SANEM ÖZAYRAL

MSc in Biophysics, 2021
Now: Doctoral researcher at Charité University Hospital Berlin

Victoria Qian

VICTORIA QIAN

Fulbright Fellow, 2021
Now: continued studies at Wayne State University School of Medicine

Di Wang

DI WANG

MSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 2021

Ines Moreno

DR. INÉS MORENO-JIMÉNEZ

Humboldt postdoctoral fellow, 2020
Now: Research scientist at Aortyx

Aline Lueckgen

DR. ALINE LÜCKGEN

PhD in Materials Science, 2020
Now: Associate editor at Nature Communications

Master and bachelor students working in the group before 2019:

Melanie Seow
Biotechnology, 2018

Michael Paris
Physics, 2015

Andreas Götz
Biomedical Engineering, 2015

Sophia Schönhals
Biotechnology, 2013

Kathrin Boettcher
Bioengineering, 2012