Researchers 9 Early Stage Reseachers will be trained in the DRUGtrain project. ESR1: David Figueiredo Vidal Leiden, the Netherlands research project a L Read more M ESR1: David Figueiredo Vidal'Integrated in silico selection of repurposing candidates' I am Brazilian/Spanish, born and raised in Fortaleza, Brazil. I did my BSc in Biotechnology in the Federal University of Ceará, where I was awarded the Scientific Initiation fellowship, a Brazilian fellowship dedicated to undergraduate students who want to develop research in parallel to their studies. My first contact with research was studying lectins, where I worked with protein purification, expression, crystallization and molecular dynamics.My passion for science led me to apply for the International Master in Innovative Medicine, a two-year Erasmus+ programme, where I was awarded the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Scholarship. During my master I had the opportunity of studying at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, and at the University of Uppsala, in Sweden. While in Uppsala, I had another contact with molecular dynamics, but this time working with free-energy perturbations (FEP) under the supervision of Dr. Hugo Gutierrez de Terán, on a project that aimed to benchmark a in-house developed tool for performing FEP calculations, QligFEP.My master thesis was conducted at the University of Cambridge, where I worked with generative models of molecules under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Bender. The project was dedicated to investigating the score-driven behavior of these algorithms in the scenario of predictive modelling, where molecular generation is affected by the different predictive scoring functions and the molecular representations used for training.These past experiences motivated me to extend my knowledge about artificial intelligence and drug discovery and to contribute to these highly innovative fields, ultimately impacting the lives of patients. Now, I'm currently working at the ESR1 position - Integrated in silico selection of repurposing candidates - where I will use computational chemistry techniques to investigate the potential of approved drugs being repurposed to polycystic kidney disease. ESR2: Nicolas Olalde Hightower Leiden, the Netherlands research project a L Read more M ESR2 Nicolas Olalde Hightower‘Target identification and drug validation in (preclinical) in model system’ I am Spanish/American, born and raised in a town north of Madrid, Spain. While studying for my Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow I discovered my interest in molecular pharmacology and signalling pathways in disease. Under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Mancini and Prof. Graeme Milligan, I studied biased signalling in G protein-coupled receptors and the role of potential phosphorylation sites in arrestin-3 recruitment and receptor desensitisation.I returned to the University of Glasgow for a Master’s by Research in Biomedical Sciences. Here I had my first contact with bioinformatics, assessing RNA sequencing data from colorectal cancer patients, aiming to study distinct patterns in cAMP-selective phosphodiesterase and chemokine expression as potential drivers of metastasis. I subsequently extrapolated my findings to in vitro work in order to study a regulatory mechanism involving phosphodiesterase activity and chemokine expression, under the supervision of Dr. Elaine Huston.Now, working on the ESR Project 2 at the LUMC, I will use preclinical model systems of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease to validate novel therapeutic targets and potential drug candidates for repurposing. ESR3: Margarita Iljin Leiden, the Netherlands research project a L Read more M ESR3 Margarita Iljin‘High-throughput phenotypic drug testing for polycystic kidney disease, using 3D cultured renal organoids’ My name is Margarita Iljin and I am originally from Sweden where I acquired my master’s degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg. During this time, I specialized in stem cell research and iPSC technology. After graduation I was employed as a Research Assistant at the department of Physiology of the University of Gothenburg, to work in the Bipolar Disorder iPSC research group. The focus of this position was to study how early-onset inflammation impacts Bipolar Disorder using an iPSC-based 3D in-vitro model. Recently, I joined Crown Bioscience (previously OcellO BV) as an Associate Scientist as part of the Cystopathic Diseases group with the aim to further develop a 3D in vitro screening assay that uses patient derived tissues to study ADPKD. ESR4: Bola Khalil Beersum, Belgium research project a L Read more M ESR4 Bola Khalil‘Integrated in silico selection of repurposing candidates’ I work as a computational chemist researcher at Janssen Pharmaceutica’s R&D department in Belgium. My academic affiliation is with Leiden University, in the Netherlands. My primary objective is to harness the powers of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and other computational tools, to maximize our understanding of Polycystic Kidney disease, identify and validate druggable targets, and potentially design new molecular entities (NME) that can help make the life of patients better. During the project, I will gain access to large amounts of data, thanks to Janssen and my fellow researchers at the DRUGtrain initiative, which considerably improves the performance of the computational approaches and encourages collaborative work.I joined the DRUGtrain project, after finishing my master’s degree in Drug Discovery and Development at the University of Vienna (Univie) with an extension of A.I. courses from Johannes-Kepler-Universität in Linz. My thesis project focused on the application of graph neural networks in drug candidates’ toxicity prediction. Prior to joining Univie, I completed a Biotechnology research internship at the University of Tokyo in Japan, during which I acquired knowledge on a variety of biochemical techniques and gained a new perspective to my set of expertise. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Ain-Shams University in Cairo, Egypt (my home country) and taught “Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry” to undergraduate students for six years. ESR5: Shannon Jenkins Santiago de Compostela, Spain research project a L Read more M ESR5 Shannon Jenkins‘In vitro target-based screening for identifying drug-target combinations’ My name is Shannon Jenkins and I am from Wales, United Kingdom. I completed my BSc Pharmacology (Ind) at the University of Leeds where I undertook a year in industry at the phase I respiratory clinical trials facility, Medicines Evaluation Unit. Here I worked as a Research Technician for Prof. Dave Singh and his academic team, and was encouraged to pursue my goals of obtaining my doctorate. During my studies I completed my final year project on the “Optimisation of the pre-treatment process for impedimetric biosensors for bacteria detection” under the supervision of Prof. Paul Millner.Following my BSc, I obtained my MSc Precision Medicine: Genomics & Analytics at the University of Leeds where I was taught the principles of precision medicine development, including high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics. Here I also completed a project involving a “Metatranscriptomic analysis of the active microbiome of atherosclerotic plaques” under the supervision of Dr. Suparna Mitra. During my MSc studies I also worked as a Locum Clincial Trials Assistant for MAC Clinical Research, where I gained additional practical clinical research experience.I am now working within my position of ESR5 on the project “In vitro target-based screening for identifying drug-target combinations” where I am looking forward to applying my background and experience to help identify effective treatments for Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD). Paraskevi Sotiropoulou Konstanz, Germany research project a L Read more M ESR6 - Paraskevi Sotiropoulou'Off-target toxicity in human and mouse renal epithelial cell systems/organoids using in vitro transwell systems: in vitro to in vivo extrapolations' My name in short is Vivi and I was born in Greece. I have studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Patras, and spent a semester as an Erasmus exchange student at Free University of Berlin. After graduation, I started a master of science entitled “Drug Discovery and Development” at the University of Patras and I got specialised in the field of Industrial Pharmacy. I conducted research in collaboration with the Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (FORTH/ICE-HT) and I studied through in vitro experiments the targeting effects and potential toxicity of cellular vesicles and liposomes loaded with doxorubicin for use in triple negative breast cancer. The last semester of my master I worked as an intern at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Germany in the dissolution lab, where I tested the dissolution profiles of encapsulated clinical trial comparators. My next goal is to continue doing research and obtain a PhD, so I am excited to be part of the DRUGtrain project. I am based at the University of Konstanz and I will examine the toxicity of the ADPKD drug candidates identified by my colleagues using transwell systems. ESR7: Alina Meyer Uppsala, Sweden research project a L Read more M ESR7: Alina Meyer‘Pharmaceutical profiling and intracellular bioavailability of repurposing lead candidates’ Having always been interested in Natural Science, I obtained both my German State Examination in Pharmacy as well as my M.Sc. in Drug Research at the CAU in Kiel, Germany. I interned at different research facilities and performed my master’s project on liver organoids at the Uppsala University in Sweden. After having gained hands on experience as a licensed pharmacist, I have now returned to Uppsala to pursue my PhD in Drug Delivery as a member of the Artursson group. My project focuses on the pharmaceutical profiling and intracellular bioavailability of repurposing lead candidates for the treatment of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD). ESR8: Annika Tillmann Manchester, United Kingdom research project a L Read more M ESR8 Annika Tillmann‘Quantification of drug-metabolising enzymes and transporters in healthy and diseased kidney, and the development of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models of the kidney’ My name is Annika Tillmann and I am from Switzerland. During high school I discovered my love for natural sciences, especially chemistry and biology. I studied Pharmacy at the University of Basel for my Bachelor. In this time I grew fascinated with transporters and drug metabolising enzymes. For my Master degree I attended the Drug Sciences program at the University of Basel, while also taking lectures in toxicology. For my Master thesis project I worked in the Biopharmacy group of my University. I have now joined the research group in Manchester for my PhD project. It focuses on the quantification of transporters and enzymes in the kidney of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) patients. The project’s aim is to enable the optimisation of drug dosage and prevent drug-drug interactions in patients. ESR9: Vedangi Kulkarni Aachen, Germany research project a L Read more M ESR9 Vedangi Kulkarni‘Delivery systems to improve the therapeutic index of repurposed drugs’ I am Indian, born and raised in Pune, Maharashtra in western India. I completed by BSc as a Chemistry and Biotechnology co-major at the Fergusson College, University of Pune. I also took part in an undergraduate research internship at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, where I realized my research interest in Pharmaceutics and Theranostics. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers, I was introduced to different drug delivery systems and molecular imaging techniques while focusing on the development of novel radio-synthetic agents for tumor targed PET imaging.For my graduate studies, I joined the Molecular Medicine and Innovative Treatment master program at the University of Groningen, Netherlands where I was awarded the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) master scholarship. During my master, I explored the the molecular biology of solid tumors during my research internship in van Vugt lab, UMCG. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marcel van Vugt, I investigated the effect of oncogene overexpression on cell-cycle regulation in cellular models of ovarian cancer. Later, for my master thesis, I continued pursuing my interest in Theranostics under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Erik de Vries where I engaged myself in understanding the pharmacokinetic and molecular interactions of macrophage targeting PET tracers for inflammation imaging applications.These interdisciplinary research trainings helped me in understanding the challenges in uncovering the molecular landscape of disease pathologies while highlighting the need for exploring novel avenues of therapeutic targeting. Now, I am working as ESR9 on the project - Delivery systems to improve the therapeutic index of repurposed drugs- where I will use preclinical models of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) to select and validate optimal drug delivery system for repurposed drug candidates.