Career Profile

I received my diploma in Medical Biochemistry in 2007. Thereafter I started my Ph.D. studies in the group of Prof. Dr. Peter Friedl in the Department of Cell Biology at the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, where I completed my experimental PhD thesis on the impact of cell surface glycosylation on tumor cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo using multiphoton microscopy, confocal and scanning electron microscopy to visualize the complex nanotopography between the cell membranes and collagen fibers. In 2013, I received the prestigious Roche Postdoc Fellowship (RPF) from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland, and developed a GFP complementation assay to study the transport of functional cell-penetrating peptides from the cell surface to the cytosol with focus on endosomal release. Furthermore, I studied the influence of cell surface glycosylation on the uptake of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). In February 2017 I received the KIC Postdoc Fellowship from the Kavli Institute for Nanoscale Science at Cornell University, USA.

Experiences

Roche PostDoc Fellow

2013 - Present
Biochemistry of Integrated Systems, RIMLS, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

In this project I develop a GFP complementation assay to study the transport of functional cell-penetrating peptides from the cell surface to the cytosol with the focus on endosomal release.

I also study the influence of cell surface glycosylation on the uptake of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). Next to advanced biochemical approaches, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, I also use confocal microscopy, to analyze and visualize contact regions of especially cationic CPPs to negatively charged cell surface glycan moieties.

Furthermore, I study the impact of CPP binding on the lateral mobility of cell surface glycolipids and glycoproteins using atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy (AFM/AFS) and FRAP technique, which I have optimized for glycan analysis during the last years.

Developer

2016 - present
Vaionex Corporation, 19702 Newark, Delaware, USA

I am involved in the development of R codes, a marketplace, I have co-founded, for sharing R tutorials, novel approaches and algorithms to the coding community around the world. Furthermore I am involved in the development of Frapbot, a free-of-charge open source software web application written in R, which provides manual and automated analyses of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) datasets. Both projects are part of the Vaionex Corporation, a young datascience & biotech startup I have co-founded in 2016.

Ph.D. student

2008 - 2012
Cellbiology and Celldynamics, RIMLS, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

During my PhD project I was able to learn advanced imaging procedures, e.g. confocal microscopy, to visualize cell-matrix interactions and dynamic cell patterning, e.g. during tumor migration and invasion. My responsibilities included the development of a cell culture technique to analyse the influence of glycocalyx components in mediating cell migration and invasion in a 3D environment in vitro and in vivo. Thus, I have a strong background in cell and molecular biology, microscopy, including time-lapse microscopy, confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy and spectroscopy (AFM/AFS), glycobiology and experience in glycochemistry.

Current Projects

Molecular Dynamics Simulation - A conceptional structural understanding of the interaction of arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides with glycosaminoglycans.
Drug Delivery - Endocytic uptake of L- but not D-amino acid cationic cell-penetrating peptides induces a softening of the actin cytoskeleton.
Cancer Glycomedicine - Impact of Cell Surface Glycosylation on Tumor Cell Migration: The glycocalyx as multivalent and universal adhesion scaffold.
Frapbot - A new open source Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) application.
Google Summer of Code - FireData: Connecting R to Firebase. I am a mentor of this project.
R codes - Marketplace for sharing R tutorials and novel approaches and algorithms to the coding community around the world.
Vaionex Corporation - A platform for datascience & biotech.
Respora - A platform for finding the scientific expert on demand.