Developing biomimetic tissue models to study the fungal-host-microbiota interplay
I studied Biomedical Sciences and obtained my master's degree from the University of Bern (Switzerland) in 2017. I was enthusiastic about immunology and inflammation, so I completed a master’s thesis in transplantation immunology, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Robert Rieben and Dr. Adriano Taddeo. My thesis project was a pilot study aiming at gaining the first insight on how the inclusion of donor lymph nodes influences the allograft rejection in a rat Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation model. During this 6-months internship, I collaborated with plastic surgeons, immunologists, and cardiovascular researchers, which allowed me to broaden my knowledge in disease modeling both in vitro and in vivo.
After earning my master's degree, I worked for more than two years as a Laboratory Technician in the Assay Development team of the Cellular Laboratories at Philip Morris International (Neuchâtel, Switzerland). I was responsible for the development and characterization of new biomimetic models such as 3D-organotypic cultures and organ-on-a-chip platforms. I also worked on the design, optimization, and validation of in vitro and enzymatic assays for functional assessment and compound screening. During that time, I developed a keen interest in biomimetic cell culture models.
Since September 2019, I have been working as Early Stage Researcher in the Model Development team at Mimetas (Leiden, Netherlands), under the supervision of Dr. Karla Queiroz. My project is in the framework of FunHoMic and its goal is to develop biomimetic tissue models of oral and gut mucosa to study fungal pathogenesis, using the OrganoPlate®.