Dr. Stephane Follonier obtained his M. Sc. in experimental physics and his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich in 1993 and 1998, respectively. After a Postgraduate Research at the University of California, Davis, for the National Science Foundation Center, CPIMA, he joined, in 2000, Zyomyx Inc., a pioneer in Proteomics where he developed platforms for large-scale proteomics applications including a high throughput antibody screening platform based on label-free detection. He then served as Senior Optical Design Consultant at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, working on the ISGEN program: In Situ Genomics Experiments using Nanosats. In 2004, he moved to Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Hercules, California, in the Protein Function Division. As project and program manager, he launched two complex instrument product lines in the field of bead-based and label-free immunoassay. He also led a partnership program with Cornell University, an Intellectual Property Team, and participated in several Technology Evaluation Programs. During his Bio-Rad time, he completed the Bio-Rad tailored Executive Program in Business and Administration Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
In 2009, he joined the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et Microtechnique SA, Landquart, as a Senior Project Manager, pursuing his vision around labeled (optical, magnetic and electric), label-free (mass detection) and substrate-free (signature based) detection of biochemicals in complex samples including all steps from “sample to signal”. Since October 2011, he's at the head of the Landquart division of CSEM.
Dr. Silvia Generelli graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and earned her Ph. D. Degree in 2008 from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. After a short postdoctoral period in the BioMEMS lab of the Ecole Polytechnique in Montréal, Canada, she joined the Nanomedicine division of CSEM. Her main research activities are in the field of electrochemical sensing for applications in biological media.
Sarah Heub recently graduated (Sept. 2011) from the European engineering school for Chemistry, Polymer and Materials sciences (ECPM) of Strasbourg, where she studied Material Sciences. In parallel she obtained her Master’s degree in Materials Engineering at the University Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg). Sarah Heub worked on different projects in the field of materials sciences for biological application, from the study of bioactive glass bone substitutes to the development of a surface functionalization method for immunoassays. Her present activity is now to develop an innovative integrated sample preparation method for the RADAR instrument.
Dr. Pascal Colpo obtained his master degree in fluid mechanics and mechanical engineering from University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble in 1987, and his PhD in Energetic physics from the Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble in 1994. He joined the JRC in 1996 as visiting scientist to work on plasma source development and as permanent staff in 2001 to work on bio interface development. He is actually in charge of the nanofabrication activity in the Nanobiotechnology group of the Nanobiosciences unit (IHCP). His research focuses mainly on protein nanostructure interaction and development of advanced cell culture platform for stem cell differentiation.
Dr. Venera Aiello graduated in October 2005 at the University of Catania, Faculty of Science MM. FF. e NN., orientation in Biological Science - Bio-molecular field. She got a PhD in Biochemical and Biomolecular Science (biosensors field) in 2009, at the University of Catania. This work was carried at Microelectronic and Microsystems Institute (IMM) of CNR of Catania. During the PhD period she was in charge of ICT project for University of Catania and she also collaborated with CEA-Leti-Minatec of Grenoble. In 2009/2010, she worked at “Study and development of hybrid molecule/ silicon devices for innovative electronic circuits” subject, as Post-Doc in CEA-Leti-Minatec of Grenoble. She is currently working in the Nanobiotechnology group of the Nanobiosciences unit (IHCP) as Post-Doc to work on Radar project (WP2).
Dr. Luigi Calzolai received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Siena in 1996. During 5 years at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, in the laboratory of the Nobel laurate Kurth Wuthrich, he has solved the three dimensional structure of several prion proteins involved in neurological disorders. In 2006 he was appointed senior lecturer of biochemistry at the School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, UK. He recently joined the JRC and his research is focused on the structural and functional characterisation of biological macromolecules.
Dr. Teresa Lettieri received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Zürich (Switzerland) in 1999. During that time she was involved in projects to characterise the overexpression of a protein linked to human colon cancer. She was involved in cloning, protein expression, enzymatic assay, gene knockout of the human G/T mismatch-specific DNA glycolsylase. She worked as post-doctoral fellow at ETH in Zürich from 1999 to 2002 focused on DNA repair pathway in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She worked for one year in an Italian pharmaceutical company on the expression and purification of soluble receptor II of Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF) in mammalian system. Since 2002 she joined the JRC to lead the molecular biology group at the IES dealing with the development of more specific, sensitive and fast tools to investigate the chemical pollutant effect on the aquatic organisms and for the detection of microbial population changes in water samples.
Dr. Valentina Ferrero obtained her master degree in Industrial Biotechnologies in 2005 and her PhD in Biochemistry in 2008 from University of Torino. Then she continued her work with a Post-Doc grant in the Protein Engineering Laboratory of the Human and Animal Biology Department in Torino, working on the development of biosensors for drugs and environmental pollutants exploiting cytochrome P450s as the biological counterpart. Her research mainly involved recombinant protein expression and purification in order to obtain high yield and purity and subsequent kinetic and activity assays on the purified enzymes.
Dr. Luca Varani graduated in chemistry at the University of Milan (Italy) with a thesis in structural biology. He then moved to the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology, obtaining a Ph.D. degree at the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2000. His Ph.D. research focused on the role of RNA and protein interactions in regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level, culminating in the determination of the largest NMR structure and one of only 3 RNA-protein complexes available at the time. He also contributed to show the role of RNA structure in dementia, proving the viability of RNA as a therapeutic target. After a brief spell in Florence, he moved to Stanford University (USA) as a postdoctoral fellow, being awarded an “EMBO Fellowship” in 2003. At Stanford he completed the first NMR study on TCR-pMHC complexes, proposing a novel approach to the systematic characterisation of protein-protein interactions. Since October 2007 he leads the Structural Biology group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona (CH). 50% of the group members are female; the group employs 4 Ph.D. students, one PostDoc and a research assistant, it conducts its own research projects and also acts as a “protein production and purification facility” for the IRB.
Florian Kehl obtained his M.Sc. in nanosciences, major in physics, from the University of Basel in 2010. After his B.Sc. in nanosciences he joined the CSEM, Center for Nanomedicine in Landquart in 2007 to work on label-free optical biosensors and its start-up company DYNETIX Biosystems. In 2009 he worked as a Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) in a laboratory for microrobotics and wireless-sensor networks. Since 2011 he is a PhD Student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ) in the Laboratory of Biosensors and Bioelectronics (LBB) in collaboration with CSEM Landquart and Optics Balzers Liechtenstein.
Dr. Willem Haasnoot a senior scientist working in RIKILT-Institute of Food Safety. He obtained his PhD in 2009 on a thesis entitled “Multiplex biosensor immunoassays for antibiotics in the food chain”. He is an internationally recognized expert in Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) biosensing and SPR application development in a wide variety of food and environmental contaminants. He has a long and on-going track record as a research scientist and as a workpackage manager in several EU collaborative research projects aiming at the development of biorecognition elements and multiplex biosensors. > 60 peer reviewed papers and book chapters.
John Bostock has a background in urban renewal and developing small and medium enterprises in the UK working with Government institutions, local authorities and other financial institutions and internationally in Europe and Russia. He participated in a number of major projects and other transactions, often as principal. For the last 15 years he has been involved in developing electrochemical water treatment systems. This includes an electrocoagulation process now being trialled in a number of different applications as an alternative to chemical methods – completion of the trials will lead to commercial rollout of the system. A major benefit of electrocoagulation is that it produces significantly less sludge than conventional chemicals and is more suitable for recovering any valuable elements than chemical methods. Trials for recovery of some material are also taking place, for example heavy metals and phosphate. John has also developed antimicrobial solutions which have just been successfully used in an FP7 project “Pilgrim” (completing December 2011) dealing with a strain of MRSA that has emerged in pigs. These successful results have led to further research projects in this area as well as the development of commercial products and processes. In addition John has sponsored PhD projects in some related health and sensor applications in both human and veterinarian fields.
Professor Maher Kalaji graduated from the University of Southampton (UK) with an Honours degree in Chemistry and Oceanography (1981) and PhD in Chemistry (1985). Appointed lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Bangor University (UK) in 1991; senior lecturer (1997) ; awarded Personal Chair (2006) and Honorary Chair (2009). Between 2005 and 2009 Dr. Kalaji was the Head of the School of Chemistry at Bangor University and chaired the Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry (NW region, 2004-2006. His expertise is in the field of Electrochemistry and he was awarded the Tajima Prize by the International Society of Electrochemistry for his work on the use of in situ spectroscopic methods for the study of reactions at electrode surfaces. Since 1999, Dr. Kalaji focused on the development of electrochemical sensors, biosensors (using genetically engineered enzymes) and sensors based on nano-structured metal oxides. He has taken part in a number of EU –funded projects including amongst others Nanosecure and Watersafe. In addition to overseeing a start-up in the field of explosives detection, he is an independent technical consultant.
Asst. Prof. Valentina Turk is experienced in marine microbiology and involved in national and international studies. The focus of her research is the role of microorganisms in the marine environment and the cycling of organic matter in the Adriatic Sea. With the advent of molecular biological techniques in this field, she is applying DGGE, FISH, radioisotopes to study the abundance and dynamic of the naturally-occurring marine microbes and their trophic links within the microbial food web. She is an professor of Microbiology and Microbial Ecology at the University of Nova Gorica. She is a coordinator for the National monitoring program of Slovenia - Programme for the Assessment and Control of Pollution in the Mediterranean Region (MED POL).