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About us Faculty of Science and Engineering Our Research Postdoc Council

Council members

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Dr. Natalia Ortí Casañ

My name is Natalia Ortí Casañ, I am Spanish and I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Molecular Neurobiology group (GELIFES institute). I completed both my Master’s and PhD at the RUG, after which I started my postdoc position in January 2023. My research is mainly focused on investigating the role of the immune system in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Our approach consists of modulating the immune system with novel compounds as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of the different neurodegenerative diseases. Next to my postdoc, I have recently taken on the role of Associate Editor for the Journal of Alzheimer's disease. I decided to join the FSE Postdoc Council to connect and network with fellow postdocs and contribute to improving our postdoc community.

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Dr. Pablo Corcho Caballero

My name is Pablo Corcho Caballero. I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute. My research mostly focuses on understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies throughout the history of the Universe. I use both ground and space-based observations of galaxies to constraint their past and present star formation processes and their chemical evolution. My PhD thesis was conducted under a cotutelle agreement at both Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). After this, I spent several months working as a software developer for the European Southern Observatory. I moved to Groningen in late 2023 to start a new position related to the Euclid space mission. I decided to join the FSE postdoc council to contribute to the development of a strong and close-knit postdoc community at RUG.

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Dr. Faizan Bhat

I'm Faizan Bhat. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Groningen, I transitioned into a postdoctoral position within the CPB department (Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology) at GRIP (Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy). My current research is centered around the rational and computer-aided design of potential pharmaceutical drugs aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance.

I decided to join the postdoc council to capitalize on networking opportunities and to gain insights from shared experiences within the community.

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Dr. Peiyi Peng

I am Peiyi Peng and I am now postdoc researcher at Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen. My research focuses on understanding more about the climate change and carbon cycle based on stable isotopes. I am from China where I finished my Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees. I completed my PhD in June 2020 and then did some consulting and research work in China. I am here at RUG as a postdoc in September 2023. Although I have taken part in several international conferences, this is the first time I leave my hometown for a long time. Studying and working abroad are interesting and different experiences. I joined the postdoc council with the aim to get involved in the postdoc life in RUG and also hope to help other postdocs to enjoy their life here.

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Dr. Kübra Kalayci

I am Kübra Kalayci and I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Macromolecular Chemistry and New Polymeric Materials group at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. I am originally from Istanbul, Turkey where I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I then moved to Brisbane, Australia and completed my PhD there. I joined RUG in November 2023 and currently my research focuses on the development of new biodegradable and recyclable biomaterials aiming to reduce plastic waste in collaboration with several industry partners in the Netherlands. I joined the FSE Postdoc Council to learn about the experiences of fellow postdocs and to be involved in a supportive postdoc community. I am hoping that I could also help other postdocs by sharing the knowledge I learned in this community.

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Dr. Ana Rita Oliveira

My name is Ana Rita, I am Portuguese and I joined the Starting Institute for Chemistry, where I am a Postdoc in the lab of Professor Mayer since October 2022.
I finished my PhD in June 2022 (ITQB-NOVA, Portugal), which was focused on studying a highly active enzyme as a biocatalyst for carbon dioxide reduction to formate, a sustainable fuel. Indeed enzymes can be powerful catalysts and create solutions for human problems, but I recognize that most natural enzymes are seldom optimized for their industrial application, which can be tailored using direct evolution. So currently I am working on engineering next-generation biocatalysts through in vivo selections repurposing orthogonal translation systems. This strategy allows us to assess millions of enzyme variants all at once, removing much of the time, cost and technical challenges associated with enzyme evolution.
Since this is my first postdoc, I joined the PDC to be better integrated with the postdoc community and to learn through shared experiences.

PostDoc Ambassadors

Two junior permanent staff members are assisting us with advice:

Dr. Anna Salvati
Dr. Sonja Billerbeck

My name is Sonja Billerbeck and I am an Assistant Professor for molecular microbiology at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB).

I hold a Master in Microbiology from the University of Tübingen (GER), a PhD in Bioengineering from ETH Zürich (CH) and I did postdoctoral research in yeast Synthetic Biology at Columbia University in New York City (USA).

In Groningen my group develops a research program that uses Synthetic Biology, Protein Engineering and Environmental Microbiology to access, understand and engineer the functional diversity of nature’s yeast-based mycobiome for applications in human health, industrial biotechnology and to answer fundamental questions on yeast (pathogen) biology. Besides research, I am dedicated to education and outreach in the field of microbial Synthetic Biology. I have been leading iGEM teams at various institutions for over ten years and I co-lead the iGEM engineering committee. Further, I am the Chair of the Microbial Biotechnology section of the KNVM (Royal Dutch Association for Microbiology) and the NBV (Dutch Biotechnology Association).

As postdoc ambassador, I (try to) mentor the postdoctoral community at the RuG on their research and career strategies and vice-versa advice the university in their policies to support these goals.

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Dr. Julian Koellermeier

I am Julian Koellermeier, tenured Assistant Professor (UD1) at the Bernoulli Institute. My research is on model reduction and numerical simulation for applications like rarefied gases and free-surface flows. I started at the Bernoulli Institute of the University of Groningen in 2022 after postdoctoral positions at KU Leuven, Peking University and Free University Berlin and my PhD at RWTH Aachen University. Looking back on my own postdoc experiences, I am happy to mentor and provide advice for the postdoc representatives to help them with their work on the postdoc council.

Former Members

  • Joana Sabino Pinto
  • Bharat Kumar Gehlot
  • Francisco José Castillo Hernández
  • Debarun Sengupta
  • Joanna Sudyka
  • Elisa Palacino González
  • May Lee
  • Giorgio Orlando
  • Meagan Beatty
  • Stephen Jones
  • Saeed Ahmed
  • Sandeep Kumar Padamati
  • Xiangcheng Chen
  • Georgian Nedelcu
  • Lyes Khacef
  • Maciej Grajewski
  • Michele Crotti
  • Kateryna Frantseva
  • Omer Markovitch
  • Sandeep Kumar Padamati
  • Prof. Dr. Diederik Roest
  • Anne Lexmond (now Scientific Coordinator at UMCG)
  • Viktoriia Starokozhko (now Clinical expert at Medicines Evaluation Board)
  • Miriam Boersema (now Project manager at UMCG Research BV and Grant Support Hub)
  • Valentina Arkhipova
  • Nicola Strisciuglio
  • Emma Wams (now Project leader at PRA Health Sciences)
  • Primo┼ż Pirih
  • Natalia Vtyurina (now Associate Consultant at ProPharma Group)
  • Pim Frederix
  • Valentina Francia
  • Davide Massari
  • Haleh Abdizadeh
  • Noémi Deak
  • Aditya Iyer
  • Liliia Kulish
Last modified:27 June 2024 3.22 p.m.