Current Members

Szymanski Group / UMCG / University of Groningen

Valentina Arkhipova, PhD

Valentina studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Udmurt State University, Russia. She did her MSc and PhD at the Institute of Protein Research, Russia under supervision of Prof. Maria Garber. After defending her PhD in December 2015, she moved to the University of Groningen as a post-doctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Bert Poolman and Prof. Dirk J. Slotboom to work on structural studies of membrane transport proteins. Since 2018 she started a collaboration project SzymanskiLab on time-resolved crystallography studies.

Mark Hoorens, MSc

Mark obtained his BSc in Life Science and Technology at Leiden University and University of Technology Delft. In 2013 he started his master Life Science and Technology at Leiden University, where he conducted his Master's Thesis in the group of Dr. Mario van der Stelt. Currently he is pursuing his PhD in the group of Dr. W. Szymanski, focussing on the design, synthesis and evaluation of new photopharmacological agents, to ultimately enable highly localized cancer treatment.

Lucien Lameijer, PhD

Lucien studied Chemistry at Leiden University and obtained his MSc degree in May 2013. In July 2013, he pursued his doctorate in the MCBIM group at Leiden University on 'The synthesis and biological applications of photo-activated ruthenium anticancer drugs' under the supervision of Dr. Sylvestre Bonnet and Prof. Dr. Lies Bouwman. After his PhD defence in December 2017, he briefly worked as a Scientist at MyLife Technologies and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in the SzymanskiLab.

Chantal Mulder, B ASc

Chantal was born in 1995. She did her bachelor chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Science (Groningen), during which she did her bachelor research at the UMCG, focusing on synthesis and 18F-labeling of PSMA-tracers, graduating in 2017. After Chantal finished her pre-master, she started her master at the University of Groningen in 2018. She is currently working in the SzymanskiLab focusing on the synthesis of responsive MRI contrast agents.

Friederike Reeßing, MSc

Friederike, born in Bremen, studied Pharmacy at the CAU Kiel and the University of Salamanca. In 2014 she received her diploma (equivalent to MSc) in Kiel and then came to Groningen for an internship in the group of Dr. Anna Hirsch working on the structure based design of modulators of thiamine transport. After obtaining her licensure as a pharmacist in August 2015, she will a pursue her PhD in the group of Dr. W. Szymanski focussing on the development molecular solutions of targeted Magnetic Resonance Imaging and intraoperative imaging.

Ilse Welleman, MSc

Ilse obtained her Bachelor of applied Science (B AS) at the Hogeschool Leiden in 2014, working on the composition of milk fat at the RUG in the group of professor Minnaard (in collaboration with FrieslandCampina). She stayed after graduation at the RUG to do a pre-master (2015) and master research project (2017), focusing on the development of responsive ParaCEST contrast agents. She is currently pursuing her PhD in our group on the development of smart medical imaging agents.

Feringa Group / University of Groningen

Piermichele Kobauri, MSc

Piermichele studied Chemistry and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree at the University of Turin. His Master research project focused on in silico drug design methodologies, namely pharmacophore modeling and docking. He did two Medicinal chemistry internships at the Universities of Turin and Copenhagen, working on drugs for leishmaniasis and GABA analogues, respectively. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the guidance of Prof. Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen, on a photopharmacology and structure-based approach to smart antibiotics.

Dusan Kolarski, MSc

Dusan Kolarski studied Chemistry and obtained his BSc degree at the University of Belgrade. He then pursued his MSc studies at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, where he worked on redox-switchable cavitands and water-soluble molecular baskets (Prof. François Diederich). As a master student he also did an internship at Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in the field of Photopharmacology under the supervison of Prof. Ben L. Feringa.

Carla Miró Vinyals, BSc

Carla was born in 1994 in Barcelona. She did her bachelor in chemistry in the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She went to the University of Groningen to do her bachelor’s project with the group of Prof. Ben L. Feringa where she worked on the synthesis of light-driven unidirectional molecular motors, graduating in 2017. Carla started her Master at the University of Groningen in 2018. She is currently working in the Szymanski Lab on the synthesis of photoswitchable drugs for the modification of circadian rhythms.

Albert Schulte, MSc

Albert was born in Peize, the Netherlands in 1994. He obtained his bachelor degree at the University of Groningen in 2016. He conducted his master research project in the field of photopharmacology and he is currently pursuing his PhD working on the photocontrol of various biological processes.

Nadja Simeth, PhD

Nadja studied chemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where she obtained her M.Sc. in 2014. She conduced her master project under the joint supervision of Burkhard König and Morten Grøtli with a research stay at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Then, she returned to Regensburg to pursue her doctorate studies with Burkhard König. In 2018, she defended her thesis entitled “Photochromic Small Molecular Tools: Altering Biological Function through Light”. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Feringa Labs focusing on light-mediated DNA modulation.

Kaja Sitkowska, MSc

Kaja has been studying chemistry at the University of Warsaw, where she obtained her BSc and MSc diplomas. Her degree projects were conducted in the fields of molecular switches and organocatalysis. Now she is working on her PhD on a joint program between University of Groningen and University of Warsaw supervised by prof. Ben Feringa and prof. Grzegorz Litwinienko. Her research focuses on photopharmacology and antioxidants.

Jana Volaric, MSc

Jana was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1992. She obtained her BSc at the University of Zagreb with prof. Hrvoj Vancik. She did her MSc at the University of Groningen with Prof. Ben Feringa on the synthesis of dynamic bisthiourea molecular motor-based catalysts. She spent 6 months in Boston in the group of prof. Hidde Ploegh (Whitehead Institute, MIT) on site-specific labeling of influenza A virus. In June 2017 Jana started her PhD under supervision of prof. Ben L. Feringa on incorporating molecular motors and switches into biosystems in order to control biomolecular function.

Jisk de Vries, BSc

Jisk was born in Groningen in 1993. After one year of studying biology he started his study of chemistry at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen following the chemistry of life track. In 2017 he obtained his high school chemistry teachers degree and he obtained his bachelor diploma in 2018. He did his bachelor research in the group of Prof. M Fraaie working on enzymatic cofactor synthesis. Currently Jisk is doing his master research working on photoswitchable antibiotics.