Current Members

Szymanski Group / UMCG / University of Groningen

Melody Boëtius, MsC

Melody obtained her BSc degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, where she worked on developing NIR fluorescent dyes during her BSc research project. She then went on to study Drug Discovery & Safety (MSc) at the VU and did her MSc research project on developing a synthetic route and chiral resolution for the anti-HIV drug GS-6207. She is currently working in our lab as PhD student on molecular tools for optical and optoacoustic imaging.

Michał Falkowski, PhD

Michał studied pharmacy at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He then moved to Poznan to pursue his doctorate studies at Poznan University of Medical Sciences under the guidance of prof. Tomasz Goslinski. After obtaining the Ph.D. in 2019, he returned to Bydgoszcz to work as a research associate at the department of Medicinal Chemistry. He did research stays at the Rutgers University, New Brunswick and the University of Pacific, San Francisco. In our lab, he focusses on the development of photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy.

María Rosa Márquez García, MSc

Rosa obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Seville, Spain. Here she synthesized novel inhibitors of NAMPT enzyme during her bachelor research project. Then she moved to Madrid to study her MSc in Organic Chemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid where she worked on the development of new synthetic methodologies based on allenes during her master research project. She is currently pursuing her PhD in our group on the development of photoacoustic medical imaging agents.

Raffaella Parlato, MSc

Raffaella obtained her MSc degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2019 at the University of Cagliari, Italy. She studied the isolation and crystallization of photosystem II supercomplex from Tobacco plants. Then she moved to the Netherlands, in 2020, to perform her PhD at the University of Groningen with Patrick Van der Wel and Wiktor Szymanski on solid-state NMR of responsive peptides and proteins.

Paula Ruppel, BSc

Paula completed her bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. In her bachelor research projects in the group of Oliver Thorn-Seshold she focused on the synthesis of photoswitchable microtubuli inhibitors and reduction-sensitive fluorogenic probes for redox-biology. In 2021 she moved to the Netherlands to continue with her MSc in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences at the RUG. In our lab, she works under the supervision of Ilse on light-responsive contrast agents for MRI as her master thesis project.

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

George Alachouzos, PhD

George was born in Singapore and spent his childhood on the small island of Kalymnos, in Greece. He obtained his MS in Chemistry summa cum laude from Universiteit Leiden. George then pursued PhD studies in the US at the University of Rochester in the group of Professor Alison J. Frontier, enabled by a Fulbright PhD Fellowship. George is currently an EMBO postdoctoral fellow in the Feringa/Szymanski labs where he is using computational design and organic synthesis towards the discovery of novel red-shifted photocages for use in medicine and biology.

Annemarie Doze, MSc

Annemarie obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Groningen. She continued with her MSc at the same university, during which she performed her master research project in our group on metabolic labelling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To complete her MSc studies, she performed a research project in the group of Prof. Laura Kiessling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). In 2022, she returned to Groningen to perform her PhD research on ultrafast photoclick reactions for PET imaging.

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.

Lianne Smid, BSc

Lianne is born in 1997 in Buren, a village on the Dutch Wadden Island Ameland. After finishing pre-university education cum laude, she went to Groningen to study Chemistry, following the Chemistry of Life track. She performed her bachelor research project within our group and returned for her master project, which focuses on red-shifting the spectra of photocleavable protecting groups.