Current Members

Szymanski Group / UMCG / University of Groningen

Thirsa Lohuis

Thirsa is studying Pharmacy at the University of Groningen and has almost completed her bachelor's degree. In the meantime, she is starting her master research project, where she is part of the cutaneous lymphoma project of Szymanski Lab in collaboration with other UMCG departments. She will work on creating light-responsive chemotherapeutic 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.

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.

Keimpe-Oeds van den Berg, BSc

Keimpe-Oeds studied chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, where he obtained his BSc in Chemistry (2018). He performed his Bachelor research in the group of Prof. Philip Elsinga at UMCG on the synthesis and labelling of a (PET) prostate cancer tracer. Afterwards, he did his pre-master in Chemistry at the University of Groningen (2019) after which he stayed to pursue his MSc degree. Starting August, 2020 works in the Feringa and Szymanski labs on the synthesis of new photoswitches to control biological systems with light.

Elmar Diekstra, BSc

Elmar obtained his BSc (2018) in Chemistry at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. He worked for his graduation project in the group of Prof. Philip Elsinga focussed on new radiotracers for arginase. He also worked in the group of Prof. Alexander Dömling on the synthesis of 1-Tetrazolylimidazo[1,5-a]pyridines. After this, he went to the University of Groningen to do a pre-master (2019) and stayed to pursue his MSc degree focussed on Chemical Biology. He works on photoswitchable drugs in the Feringa and Szymanski labs starting August, 2020.

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.

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 Grĝtli with a research stay at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Then, she returned to Regensburg to pursue her doctorate studies with Burkhard König. After a research stay with Maurizio Fagnoni at the University of Pavia, Italy, she graduated in summer 2018. Currently, she is in focusing on light-mediated DNA modulation in the Feringa Labs supported by a Feodor-Lynen Fellowship of the Humboldt Association.

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.