Young investigators present their research at the 2023 PREMSTEM annual meeting

PhD and postdoctoral researchers presented their latest research to the PREMSTEM consortium

On 6 September 2023 a group of young investigators from the PREMSTEM consortium gave presentations in an internal event at the project’s annual meeting in Maastricht. Each speaker gave a short presentation of 7-10 minutes about PREMSTEM or other related research. This was the second young investigator session during the PREMSTEM project. Read about last year’s talks here.

The presenters in Maastricht were:

Markus Gallert, PhD candidate at Universitätsklinikum Essen: Effects of maternal infection in combination with postnatal hyperoxia. Markus’ research has found that maternal inflammation followed by postnatal hyperoxia reveals an injury similar to encephalopathy of prematurity characterised by hypomyelination.

Markus Gallert presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Sara De Palma, PhD candidate at UMCU: Optimising mesenchymal stem cell potency to boost neuronal differentiation in vitro. Sara’s research shows that hypoxic preconditioning of human MSCs can enhance the differentiation of neural stem cells into more complex neurons.

Sara De Palma presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Meray Serdar, postdoctoral researcher at Universitätsklinikum Essen: Investigation of the therapeutic effect of hMSCs on primary oligodendrocytes and hippocampal neurons. Meray has found that oligodendrocytes and hippocampal neurons are particularly sensitive to hyperoxia as is demonstrated by reduced proliferation, differentiation and increased degeneration. A co-cultivation with hypoxic pre-conditioned human mesenchymal stem cells improved the proliferation, degeneration as well as the differentiation capacity of hippocampal neurons and oligodendrocytes.

Meray Serdar presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Valéry van Bruggen, PhD candidate at Maastricht University: Unravelling the pathogenesis of preterm brain injury. Valéry discussed some of the outcomes of behavioural studies which test anxiety, memory and learning in the large animal models.

Valéry van Bruggen presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Lotte Smeets, PhD candidate at Maastricht University: Gold nanoparticles for MSC tracing. Lotte has been studying the effect of gold nanoparticles on stem cells to make sure that they do not produce any negative effect, for example on stem cell functionality.

Lotte Smeets presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Cindy Bokobza, postdoctoral researcher at Inserm: Developmental programming of obesity in a mouse model of encephalopathy of prematurity. Cindy presented a new project in which she will investigate how the care system can help aging people before they present with a neurological disease, especially among adults who were born preterm – many of whom will have experienced an inflammatory event as a result.

Cindy Bokobza presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Ezgi Şengün, PhD candidate at Radboudumc: Revealing the sheep immune cell composition using multidimensional
flow cytometry
. As part of her research, Ezgi presented some of her work using the Cytobank platform in which she has created two flow cytometry panels which can be used in large animal studies.

Ezgi Sengun presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

Marta Tiffany Lombardo, PhD candidate at IN-CNR: hUC-MSCs potency and MoA on microglia: RNA sequencing analysis. Marta has been looking at the efficacy, potency and activity of stem cells on microglia. 

Marta Tiffany Lombardo presenting at young investigator meeting 2023

“What I really liked about the young investigator session was that we could discuss our results informally and therefore help each other improve outcomes and interpretations,” said Valéry.

“The PREMSTEM annual meeting is an opportunity to meet our collaborators from different laboratories in person and share doubts, opinions and precious advice that can help us to push a step forward in our work,” said Marta. “The young investigator session gives us the possibility to share our data and discuss them with the team in a friendly and positive context.”

Following the success of this gathering, PREMSTEM’s PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows will have another chance to present their latest research at the 2024 annual meeting in Gothenburg.

Young investigators
PREMSTEM’s young investigators in Maastricht