Welcome to my website!
I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Research Fellow with Prof. Anna Herland in the in-vitro neural systems lab at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Project NeuroVU: I am applying my interdisciplinary background to in vitro models of the neurovascular unit (NVU), exploring microsystems integration for novel design/fabrication strategies and real-time sensing capabilities.
Motivation: Disorders of the central nervous system are one of the grand health challenges of this century. Therapeutic development, however, remains limited by poor understanding of the brain, including of the NVU. The NVU acts as the gatekeeper between blood and brain for metabolites, disease agents, as well as drugs. Much research has relied on animals or simple cell models that recapitulate neither the cellular ensemble nor the environment of the NVU. Emerging microphysiological systems (also known as Organ-on-Chip microsystems) promise to overcome these limitations, but to date fall short on the relevance of cells used and the lack of continuous monitoring capabilities for chemical markers, metabolic conversions, and pharmacodynamics.
About me: After growing up in a small town in Austria, I received my Diplomingenieur (B.Sc/M.Sc.) in biophysics, with a focus on nanoscience and -technology, from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz. My thesis focused on Dilute Magnetic Semiconductors, working with the Quantum Materials group and the Advanced Semiconductor Research group at Berkeley. For my Ph.D., I went to the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park as a Fulbright student. I joined the MEMS Sensors and Actuators lab and led the MiND (Microsystems development for Neuropsychiatric Disorders) effort, developing a BioMEMS device utilizing biomaterial-based electrochemical sensing and impedance cytometry to enable drug treatment planning and monitoring.