I am from Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. I graduated from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences with a major in Dietetics & Nutrition. During my master studies I took part in two students’ exchanges, one semester at the LaSalle Polytechnique in Beauvais, France and then another semester in National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan.
Topic of human’s health and nutrition is in line with my beliefs and qualifications.
I used to write articles about nutrition and well-balanced diets for science and women’s magazines. As a dietitian, I participated in many conferences (also as a lecturer) and a few actions for human’s health provided by charitable organizations. Few of them were touching a topic of reproduction health and I realized it is relevant to my interests. Working in an international environment is a great opportunity to share different ideas and to develop skills.
I believe that being a researcher in the ITN-EJD-REPBIOTECH is a big chance to learn a lot from the best professor all over the world and also a big step for my future career. Apart from this two great advantages I suppose that REP BIOTECH program is going to be a great adventure where I would I meet new friends from other countries.
BENJAMÍN PLANELLS CODOÑER
My name is Benjamín Planells Codoñer, I am 25 years old and I am from Valencia (Spain). I have always had an interest and passion for biological sciences and therefore I studied a Second Cycle Degree in Biotechnology, specialized in Animal and Human Sciences, in the Polytechnic University of Valencia. I decided to take part in an Exchange Program (Erasmus) in Munich where I carried out my Final Degree Project. This experience opened my mind and I matured not only in a professional way, but also on a personal level.
Then, I decided to continue my career in this field by studying a Master of Science in Assisted Human Reproduction Biotechnology in University of Valencia. During this period I was in an internship in the Animal Reproduction Department of the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Spain (INIA, Madrid), where I enjoyed working in an environment that promoted intellectual motivation. My experience at INIA definitely aroused my interest in following a research-based career. After that, I was in an internship in an IVF clinic (IVI Vigo), where I carried out my Master’s Thesis evaluating the morphokinetics of oocyte activation and embryo development after artificial oocyte activation using calcium ionophores.
This new opportunity, within the European Doctorate in Biology and Technology of the Reproductive Health will provide me with the necessary background to pursue my future career, as I really would like to deep into the knowledge of the mechanisms involved in mammalian fertilization and embryo development.
My name is Florentin-Daniel Staicu. I was born in Romania, where I started my studies up to the high school diploma. Afterwards, I became more and more interested in learning about Life Sciences and, as a result, I obtained in 2013 my Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnologies.
During my studies I had the great fortune to meet some teachers, who were actively involved in the study of The Reproductive Biotechnologies. They and their work inspired me to find out more about gametes and embryos. I soon became aware of how complex this field is, and it was then that I decided to focus my studies on it.
Therefore, I enrolled in a Master’s Degree course in Reproductive Biotechnologies, which allowed me to acquire with great enthusiasm more and more knowledge about gametes and the fertilization process.
Currently, I am involved in the Rep-Biotech Joint Doctoral Project at the University of Murcia in Spain. I chose this PhD programme because I strongly believe that this international context will allow me to further expand my knowledge and to grow professionally. I would like to study in depth how the nitric oxide, a key messenger in many biological pathways, may be involved in regulating the fertilization ability in human spermatozoa, but also the effects on the clinical outcomes from assisted reproductive techniques.
KRISHNA CHAITANYA PAVANI
I (Krishna Chaitanya Pavani) did my bachelors in biotechnology and master’s in molecular biology and from past four years I have been working in the field of Animal reproduction and genetics, particularly in bovine reproduction, studying environmental and heat stress effects on oocytes and embryo developmental.
At present scenario infertility had turned into a global concern, as it involves multiple factors relating diet, nutrition and global warming. It is very important to nullify the problems related to animal and human reproduction because it shows a direct impact on economy and fertility rate.
Criteria of choosing ITN-EJD-REPBIOTECH programme because it mainly deals with the current global problems related to reproduction both in humans and animals. This program has broad scope in resolving the issues related to fertility, as it has research projects involved in epigenetics, developing new strategies of fertilization and preservation techniques.
My major area of interest is to study the epigenetics changes occurring in bovine oocytes and embryos subjected to different stress condition. Identifying epigenetic changes could help us to control the infertility and serval reproductive disease.
I am Núria Llamas, born in 1988 in Granollers, a lovely town near Barcelona. I did my first degree in Health Biology at the University of Barcelona. During my studies I went to the University of Vienna as an Erasmus student for a whole year, where I had the chance to learn about epigenetics.
After this, I moved around Europe for a couple of years until I decided to go to Murcia, Spain, to study a master degree in reproductive biology and technology. During my masters degree, I was told about rep-biotech projects and I saw it as a great opportunity for my professional life, since I want to further my career in animal reproduction. Finally I got selected to work on project 5 ‘Effects of heat stress on sperm methylation and subsequent embryo development in cattle’, mainly developed in Ghent, Belgium – where I currently am.
In my free time, I like to travel and I often try to find time for it. During autumn weekends I like hiking mountains and picking mushrooms. I am a dog person and I hope to adopt one soon and bring it home.
BEATRIZ RODRÍGUEZ ALONSO
My name is Beatriz Rodríguez and I am a Biology graduate with a Master in Human Reproduction.
Before finishing my degree I knew that I wanted to be an Embryologist, so I did my Bachelor of Science Final Project in a field related with it: “Oxidative stress impact in spermatic DNA fragmentation”. We published an article (“Varicocele, leukocytospermia and its impact on the spermatic DNA fragmentation” ) in the International Journal of Andrology, and it was awarded with “Ángel Bayo Prize” (by Spanish Association of Andrology, ASESA) for the best original article published in that journal for the 2011- 2012 period.
As soon as I ended my degree, I started a Master in Human Reproduction. As a part of the master we had a period of 3 months in an IVF unit to learn and practice. After that, I offered myself to work there as an intern so I could truly learn and apply the techniques. After a year and five months I ended in their assisted reproduction unit, in which I worked in both andrology and embryology laboratories.
After that I worked in a Human Reproduction Clinic of Madrid since February2014 to March 2016 (in the Andrology Laboratory). I really loved my job and I was lucky to be in a place in which we were encouraged to research. While working there I had the opportunity to present two papers at a conference of ASESA.
My principle aim is to learn and grow as much as I can in the field. That’s why I applied for this position. I always wanted to do a PhD, and I am so fortunate to have this huge opportunity.
My first independent research was completed as a part of degree at the University three years ago and since that time I am really glad to be a part of projects in fundamental science.
I have a wide experience in human reproduction as a clinical embryologist, which gave me priceless comprehensive understanding of importance assistive reproduction technologies for the society.
My project with Rep-Biotech EJD is about improving cryopreservation technics of ovarian tissue and oocyte production from it. Such important research would help to different types of patients, first of all to women who is going to take a chemotherapy. In this way the methods, which we are going to work with, will be a only chance for that patients to have an own biological baby. It is one of the essential reason why I’m very interested in this program.
My main interests, except science, is biodiversity study, planting, aquarium fish keeping and hiking in the mountains.
My name is Lucia Martinez-Fresneda and I’m going to undertake the Rep- Biotech Joint Doctoral project for the study of the “Influence of endocrine status on small ruminant sperm freezing and vitrification response: use of wild and domestic ruminants as an experimental model” under the supervision of Julián Santiago-Moreno.
I completed my Degree in Veterinary Medicine in 2012 at the Complutense University in Madrid before undertaking a Master programme in “Biology and Technology of Reproduction in Mammals” at the University of Murcia in 2014/15. Currently, I’m finishing my work as a Research Assistant at the University of Limerick, Ireland, on a project based around bovine reproductive biology and artificial insemination. Additionally, I am involved in a study of bull sperm rheotactic behaviour in micro-channels.
I have always been interested in wild species and their conservation therefore this is the field in which I would like to focus my professional career. Reproductive physiology and the different reproductive strategies among species have always fascinated me and were the reason why I started to focus my career in the study of reproductive biology.
I see this doctorate programme as a great opportunity to obtain a good academic and research training because it involves the researcher mobility among leading academic research groups.
It is with great joy that I will be joining the International Training Network where I will be collaborating with Dr. Karl Schellander, Dr. Pat Lonergan and Pascal Salvetti on Project 9 – Effect of Cow’s metabolic status on the epigenome profile of oocytes and embryos.
I hold a master's degree in reproductive veterinary science and a bachelor in biochemistry. I have a strong understanding of epigenetics, more specifically on how assisted reproduction techniques can have major impacts on the epigenetic landscape of an animal. My desire to continue this research endeavor led me to join a laboratory team specialized in embryo biotechnology research, where I learned to carry out all the steps required to clone an animal, from oocyte collection to embryo selection. This employment allowed me to develop valuable knowledge on oocyte maturation, fertilization and embryo culture in vitro.
I believe that, although not identical, an interesting number of techniques and experiments I performed can be translated into the network’s research goals. Additionally, the skills I will aquire through this unique conjoined PhD opportunity will be essential in my future research projects. I hope to contribute to the study of multiple phenomena related to DNA methylation loss, mainly the impact of different assisted reproduction techniques or metabolic changes on gametes and embryo development.
consider the research framework provided by REP-BIOTECH to be the ideal environment to further my academic career. It will give me the necessary tools to chisel a place in the research landscape, whether it would be at the academic or industrial level. I am eager to be part of this dynamic research operation and to be in contact with notorious researchers in developmental biology throughout Europe.
I have a Bsc in Genetics and Biotechnology and a Master degree in Comparative and Technological Molecular Genetics from University of Trás- os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal. I have worked as research assistant in developmental biology and biotechnology.
Actually I am interested in developing new approaches of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in order to mimic nature and provide a healthier environment for the gametes and embryos in the IVF laboratories. These new approaches include the design of novel culture media, with natural components of the reproductive fluids in their composition, the design of novel protocols for sperm and oocyte manipulation and the design of new devices for embryo transfer.
Recently I joined the Rep-Biotech Joint Doctoral project to work in “Feasibility assessment for the creation of human biobanks of reproductive fluids” project. I am looking forward to characterize the proteomic profile of the fluids according to their origin (phase of the menstrual cycle, age of the woman, health status) and to establish a biobank of human reproductive fluids fulfilling the sanitary conditions and legal requirements for their future use in clinical trials.
SANDRA BAGÉS ARNAL
Since the first year of my degree in Animal Science at University of Lleida (UdL) I became very interested in the field of reproduction so I decided to pursue a career in this field and I joined the Master degree in Animal Breeding and Reproductive Biotechnology (Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The second year of the Master was entirely dedicated to the thesis research project which I performed at the National Institute for Agro-food Research and Technology (INIA). It was focused on the use of bovine in vitro models to study embryo-maternal interactions.
This gave me the opportunity to introduce myself in the world of the reproductive research and to realize that there is still many things we don’t know about the in vivo early embryo development that could help to improve the efficiency and quality of the in vitro embryo production process.
After this year, I am looking forward to continue growing academically and professionally, and I firmly believe that joining the Rep-biotech project is a great opportunity to do so, not only because I would obtain a PhD degree and expand my knowledge and skills on Artificial Reproductive Techniques but also because I will be exposed to a highly competitive and international collaborative network.
TSIGE HAILAY HAGOS
When I was a child I grew up with my family in which their income is dependent on agriculture which allows me to have a good approach with different livestock groups. After accomplishment of my Preparatory school in 2003, I earned my bachelor degree in Animal Production and Health from Jimma University, Ambo College, Ethiopia. and graduated in July 2006. Immediately after graduation, I employed as an instructor in the department of Animal Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mekelle University, Ethiopia. In 2009, I start my Master study in Agricultural Science and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics in the University of Bonn, Germany. As my Master specialization, I have done my thesis in “Regulation of Candidate microRNAs and their Processing machinery genes during bovine oocytes maturation” in the department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, the university of Bonn. After my study, I returned back to my Home country and worked as a lecturer in my previous university and offering different courses: Reproductive physiology of farm animals, Principles of Animal genetics, Animal breeding, Animal biotechnology, Animal Behaviour and Welfare to undergraduate students. Moreover, I do researches activities. This all tends me to set my future career in Biology and Technology of the Reproductive Health. For the future I am interested to be an outstanding researcher the field.
I received my Bachelors Degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 and completed my Masters degree in NanoScale Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lyon-INSA de Lyon-Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France in 2015. My previous works had involved modeling of biosensors for detection of bacteria, protein assays, nanoparticles for gene/drug delivery etc.
I am really thrilled to be a part of the ITN-EJD-REPBIOTECH program because I get to work once again on a different intriguing aspect of biotechnology. My work in this program involves researching the regenerative properties of amniotic fluid. The properties of the amniotic fluid knows no bounds and it would be very interesting to explore its regenerative properties to treat muscle injuries, tendon lesions etc. Apart from the international exposure that I will get by working with fellow scientists and researchers from varied backgrounds and nationalities I will also have the opportunity to live and travel to excellent places of the world!
I studied Biochemistry at the University of Murcia (Spain) and a Master Degree in Research and advances in Molecular and Cell Immunology at the University of Granada (Spain).
During these years I had the opporunity to work in some differents research groups related to embriology, reproduction, immunology and cell biology. I decided to apply for the project in order to learn about computational models and improve my knowledge in cell biology and experimental biomedicine, and studying a PhD abroad was a really atractive purpose for me. After one month in this beautiful city placed within the heart of Italy, I could only say that this is one of the best experiences of my life.
Since the beginning, the application and selection process has been quick, transparent, easy and with and excellent assistance from the managers and from the professors involved in the fellowship. Once in Teramo, everybody has been realy warm and welcoming, trying to help me in everything and getting me feeling as confortable as at home. I can only think I am really fortunate because of my colleagues, the city, the amazing project and all the friendly people I have met here, and for that reasons I would recommend this experience to everyone.
JORDANA S. LOPES
My name is Jordana, I’m a Portuguese Veterinarian (University of Porto, Class 2013).
Reproduction was always one of my favourite subjects during my whole education. From physiology to genetics, it fascinated me how could two cells be perfectly combined to form a new being. But although I’ve had this fascination about the subject, I never thought it would become my passion and my work.
During the last year of my studies, I attended this class called Theriogenology. I quickly realized that this class was all about the things that bring the most curious side of me to the top and with the help of amazing Professors, It dawned to me that there would be no other path than to continue studying animal reproduction. As for my professional training period, I went to Brazil and worked in private practices and research projects. When I came back to Portugal, I finished my thesis (a review on Endometritis in the mare) and continued to work at the Faculty’s animal reproduction centre.
So, by joining REP-BIOTECH team, I am pursuing my dream. I hope that my work and dedication can contribute to some kind of improvement in the animal reproduction field.