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CASSS Fellowship funds two early career researchers

Tuesday, August 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeanne Marie Tokunaga
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CASSS has announced the inaugural recipients of its new Svec Fellowship – Daniela Espinosa-Hoyos and Dr. Bert Wouters.

The CASSS Frantisek Svec Fellowship for Innovative Studies was created in 2016 to introduce graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to the broad range of possibilities in the field of biopharmaceutical science and technology by encouraging cross-training and innovative learning opportunities – and thereby helping to nurture future leaders in the field.

Photo of Daniela Espinosa-Hoyos

Espinosa-Hoyos of Cambridge, MA, USA, applied for the Svec Fellowship to train under the supervision of Dr. Valentina Fossati of the New York Stem Cell Foundation to learn the techniques of human stem cell culture and, in particular, advanced protocols for induction of pluripotency from human skin cells, and derivation of human oligodendrocytes.

“Thanks to the Svec Fellowship,” Espinosa-Hoyos said, “I can use this cross-training opportunity to add on to my expertise with an in-depth insight into stem cell biology; broaden the scope of my research; and increase my understanding of the requirements for translation of cell-based therapies and technologies to the clinic.”

In recommending Espinosa-Hoyos for the fellowship, Dr. Krystyn J. Van Vliet said, “Daniela is an outstanding engineer with a passion to change the way we produce induced pluripotent stem cells as emerging biologics.”

“She is the most impressive example that I have seen (in over a decade at MIT) of a student who understands, appreciates, and seizes the opportunities provided by the U.S. engineering education system and its contributions to emerging biopharmaceuticals.”

Photo of Bert WoutersDr. Bert Wouters, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, will be using his Svec Fellowship to fund a one-month research stay at the University of Tasmania. He will work with the Brett Paull and Michael Breadmore group, which has done leading research in the field of 3D printing analytical devices. He hopes to acquire new skills to support the rapidly increasing use of 3D printing in analytical chemistry.

He noted that Dr. Svec – for whom the fellowship is named – has been a source of inspiration to him and his colleagues, and said he appreciates CASSS’s contribution to the field of biopharmaceuticals.

“I greatly admire how CASSS supports young researchers around the globe, and I will do my very best to make the most out of this research stay. I look forward to presenting my research at one of the upcoming CASSS events,” Dr. Wouters said.

Dr. Peter Schoenmakers noted in his recommendation that Dr. Wouters’ project will bring “an excellent young student in contact with an outstanding research group.”

The Svec Fellowship for Innovative Studies is awarded to support innovative learning opportunities. Applications are judged on the creativity of the applicant to utilize the fellowship funds to extend their research program beyond its current scope. Applicants may apply for up to $5,000, which is to be applied to academic and scholarly purposes.

Applications for the 2018 Svec Fellowship will be accepted beginning in November and are due by December 31, 2017. Funds will be awarded in the first quarter of 2018. For more information on applying for the Svec Fellowship, click here.

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