This Project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agrrement  N° 642793



Maria Cardona

Maria Cardona (Malta) – Prins Research Group, Department of Chemical Sciences, Padova, Italy

Maria obtained an M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Malta within the field of Physical-Organic and Supramolecular Chemistry, where she synthesized and studied water-soluble azobenzene and anthracene-based chemosensors for cations.  For her Ph.D. she is studying how chemical reactions can be controlled inside transient self-assembled vesicles in aqueous solution.  Surfactant-based vesicles provide a compartmentalized hydrophobic environment which is different from the aqueous surroundings.  This isolated environment mimics natural processes where segregated vesicles enable the local regulation of recognition processes and chemical reactions.  In a similar manner, a chemical reaction which does not preferentially occur in water can proceed normally inside the hydrophobic interior of the vesicle.  These synthetic supramolecular assemblies are out-of-equilibrium systems since they require the continuous consumption of energy to remain functional.  Control of the availability of the chemical fuel enables the dynamic regulation of the process.  Such a dissipative system is able to provide a rapid response to the external environment, in a similar manner to natural processes and thus allows the assignment of life-like properties to synthetic systems.  
Carlos Manuel León Prieto

Carlos Manuel León Prieto (Spain) – Prins Research Group, Department of Chemical Sciences, Padova, Italy

He studied chemistry at the University of Barcelona (UB) and finished it in 2013. Afterwards, he started a MSc (Master in Advanced Organic Chemistry) obtained in 2014 including courses and 6 months of experimental work. During that time, he was working on the synthesis of 1,2-amino alcohols using organocatalytic chemistry. Currently, he is doing his PhD at the University of Padova under the supervision of Prof. Leonard Prins working on Carbohydrate recognition by monolayer protected gold nanoparticles.
The objective of this project is the development of an innovative class of carbohydrate receptors using dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) on the surface of a gold nanoparticle. Molecular receptors capable of carbohydrate recognition have a great potential in diagnostics and therapeutics. However, this prospective is still remote as it has turned out that designing synthetic receptor molecules able to selectively bind carbohydrates in water is very difficult. The innovative feature of this approach is that the recognition site for the carbohydrate target is spontaneously formed, driven by the carbohydrate target itself. 

Eva Magdalena
Magdalena Estirado (Spain) – Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Biology, University of Eindhoven

Eva received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 2014 in the Autónoma University of Madrid. She did her Bachelor thesis in the Synthesis of glycomimetics for the study of carbohydrate-protein interactions. In 2015 she received her degree of Master of Science in Organic Chemistry in the Autónoma University of Madrid. During that period of time, she worked on her Master thesis in the lab of Prof. David González Rodríguez where she studied Study supramolecular association processes using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer. She has worked in IMDEA Energy as a research assistant in redox flow batteries. To continue this project, during the summer of 2014 she did a 3-month stay in Aalto University. As a result she has co-authored 3 publications in a Q1 Journal (Journal of Power Sources). During the summer of 2015, Eva has been working in Synthelia Organics, a chemist company that synthesizes small molecules for pharmaceutical purposes. In November she will join the research group of (Luc) Brunsveld to start her PhD studies in Self-assembled multivalent nanoparticles for biosensing.

Isabell Gruebner

Isabell Gruebner (Germany) – University of Oxford, UK

In 2015 she obtained a MSc in Physical Chemistry, University of Frankfurt, Germany with a thesis on the topic of ‘Evaluation of the LILBID-MS ionization mechanism via binding studies’. In 2013 she obtained a BSc in Theoretical Chemistry at University of Frankfurt, Germany (2009-2013) with a thesis on the topic of ‘Quantumchemical investigation of the cleavage of chlorosilanes with HCl. 
The aim of this project is the thermodynamic analysis of binding processes involving an oligo-pyridine template to metallo-porphyrin oligomers. A central aspect is to determine the individual contributions of interactions (e.g. entropy, enthalpy, the ligand’s geometry) which affect the cooperativity.  Therefore, a variety of methods (UV-vis titration, NMR and ICT experiments) shall be used. To understand the individual effects, the impacts of different modifications like variation of the metal atom or variation of the side-chains are interesting. It would be desirable to develop a model which describes the multivalent cooperativity in a complete way and explains the impact of different factors.  
Petr Motloch

Petr Motloch (Czech Republic) – the group of Prof Hunter, University of Cambridge

He studied Chemistry at the Charles University in Prague, where he worked for his BSc project with Prof Kotora on the new total synthesis of duloxetine, and for his Masters project with Prof Roithová on the investigation of gold and silver π-complexes by means of mass spectrometry and theoretical chemistry. He also spent 4 months in the group of Prof Hashmi at the University of Heidelberg working on the synthesis of new gold species. In 2015, he moved to Cambridge to undertake a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Hunter on cooperativity in supramolecular systems in close collaboration with the group of Prof H. Anderson (University of Oxford).  

Daniele di Lorio

Daniele Di Iorio (Italy) – Molecular Nanofabrication group, University of  Twente

studied Chemistry at “Sapienza” University of Rome where he gained his Bachelor’s degree in January 2013, presenting a thesis about “Study of interaction between streptavidin and magnetite nanoparticles functionalized with biotin” under the supervision of Prof. Mario Barteri. In January 2015 he got the Master’s degree (summa cum laude) in the same University with a thesis entitled “Specific interaction between superparamagnetic nanoparticles activated by lectin II and Gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus)” working again under the supervision of Prof. Mario Barteri. Since June 2015 he works as a PhD student in the Molecular Nanofabrication group under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ir. Jurriaan Huskens. The aim of his project is to study multivalency at interfaces in biological systems exploiting the functionalization of inorganic surfaces. In particular he is currently studying the multivalent interactions of the Influenza virus. 
Pallavi Kimar

Shalini Kumari (India) –  Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, AG Haag Group,  Freie University of Berlin

In June 2011 she obtained a BSc (H) Chemistry from  Miranda  House,  University  of Delhi, India.  In May 2014 she obtained a M. Tech in Chemical Synthesis and Process Technologies from the Chemistry Department at the University of Delhi, Delhi, India. From September 2014 up to now she works at the Freie University of Berlin, Germany under the supervision of Dr. Jens Dernedde and Prof. Dr. Rainer Haag on the  topic “Synthesis of different multivalent polymer architectures to target inflammation”. The general aim of her project “Synthesis of different multivalent polymer architectures to target inflammation” is to synthesize sulphated multivalent star like and dendritic polymer architecture to target inflammation. The approach relies on the anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic activity of the polyglycerol sulphates. The study of anti-inflammatory activity has revealed an extremely tight binding of PG sulphates to P- and L- selectins which prevents the adhesion of leucocytes to the inflamed tissue. In particular, we are interested in exploiting the dynamic nature of these polymer architectures to target inflammation by binding selectins and other receptors. Now She is involved in synthesis and characterization of sulphated star like multivalent architecture and PEG conjugated sulphated dendritic architecture. Further, SPR and other biological assay will be done to show the interaction of the molecules with the receptor.

Chih Wei Chu

Chih-Wei Chu (Taiwan) – Synthesis of Nanoscale Systems – University of Muenster (Germany)

He was born in Taipei, Taiwan. In 2011, he obtained his bachelor degree in chemistry at Chung Yuan Christian University.  In 2013, he obtained a MSc-degree at National Tsing Hua University working on the synthesis of conjugated molecules for organic electronics under the supervision of Dr. Masaki Horie. After one year in military service and one year of working experience in academia, he joined the research grouop of Prof. Dr. Bart Jan Ravoo in July 2015. 
His current project focuses on development of host-guest supramolecular polymeric hydrogels with cyclodextrin vesicles as non-covalent cross-linkers. The purpose of this project will be expected to develop a magnetic and/or light responsive soft material while applying cyclodextrin decorated magnetic nanoparticles or vesicles as a hosting group and different functionality of polymer such as azobenzene-based polymers. 

Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche   -   via Marzolo, 1   -   35131 Padova