Promising Rookies: Carmelina Angotti

LifeTec Group is keen to act as a stepping stone for up-and-coming talent. Today in our series of Promising Rookies: Carmelina Angotti.

To support and expand its skilled team of researchers, LifeTec Group attracts talents from all over the world. Most of them come from abroad as part of a team of European researchers who focus on one area of study together for three years. The researchers are supported in their development by the Horizon 2020, the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions (MSCA, part of the greater Horizon2020 programme) or Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN, part of the FP7 program). Among them is Carmelina Angotti, aged 31, from Turin, Italy.

“The combination of basic research and working on concrete applications really appeals to me.”

Promising Rookies: Carmelina Angotti

After obtaining her degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Turin, she gained experience in a foreign country during her PhD in France (Angers). Currently she is finalizing a research project, which was supported by the EC in the Marie Curie Initial Training Program (ITN, part of the greater FP7 programme). “These past 18 months I focused on the question of how to keep blood vessels alive outside the body for a longer period of time.” For this study, the Italian researcher used LifeTec Group’s vascular bioreactor platform (VABIO). “I hope my research will contribute to the study of (long-term) effects of surgical interventions or medication on blood vessels. We booked some good results over the past few months and were able to improve the VABIO platform.”

Promising Rookies: Carmelina Angotti

In close contact

Carmelina consciously uses the word ‘we’. “Working closely together is so natural within LifeTec Group. We’re a team, we help each other. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve felt so at home there.” Nevertheless she will soon return to her country of birth. ”That’s where my future is. But I’ve definitely decided I want to work for a company similar to LifeTec Group. The combination of basic research and working on concrete applications really appeals to me.”

Dr Lars Mulder (PhD)
One hand washes...

It’s not only the early stage researcher herself who is pleased with the collaboration. LifeTec Group also looks back on the past 18 months with great satisfaction. Says Lars Mulder, Director of Operations: “Carmelina was able to help us further develop the VABIO platform.” 

There are other advantages too, as Lars explains. “We already have a fantastic network at LifeTec Group, but the Marie Curie researchers, all part of a huge international consortium of universities and businesses, offer us an opportunity to expand that network.”

SmArteR

“Diseases related to ageing and prosperity are big social issues, and these diseases often involve blood vessels,” says Marco Stijnen, LifeTec Group’s R&D Director.

“Within SmArteR, LifeTec Group is developing an ex-vivo platform to culture blood vessels for a prolonged duration, which will facilitate studies of artery responses and artery remodeling when subjected to different conditions, as well as enable assessment and testing tissue responses on new drugs or interventional therapies. The use of a cultured artery in a bioreactor environment allows us to create a very controllable environment, opens the way for alternative measurement techniques, and reduces the need for short-term animal experiments in many cases.”

Dr Marco Stijnen (PhD)
Important role

“Carmelina played an important role in this project: on the one hand as a researcher, and on the other side as an important liaison between the consortium partners, such as the research groups of prof. Swärd of the Lund University, prof. van Bavel of the Amsterdam Medical Center, and prof. Ruëgg of the Fribourg University.

A big part of the challenge for Carmelina was to build a bridge between the engineering background of LifeTec Group and the biological research facilities that formed the majority of the consortium partners.”

“Although this is not a letter of recommendation, I do wish to express our praise for Carmelina for her commitment and everything that she has accomplished during the project. She was a pleasant colleague, and her efforts have resulted in an artery-bioreactor platform that now allows us to culture arteries for three weeks, whereas before we could only simulate physiological blood pressure and flow in an acute setting. Whereas before we could use the platform to technically simulate a vascular intervention, we can now also keep the arteries alive and see how they arteries respond to this treatment. This is a great step forward!” Marco says.

Director of Operations

Lars Mulder

Senior Medical Biotechnologist

Carmelina Angotti

Director R&D

Marco Stijnen

Relevant links and background:

Comments

It was a great pleasure to have you with us. The best of luck with you career. May our paths cross again in the future.

Dear Carmelina,
You are a pleasant roommate. A very clever, handsome and ambitious woman. Wish you all the best in your career. Pim Dusée

It was great working with you! I wish you all the best for your new career and life in Turin. Hope to see you soon!

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