Postdoctoral Research Scientist
2014-2019: PhD in Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery, Leiden University, NL
2013: Research Internship in Chemical Biology, Stanford University, USA
2011-2014: M.Sc. Chemistry (cum laude), Leiden University, NL
2007-2011: B.Sc. Molecular Science & Technology, Leiden University & TU Delft, NL
I have recently completed my PhD in chemical biology and drug discovery at Leiden University (NL) focusing on the brain endocannabinoid system. Working in a large collaborative effort, I helped to develop the first brain-active inhibitor of NAPE-PLD (LEI-401), the enzyme that produces anandamide. Administration of LEI-401 to mice had profound effects on stress and fear behaviour, illustrating the important physiological role anandamide plays in the brain. My PhD research has inspired me to switch fields and continue my research in the field of neurobiology. In particular, I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with the aim of developing new therapeutic treatments.
I joined the Wade-Martins lab in 2020, where I will investigate the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease (PD). To do so, I will use human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons which are generated from fibroblasts from PD patients or healthy donors, and constitute the state-of-the-art in PD model systems. With techniques such as high-content imaging and multi-electrode arrays (MEA), I hope to identify new inhibitors that rescue the impaired mitochondrial phenotype as found in PD. This work will be performed in collaboration with the Oxford Drug Discovery Institute and Bristol-Myers Squibb.