Team PTA

Immunology

Team PTA

Protective Tissue Factors in Autoimmune Diseases

The main objective of the group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that promote pro-resolution responses in immune and stromal cells to restore homeostasis. In particular, the team will use the human synovium as a model system to characterize the pro-resolving phenotypes of macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis. The core of the project will be the development of a first in kind synovium-in-a-dish assay for systematic monitoring of macrophage functions. Our final goal is to identify new therapeutic targets, which promote pro-resolution in inflammation and autoimmune diseases, and thereby proposing novel concepts to improve patient outcomes.

Mentors
  • Dr. Jackie Perrigoue
    Head of Tissue Mechanisms, Janssen Immunosciences, Spring House, USA (Industry mentor)
  • Dr. Agnès Gardet
    Principal Scientist at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson San Diego County, USA (Industry mentor)
  • Prof. Dr. Greorg Schett
    Vice President Research and Chair Internal Medicine at Medicine Faculty at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU), Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and Director clinical medicine 3 – Rheumatologie und Immunologie, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany (Academic mentor)
The research of this team is kindly sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine.

Our Team Members

PD Dr. Mojca Frank Bertoncelj

Group Leader

 Short Bio
  • 2022: Privatdozentin (PD), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2020-2021: Junior Group Leader, Team Integrative biology of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012-2020: Postdoc in noncoding RNA biology, epigenetics, and functional genomics in autoimmune diseases with Prof. Dr. Steffen Gay & Prof. Dr. Oliver Distler, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2011-2012: Articulum Research Fellow with Prof. Dr. Steffen Gay, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2005-2010: PhD in Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine & Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 1997-2005: Doctor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Dr. Jeinmy Carolina Gámez Villamizar

Postdoctoral Researcher

 Short Bio
  • 2019-2021: Postdoctoral researcher in stem/stromal cell research, articular cartilage regeneration, 3D cell culture and imaging, chondrogenic differentiation, mechanobiology. Section of Experimental Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery. Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University
  • 2016-2019: PhD Fellow under the Cooperative Research Training Group: Tissue Analytics for Stem Cell Based Diagnostics and Therapy. Evaluated subjects: Orthopedics, Immunology and Biotechnology. Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University
  • 2013-2016: Master of Science in Biochemistry. Medicine Faculty, National University of Colombia
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Dr. Janine Lückgen

Postdoctoral Researcher

 Short Bio
  • 2017 – 2022: PhD researcher at the Research Centre for Experimental Orthopaedics, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany
  • 2013 – 2016: Master of Science with Distinction in Molecular and Applied Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • 2010 – 2013: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University, Germany
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Tamara Pfanner

PhD Student

 Short Bio
  • 2022 – present: PhD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • 2019 – 2020: Master of Science with Distinction in Biomedical Science from
    Edinburgh Napier University
  • 2018 – 2019: Biology Studies at the University of Cologne
  • 2015 – 2018: Bachelor’s degree from the German Sport University of Cologne
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Tomasz Stadler

PhD Student

 Short Bio
  • 2020 – 2022: Molecular Biosciences, Molecular and Cellular Biology major, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2017-2020: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland
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César Pérez Bucio

Master's Student

 Short Bio
  • 2023 – present: Master of Science in Translational Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2022: Undergraduate Research Trainee at McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 2021: Research intern at Sherbrooke University, Québec, Canada
  • 2018 – 2022: Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology Engineering, Monterrey, México
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Team PTA Alumni

At BioMed X we care for the people who work with us. Staying in touch with those who left but mainly contributed to BioMed X’s success is key. That’s why they have their designated place on our website. So let’s keep connected!

Dr. Swathi Lingam

Scientific Communication & Editorial Associate

 Short Bio

Dr. Swathi Lingam received her PhD from the University of Manchester in 2017. Following her doctorate, she trained as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore before finishing her postdoctoral journey at BioMed X Institute in 2024.

A passionate science communicator, she contributes to a science communication platform and has a personal blog where she writes about interesting science and life as a scientist. She also enjoys the scientific publication process and is a section editor at Phenotype.

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Dr. Nataliia Stepanenko

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María del Pilar Palacios Cisneros

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Maria Majchrowska

Pinar Cavus

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Horia Boursas

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Jean-Marie Bayhurst

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Victor Aaron Sioson

Nika Bostic

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