Research Team
Research Team
Santos' Lab = 4 postdocs, 13 PhD students, and 1 project coordinator
Hélder A. Santos (Group leader/PI/Full Prof.)

GROUP LEADER/PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/FULL PROF. 

(Full Professor; Docent Pharm. Nanotechnol.; D.Sc. Tech., Chem. Eng.; Lic. Chem. Eng.; Lic. Chem.)

helder.santos@helsinki.fi

See Prof. Santos' publications in here

A short biography can be found in here.

Pauliina Hyttinen (Coordinator)

PROJECT COORDINATOR

MSc, started in October 2020

Pauliina Hyttinen works as a project manager in MSCA-ITN-EJD project Perspectives For Future Innovation in Tendon repair (P4 FIT). She also helps with administrational matters in the other projects.

Antti Rahikkala (DSc.)

COMMERCIAL CHAMPION

D.Sc. Tech., Phys., started in March 2016

"Microneedle fabrication for drug delivery applications"

Dr. Antti Rahikkala has background in physics and nanotechnology. After completing his Master’s degree in applied physics at the University of Helsinki in 2010, he moved to Aalto University as a doctoral candidate working on self-assembling materials, aerosol nanoparticles and drug delivery. After obtaining his doctoral degree in 2015, he is now back at the University of Helsinki as a postdoctoral researcher with primary interests in nanoparticulate formulations for cancer immunotherapy and targeted drug delivery. Currently, he is the Commercial Champion of Business Finalnd project looking for how to find ways for research results translation into commercialization activities.

See Dr. Rahikkala's publications in here

Project supported by Business Finland

Shiqi Wang (PhD.)

POST-DOC

Ph.D. Eng. Mater., sarted in June 2018

"Nanoparticles for cancer applications"

Shiqi Wang was a former Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the department of Chemical Engineering at the Imperial College London, working on the Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network, funded by EU 7th Framework Programme. Her main research focuses are on synthesis and characterization of functional biomimetic materials for drug delivery, including amino-acid based polymers, nanogels and hydrogels. She obtained her PhD degree in 2018.

Project supported by Academy of Finland

Flavia Fontana (PhD.)

POST-DOC

Ph.D. Pharm., started in October 2019

"Microneedle fabrication for drug delivery applications"

Dr. Flavia Fontana is a post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Santos' Lab. She completed her PhD in June 2019, at the University of Helsinki under the main supervision of Prof. Santos. She is an expert on nanovaccines for cancer immunotherapy, playing with material science and immunology. Currently she is developing microneedles for drug delivery applications.

See Fontana's publications in here

Project supported by Business Finland

Zehua Liu (PhD.)

POST-DOC

Ph.D. Pharm., started in October 2019

"Towards personalized nanomedicines for targeted drug delivery and imaging for ischemic myocardial injury"

Dr. Zehua Liu is a post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Santos' Lab. He completed his PhD in July 2019, at the University of Helsinki under the main supervision of Prof. Santos. He is an expert on microfluidics, nanotechnology and advanced smart materials for biomedical applications. 

See Liu's publications in here

Currently visiting the Xiamen University, China

Project supported by Academy of Finland

Pei Zhang (PhD)

VISITING POST-DOC

Ph.D. Pharm., started in October 2022

Development of nanoparticles for COVID-19 applications

Pei Zhang is a visiting post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Santos' Lab. She completed her PhD in September 2022, at the University of Helsinki under the co-supervision of Prof. Santos. She is an expert on nanoformulations for diabetes. Currently she is developing nanomedicines for COVID-19 applications.

Supervision by Prof. Hélder A. Santos at the Faculty of Pharmacy

See Zhang's publications in here

Project supported by FinnCure Oy

Giulia Torrieri (PhD.)

VISITING POST-DOC

Ph.D. Pharm., started in December 2022

Development of nanomedicines for RNA delivery

Dr. Giulia Torrieri is a visiting post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Santos' Lab. She completed her PhD in September 2022, at the University of Helsinki under the main supervision of Prof. Santos. She is an expert on nanoparticles for targeting to the infarcted myocardium. Currently she is developing nanomedicines for RNA delivery.

See Torrieri's publications in here

Project supported by the PODOCO in collaboration with Bayer Oy

Voitto Känkänen (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in September 2018

"Development of Polymer-Based Nanodrug Delivery System for Targeted Therapy"

Voitto Känkänen got his Master's degee from Tampere University of Technology (Finland) in 2015 in Material Science and Engineering . His previous work was on optimization of formulations for controlled release drug delivery Products.

See Känkänen's publications in here

Project supported by Bayer Oy

Ruoyu Cheng (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in September 2018

"Targeted Tumor Immunization Therapy Combined with Controlled Drug Release Utilizing Biomimetic Engineering Compartmentalized Nanoreactors"

Ruoyu Cheng got her Master's degee from The First Af­fil­i­ated Hos­pital of Soochow Uni­versity (China). Her previous work was mainly focusing on biomaterials for drug delivery and biomedical engineering.

See Cheng's publications in here

 

Carmine D'Amico

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in Juner 2020

"Development of Microneedles for Drug Delivery Applications"

Carmine D'Amico will get his Master's degee from Università Degli Studi 'G. D'annunzio' Di Chieti (Italy) in July 2020 in Pharmaceutical Sciences. His work has been focused on electrospinning of nanofibers for controlled drug release.

Project supported by Business Finland

Huijie Han (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in October 2020

Huijie Han got her Master's degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) in Medicine. Her major is in Pharmaceutics.

Currently she is a PhD student in Prof. Santos' Lab at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University Medical Center Groningen/University of Groningen, W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, The Netherlands

 

Han Gao (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in October 2020

Han Gao got her Master's degree from Southeast University (China) in Medicine. Her major is in Health Science.

 

Raquel Bártolo (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT 

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in February 2021

''Biomaterials for heart diseases applications''

Currently he is a PhD student in Prof. Santos' Lab at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University Medical Center Groningen/University of Groningen, W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, The Netherlands

Jiachen Li (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in February 2021

Jiachen Li obtained his Master's degree from Nanjing Forestry University (China) in Science in 2021. His major is in Advanced Materials.

Currently he is a PhD student in Prof. Santos' Lab at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University Medical Center Groningen/University of Groningen, W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, The Netherlands

 

Khalil Elbadry (M.Sc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in June 2021

''Virus-like particles for targeted gene delivery for immunomodulation therapy''

Project supported by the Academy of Finland

Giuseppina Molinaro (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in August 2021

ESR project: Nanomedicine translate into clinic

H2020-MSCA-ITN-EJD programme: Perspectives For Future Innovation in Tendon repair (P4 FIT)

Supervisor: Prof. Hélder A. Santos

Institution: University of Helsinki

Country of origin: Italy

Giuseppina will develop a project to generate industrial scale-up validation and standardization of the nanomaterials’ physicochemical properties for translation into the clinic.

The objectives are: to evaluate the scaling-up and batch control of nanomaterials for composite tendon biomimetic hydrogels and nanoplatforms; to design and develop protocols; to validate nanomedicines for the scale-up and translate the protocols developed for the production of nanomedicines in clinic; and to treat patients affected by tendinopathies.

Scientific background: Giuseppina holds a M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Urbino, Italy.

Project supported by the European Uni­on’s Ho­ri­zon 2020 research and innovation pro­gramme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agree­ment No 955685

Sandra López (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in September 2021

ESR project: Innovative nanovectors and multidrug loaded technology for the treatment of tendinopathy

H2020-MSCA-ITN-EJD programme: Perspectives For Future Innovation in Tendon repair (P4 FIT)

Supervisor: Prof. Hélder A. Santos

Institution: University of Helsinki

Country of origin: Spain

Sandra will work on the design, development and characterization of hybrid and biohybrid nanoparticles loaded with different combinations of immunomodulatory and tendon regenerative agents for the treatment of tendinopathy.

The main objectives are: (i) to develop a microfluidics approach for the manufacturing of hybrid and biohybrid NPs, (ii) to evaluate their physicochemical properties and stability, (iii) to evaluate the in vitro and ex vivo safety and efficacy, and (iv) to describe and modify their drug release behaviour.

Scientific background: Sandra holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology from the University of Valencia (Spain) and the Erasmus Mundus Joint M.Sc. in NANOMED for drug delivery from the University of Paris (France).

Project supported by the European Uni­on’s Ho­ri­zon 2020 research and innovation pro­gramme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agree­ment No 955685

Rubén Tello (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in September 2021

ESR project: Hydrogels containing nanotheranostic systems for personalized tendon medicine

H2020-MSCA-ITN-EJD programme: Perspectives For Future Innovation in Tendon repair (P4 FIT)

Supervisor: Prof. Hélder A. Santos

Institution: University of Helsinki

Country of origin: Spain

Rubén will focus on designing and developing hydrogel formulations containing nanotheranostic systems with bioactive molecules capable of inducing tendon regeneration.

The main objectives of the project are: to design and develop nanotheranostic systems containing bioactive compounds for their inclusion in hydrogel formulations, study and characterize the physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties of the developed formulations, study the biochemical and biophysical properties of the hydrogels, evaluate the stability of the formulations, as well as study the in vitro efficacy and biocompatibility and the in vivo therapeutic activity and biocompatibility of the formulations.

Scientific background: Rubén holds a M.Sc. in Drug Research, Development and Control from the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Project supported by the European Uni­on’s Ho­ri­zon 2020 research and innovation pro­gramme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agree­ment No 955685

Alumni

Prof. Santos mentor and su­per­visor/​co-su­per­visor of the fol­low­ing past re­search­ers in here