Research Team
Research Team
Santos' Lab = 6 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 aplications.

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

Tomás Ramos (PhD.)

POST-DOC

Ph.D. Pharm., started in November 2020

"Microneedle-assisted nanovector skin patch for immunomodulation of the inflammatory response upon occurrence of myocardial infarction injury (MiNeMi)"

Dr. Tomás Ramos is a post-doctoral researcher in Prof. Santos' Lab. He completed his PhD in January 2020, at the University of Porto under the main supervision of Prof. Sarmento and co-supervision of Prof. Santos. He is an expert on nanotechnology and immunology of biomaterials for biomedical applications. 

Currently he is a post-doc 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

See Ramos' publications in here

Project supported by MSCA-IF-2019

Christos Tapeinos (PhD.)

POST-DOC

Ph.D. Mater. Sci, started in November 2020

"Synthesis and characterization of magnetic and fluorescent nanoparticles"

Dr. Tapeinos is a Material Scientist with extensive experience in developing ‘advanced functional biomaterials’ for cancer and regenerative medicine. After his Ph.D. in 2013 from the University of Patras in collaboration with NCSR ‘Demokritos’, he secured a Marie-Curie fellowship at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) under the supervision of Prof. A. Pandit. At NUIG, he developed ROS-responsive nano- and micro-systems for treating inflammation, intervertebral disc degeneration, and myocardial infarction. This led to a short visiting period at the University of Chicago, where he studied the monocyte differentiation under oxidative stress for wound healing applications. In 2017, he moved to Italy and started working at the Italian Institute of Technology with Prof. G. Ciofani. His work focused on developing lipid-based magnetic nanovectors and cell membrane-coated magnetic nanostructures (boron-nitride nanotubes & magnetic nanocubes) to treat glioblastoma. In 2018 he secured a second Marie-Curie fellowship to develop antioxidant nanovectors for the treatment of ischemic stroke. His main research interest lies in developing smart biomimetic systems that ‘read’ their microenvironment and respond to its alterations in predetermined controlled ways. Finally, he is interested in the interactions of living tissues with the various bio-engineered systems.

See Dr. Tapeinos' publications in here

Project supported by the Academy of Finland

Giulia Torrieri (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in October 2017

Development of multifunctional hybrid cell membrane/exosome-based nanovectors for myocardial reprograming and repair

Giulia Torrieri completed her master’s degree in Pharmacy at the Università Degli Studi 'G. D'annunzio' Di Chieti (Italy) in 2017. Currently, as a PhD student in Prof. Santos' lab her work is primarily focus on the engineering of nanovectors for targeting the heart. 

See Torrieri's publications in here

Project supported by the University of Helsinki Research Funds

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

Pei Zhang (MSc.)

PhD STUDENT (Co-supervision)

PhD student in Pharmacy, started in September 2017

A drug nanocrystal-encapsulated nanovector toward targeted cancer theranostics

Pei Zhang completed her master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering at Shandong University (China) in 2017. Currently, her work is primarily focus on the engineering of structured nanovectors by the superfast sequential nanoprecipiation method. The proposed nanovector is featured with ultrahigh drug loading degree and controlled release profiles. The superfast sequential nanoprecipiation method will be modified and improved to broaden the types of nanovectors engineered.

Supervision by Dr. Dongfei Liu (main supervisor) and Prof. Hélder A. Santos at the Faculty of Pharmacy

See Zhang's publications in here

Currently visiting the China Pharmaceutical University, China

Project supported by the Three-year Research Projects, University of Helsinki

Alumni

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