ESRs’ portrait

RAMP ESRs will introduce themselves on this page each at a time, then they will blog about their activity within RAMP at News from the ESRs.


Elham Vahdatahar, ESR1

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Elham works at the Institute for Structural Biology (IBS) in Grenoble, France.

Her subject is Optimisation of crystal growth using a microfluidic technology-based crystallisation bench.

“I was born in Ahwaz, Iran. I studied cellular and molecular biology (genetics) at Isfahan University and then I chose to study biophysics at the University of Tehran. My master thesis was about the effect of potassium sorbate and vitamin C on fibrillation of bovine serum albumin. I really like to know more about proteins;…” – full article


Sofia Jaho, ESR2

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Sofia works at the Institute for Structural Biology (IBS) in Grenoble, France.

Her subject is Crystallization of membrane proteins with an automated microfluidic pipeline.

“I come from Fier, a small city in Albania but I grew up in Argos, a town in South-East of Greece. While being a high school student, I used to work during summer at different half-time jobs. I studied at the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Patras for 6 years, where I also carried out my master thesis for another 2.5 years. My main scientific domain…” – full article


Claudia Stohrer, ESR3

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Claudia works at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

Her subject is Structure determination of the Adenosine receptor A2A in complex with intracellular binding partners.

“I grew up in Switzerland near the city of Basel. Biology was always my favourite subject, and during high school I could follow up my interests. With “Schweizer Jugend Forscht”, I got my first opportunity to get to know research work at University level by carrying out a little research project at the University of Geneva. I absolutely loved it…” full article


Jannik Strauss, ESR4

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Jannik works at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

His subject is Novel Approaches to Proton Pumping Pyrophosphatases.

“I grew up in a small town close to Hannover in Germany. After I finished school, I worked at the Institute of Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene of Nordstadt Hospital in Hannover for one year, where I helped identifying disease-causing microbes in patient samples. It was during that time that I found my passion for infectious disease research. To better understand diseases on a molecular level I decided to study Biochemistry and finished my Master at the Hannover Medical School in 2016. During my Masters…” – full article


Sofia Trampari, ESR5

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Sofia T works at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Her subject is Crystallization and phase behavior of membrane transporters in lipid-detergent micelles.

“I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. Being an excited and naturally curious person, I consider Physics to be the most intriguing field of research as it addresses a huge range of phenomena, from the nanoscale physics to the laws of the infinite universe. My innate passion to discover the world and my need to work towards finding ways to improve people’s wellbeing led me to pursue my studies in biophysics….” full article


Marty Rogers, ESR6

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Marty works at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

His subject is Novel lipid environments for use in lipid cubic phase (in meso) crystallization of membrane proteins.

“I was born and raised in South Carolina in the USA. I played the French horn in school bands and orchestras since I was 10 years old, and music of all forms is still one of my passions. I completed an undergrad degree in Chemistry at the University of Oxford before….” – full article.


Cristina Cecchetti, ESR7

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Cristina works at Imperial College London, UK.

Her subject is Structural and functional studies of plant and fungal secondary active transporters.

“I come from Nemi, a small town close to Rome in Italy. I grew up in a family with a scientific background: my father used to teach physics and chemistry in high school and my uncle is a chemist and teaches chemistry and maths. I got a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry at Sapienza University of Rome, thanks to a deep interest in chemistry developed during high school. During my undergraduate studies, I was fascinated by Biochemistry and Structural Biology and that is…” – full article


Diogo Melo, ESR8

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Diogo works at the Center for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg, Germany.

His subject is Controlled growth of uniformly sized microcrystals, optimised for time-resolved crystallographic experiments.

“I come from Alguber, a small village in Portugal that mostly lives off agriculture, in which I used to work most of the summers. I studied biochemistry for four years in the University of Algarve and two years in NOVA University of Lisbon.. the last year I worked with X-Ray crystallography. Between those two periods, I worked for almost…” – full article


Thi Thanh My Nguyen, ESR9

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My works at Bristol University, UK (previously at Maynooth University, Ireland).

Her subject is Experimental phase diagrams to optimise membrane protein crystallization. 

“I come from a small fishing village in Vietnam and grew up near the North Sea in Germany. Living close to the sea my whole life, I enjoy being at the coast in any kind of weather. I did my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Biology at the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, where I had the opportunity to test the water in different research institutions such as the “Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research UK” in Salford and the…” – full article


Virginia Apostolopoulou, ESR 10

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Virginia  works in the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey, UK.

Her PhD subject is  Modelling crystal formation in complex systems.

“I graduated from University of Crete, Greece, in 2014 with a bachelor degree in Applied Mathematics. I continued my studies at the University of Crete, and in 2017 I got my master degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics. I am passionate about many areas of applied mathematics, but I was always more interested in the close relationship between mathematics and practical problems related to physics and biology. During my studies, I tried to…” full article


Swati Aggarwal, ESR 11

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Swati works at the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden.

Her PhD subject is Elucidating the function of proton pumps with neutron crystallography.

“I come from a small valley surrounded by Himalayas known as Dehradun in India. I completed my Master’s in Biotechnology from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. I spend my leisure time in painting and cooking (The spicy Indian cuisine). I aspire to…” full article


Samuel Hjorth-Jensen, ESR 12

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Samuel is completing his PhD at Aarhus University, in Denmark.

His subject is Crystallographic investigations of the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase: towards neutron, time-resolved, and novel inhibitor structures.

“I grew up in Pittsworth, a small country town in Queensland, Australia. Growing up in Australia has provided me with a love of the outdoors – I enjoy being in the sun while kayaking, hiking or swimming in the ocean. Education wise, I have completed a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science from James Cook University in tropical far-north Queensland, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma of Biotechnology and a Masters Degree in Applied Science (Research) from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. My Masters was about…” full article


Jessica Ames, ESR 13

Jessica is completing her PhD at Bristol University, in UK (previously at Maynooth University, Ireland).

Her subject is Nucleation and growth of membrane protein crystals in detergent, detergent/lipid and lipid phases.

“I was born and raised in a small, rural town in central Illinois in the USA. I studied chemical engineering at a Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana for a couple of years before transferring to the University of Oklahoma. I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in August 2018 with a BS degree in chemical biosciences. When I’m not in lab, I love…” full article