The Team

The project is formed of an exceptionally talented team  comprising world experts from the fields of synthetic chemistry, physics, spectroscopy, optics, fibre and laser technology, image processing, genetics, neuroscience, nanobiology and behavioural science which will lead to the establishment of Visual Genetics, a new scientific field. Below are profiles of the leading team members.

Professor Attila Sik has considerable success in the functional analysis of neuronal networks in various brain regions. He has worked on zebrafish, rodents and human to understand the structural and functional organization of the nervous system. He has coordinated a HFSP grant, coordinating a British Heart Foundation and a H2020 FET OPEN RIA interdisciplinary grants.  He holds an MBA degree specialised in interdisciplinary research management and leadership that ensures efficient research program coordination.

Professor Ferenc Mueller investigates transcription regulation during vertebrate embryo development. They exploit the advantages of zebrafish in functional genomics and study orthologs of human genes associated with disease and apply developmental genomics to reveal epigenetic and genetic determinants of transcription initiation during development. He also coordinates a H2020 ITN collaborative proposal thus the present program will benefit from his EU grant coordination experience.

Dr John Fossey is an internationally leading expert in catalysis and sensing, working at the interface of these two molecular interaction driven fields. He has a track record of international success and interdisciplinary outputs that have transformed understanding across these areas, demonstrating ideal expertise for delivering on the transdisciplinary challenges associated with translating molecular synthesis to real-time imaging in this project.

Professor Edik Rafailov has been engaged in the research and develop-ment of high-power cw and ultra-short pulse diode lasers, nonlinear and integrated optics and a range of semiconductor technology areas since 1987. He has authored and co-authored over 400 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He also holds 10 UK and 2 US patents. He coordinated a €14.7M FP7 FAST-DOT project – development of new ultrafast lasers for Biophotonics applications. Currently he is coordinating the €11.8M NEWLED project which aims to develop a new generation of white LEDs. Recently he has been awarded a H2020 FET project MESA-BRAIN (€3.3M). He also leads other projects funded by EU FP7 and EPSRC (UK). His current research interests include high-power CW, ultrashort-pulse lasers; generation of UV/visible/IR/MIR and THz radiation, nano-structures; nonlinear and integrated optics; Biomedical Photonics.

Dr Miklós Veres is an expert in Raman spectroscopy and other optical spectroscopic techniques, and their application. He has over 100 publications, has participated in the development of carbon-based supercapacitors and in the fabrication of protective and biocompatible coatings for cardiovascular stents. He was the national coordinator of an International Atomic Energy Coordinated Research Project, a Hungarian project related to the development of ELI-ALPS, and many other international and domestic grants. His ongoing research relates to the detection of disease marker volatile organic compounds in the exhaled air by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy; determination of drug deposition in human airways by Raman spectroscopy and the in vivo and in vitro application of non-linear Raman spectroscopic techniques.

Professor Herwig Baier is the Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. He studied biology, graduated with summa cum laude from the University of Tübingen and the MPI of Develpmental Biology and carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego. At the age of 31, he was offered a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco, where he led a research group in neuroscience and genetics until 2012. He returned to Germany to head the newly founded department Genes – circuits – Behavior within the Max Planck Society. He currently supervises 12 postdocs and 10 graduate students.

Dr. Wierenga is an associate professor of synaptic physiology. The primary goal of the Wierenga lab is to understand interactions between excitatory and inhibitory synapses within dendrites and neuronal networks during normal development and in neurodevelopmental disease. Her main expertise is in the formation and plasticity of inhibitory synapses in dendrites of principal neurons. Her lab uses two-photon microscopy and electrophysiology in acute brain slices and organotypic cultures, in combination with single-cell electroporation, virus infections, two-photon uncaging and immunohistochemistry. Dr. Wierenga established her independent research group in Utrecht in 2011 which currently consists of 3 PhD students, 1 postdoc and 2 master students.

Dr Nils Hempler, Head of Innovation will lead the input from M Squared into VISGEN acting as industrial supervisor. He will commit 10% of his time to supervision and mentoring.

Dr. Viacheslav Artyushenko, 1981 Ph. D. in Physics of Solid State, pioneer in the development of fiber optics for Mid IR-range (3-17µm). His work results were published in over 100 articles and has patents on IR-optics, fibre optics, laser medicine, fibre spectroscopy, optical diagnostic.

Dr Jochen Gehrig, assay development and integration, imaging workflow development, screening pipeline setup, data handling and image processing.

Dr Nicolas Elvemo is the technical project manager for an invasive fibre optic sensor system developed for use in humans. He has coordinated several research projects and is the coordinator of a H2020 project on the sensor system. He has published peer reviewed papers in the field of clinical neuroscience, is a medical doctor and has a PhD in clinical medicine and neuroscience.