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MMBio - Marie Curie Training Network

 Lucia Morillas Becerril

 
LMBecerill153
 

Background:

  • BSc. in Chemistry at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
    • Bachelor Thesis in "Preparation of Phthalocyanines for their application in Solar Cells and PDT" under the supervision of Prof. Tomás Torres, Department of Organic Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - 10/2013 – 05/2014
    • Research Stay (Erasmus Placement) with Prof. Dirk Guldi, at Friedrich Alexander Universität, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy - 06/2014 – 08/2014
  • MSc. in Molecular NanoScience at Friedrich Alexander Universität - Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany
    • Hiwi - Job (experimental job supporting a PhD student in their projects) with Prof. Dirk Guldi in Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Friedrich Alexander Universität - Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany - 12/2014 – 05/2015
    • Hiwi - Job (experimental job supporting a PhD student in their projects) with Prof. Max von Delius in Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Friedrich Alexander Universität - Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany - 06/2015 – 03/2016
    • Master Thesis in " Building Blocks Towards Mechanically Interlocked Synthetic Carbon Allotropes" under the supervision of Prof. Max von Delius, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Friedrich Alexander Universität - Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany - 03/2016 – 09/2016

During my studies I have tried to improve my skills on experimental knowledge and carried out several collaborations with Prof. Tomás Torres, Prof. Dirk M. Guldi, Prof. Carola Kryschi and Prof. Max von Delius. Through my Bachelor studies I could focus in organic synthesis for the application on renewable energy sources as well as for photodynamic therapy. Right after finishing my Bachelor I had the opportunity to study the molecules I synthesized in my thesis and also different molecules from several collaborations, which gave me a broader view of the research path from synthesis to characterization. During my Master studies I wanted to focus on the application of nanochemistry to the areas of biochemistry, medicine and biology; so I decided to take an laboratory course in biochemistry in which I performed several biological test for the study of hybrid gold-iron oxide nanoparticles for cancer treatment. Carrying out these projects confirms my interest in nanochemistry, starting from synthesis and characterization, and follow the process to its final application in medicine.

Training and Transferable Skills:
- NMR
- IR
- Mass spectrometry
- Optical absorption spectroscopy
- Fluorescence emission spectroscopy
- Transtient absorption
- Electrochemical methods
- Cell viability test (MTT assay, tripan blue assay, neutral red assay)
- Irradiation of cells (dichlorofluorescein to determine concentration of radicals)
- Determination of glutathione and glutathione disulfide levels
- Bicinchoninic acid assay

Research Projects:
This project will be based in the application of nanoparticles for gene delivery. Previous studies have shown the importance to control the synthetic conditions of nanoparticles, in our case, as we deal with DNA and RNA, the total charge is also a factor to take into account.
To enter into the cells we need to compensate the negative charge of DNA, thus we will consider different approaches to fulfill it, a positively charged polymer can be to use, or using layer-by-layer technique to deposit layers of oppositely charged materials. For gene delivery we will rely on supramolecular interactions, considering disulfide exchange, which will allow to reversible reaction under specific conditions.
Gene therapy is a promising approach to treat diseases at the genetic level, useful for genetic and acquired diseases. Gene delivery systems that are targeted to specific organs/sites/cells are important for their efficacy and safety in respect of uncontrolled transgene expression, and with our nanoparticles we would be able to achieve this goal.

 

 

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