Short biography: Long standing scientific focus on translational and basic research in the areas of RNA (patho)biology, RNA Therapeutics, extracellular vesicles, chemical biology, pharmaceutical drug discovery, and drug delivery. More than 18 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery in the global healthcare industry where she has been directing interdisciplinary, international teams of scientists covering quantitative molecular and cellular biology and cellular engineering to biophysics/molecular imaging, medicinal chemistry, computational biology and in vivo pharmacology. Her most recent work at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel/CH has focused on the use of extracellular vesicles for drug delivery, and the discovery of new medicines targeting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Faculty member at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg since 12/2018. Her nascent research team at the Department of Biosciences has a mission on resolving biomedically relevant mechanisms of extracellular vesicles, RNA drugs and RNA pathologies to ultimately enable development of innovative biopharmaceutical applications. She is also engaged as a scientific consultant for major pharma companies and bioventure funds in the areas of Extracellular Vesicles, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, RNA therapeutics and Rare diseases and is acting on Scientific Advisory Boards for translational research initiatives such as Project FIT (Brno, CZ – http://www.fit-vri.com/en/).
Eva completed her PhD at the University of Salzburg in 2013 focusing on the structural and biochemical characterization of the GTPase domain of human Drp1, a central mitochondrial fission factor. Besides her expertise in structural biology she gained additional experience in the research fields of allergy, immunology as well as epigenetics while working as a technical assistant at the University of Salzburg for eight years. During her employments she was involved in several research projects including a Citizen Science project. She joined the group of Chemical Biology & Biological Therapeutics in March 2019.
Heloisa completed her Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences Biology in 2006 at the Univesidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil). During this time she has carried out scientific projects in the field of marine biology, as well as cell biology at the Research Institute Reference for Tropical Diseases, FIOCRUZ. In 2019 she joined the Meisner-Kober Group as a research assistant.
Melanie completed her Master and Doctoral degree at the University of Salzburg, during which she was working on oxidative stress in the liver, focusing on HNE- modified proteins and lipofuscin. Additional research areas include cell biological projects aiming the assessment of environmental toxicity in Kosovo. 2019 she joined the research group of Nicole Meisner-Kober as a research assistant.
Before joining the group of Prof. Dr. Nicole Meisner-Kober, he conducted research projects at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca and Regional Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The main focus of his work was synthesis of nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes, gold, silver, magnetic nanoparticles and quantum dots), functionalization and their characterization for biomedical applications. His work has been published in several book chapters, scientific research articles and patents.
Maria completed her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna in 2019. Then she started her Master’s degree at the University of Salzburg, doing the practical work for her Master’s thesis in Nicole Meisner-Kober’s research group. During this time, she has already gained numerous insights into vesicle research. In 2021 she joined the Meisner-Kober working group as a research assistant.
Dr. Nawaz completed his PhD studies at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2013-2017), where he investigated the role of microRNAs and extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the malignant progression of gliomas (brain tumors) at the Luciano Neder Lab. He also had a PhD exchange at the Hadi Valadi Lab, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, followed by a 6-years postdoc. During his 7 years’ stay at the Valadi Lab he investigated numerous aspects of RNA transport via EVs. He worked with various projects in collaboration with AstraZeneca where the focus of his research has been the loading and delivery of therapeutic RNAs to cells via EVs and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). He contributed new methods and tools of loading of therapeutic RNAs into EVs and delivery to target cells, which have been published in top tier peer reviewed international journals. He has also been involved in the consortium of “Industrial Research Centre (IRC) for functional RNA delivery — FormulaEx” established between different Universities and Biotech companies in Sweden. Currently, Dr. Nawaz is working as Senior Researcher at the Nicole Kober Lab, with focus on delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides and RNA editing mechanisms. Traditional RNA-based therapeutics function either by silencing pathological genes or expressing therapeutic proteins with the delivery of siRNA or exogenous mRNA to cells, respectively. However, RNA editing, which works by making discrete changes in the genetic codes, takes the RNA therapeutics to the next level. This is truly an interesting area of research, which holds great potential for the treatment of various genetic diseases including metabolic, neurodegenerative, and infectious diseases, as well as cancers. He is investigating the mechanisms of RNA editing using cell models of various diseases. He has received various research grants and has participated in several international conferences. Furthermore, he participates in teaching and supervision and serves as editor and reviewer for various scientific journals.