Dr. Alex Poot

Dr. Berend van der Wildt

Berend van der Wildt obtained his PhD in Radiopharmaceutical Sciences in 2017 at the Amsterdam University Medical Center where he developed small molecule PET tracers targeting tissue transglutaminase. He continued his career at Stanford University as a post-doctoral researcher designing PET tracers for imaging of tumor associated macrophages in neuro-oncology. In 2019, after obtaining a VENI grant from the Dutch Research Council, Berend returned to the Amsterdam University Medical Center where he focused on developing PET tracers specific for anti-inflammatory microglia in neuro-oncology and neuroinflammation. Currently, Berend has a position at the UMC Utrecht and Princess Máxima Center as a post-doctoral researcher where, under the direct supervision of Dr. Alex Poot, he is establishing a preclinical theranostics research line towards improved treatment of pediatric and adult cancers. 

Carlijn Vlaswinkel (PhD candidate – Funded by SMARTdrugs)

Carlijn obtained a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University in 2022. During her studies, she specialised in Immunology and Pathophysiology and performed research investigating the biological activity of anti-cancer therapeutics secreted by a genetically modified strain of an anaerobic bacterium called Clostridium sporogenes. After her studies, she worked as a Quality Control technician in a cell therapy production facility at the Dutch Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL) for one year. Carlijn recognized she wanted to get back into academic research and started her PhD position in March 2024 under supervision of Dr. Alex Poot and Dr. Berend van der Wildt. Carlijn will focus on the pre-clinical validation of the supra-molecular designs using in vitro cellular and tissue assays and in vivo mouse models of paediatric brain cancers.

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