Patrycja Bałdyga (Poland)

My name is Patrycja, and I am in my second year of doctoral studies  at the Military University of Technology (MUT) in Warsaw. At the same time, I work as an engineer at the Biomedical Engineering Centre, Institute of Optoelectronics MUT. I did my engineering (Space and Satellite Engineering) and masters (Optoelectronics) degree also there from 2016 to 2021. Since the beginning of my studies, I was fascinated by cosmic rays and all my research relates to it, mainly about its detection and dosimetry.  My  Ph.D. thesis  focuses on optoelectronic methods of  space radiation detection. I constructed device based on scintillation crystal and SiPM detector which can sense high-energy particles and have recently been working on improving it. First version of the instrument was awarded in the competition for the best diploma thesis in space research organised by Polish Space Agency. In my spare time I love hiking and reading fantasy books.

Clara Sophie Batzdorf (Germany)

Clinical Research Scientist, Myelo Therapeutics GmbH – since 2023
Scientific project manager in the development of Medical Countermeasures against Radiation Exposure  
PhD-Candidate at the Experimental & Clinical Research Center of the MDC and the
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin – 2019 - 2023
Researching sexual dimorphism in inflammatory extracellular matrix remodeling in the murine brain and its connection to macroscopic viscoelastic parameters in the group of Prof. Infante Duarte „Innate Immunity and Neuroinflammation“
Medical Studies, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Staatsexamen Dec 2022, Grade 1.0
Co-Founder and former Secretary General of the „Connectome e.V. - student association for Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neurosciences“ 

Sylvain Blunier (Germany)

013-2017: PhD in particle physics, Universidad Católica de Chile, phenomenology in particle colliders
2018-2022: postdoc in space physics, Universidad de Chile, modeling interaction between solar wind and magnetosphere using machine learning methods
2022-2023: Risk Analyst, Falabella (Chile), Machine learning models for credit approval
2023-now: Research fellow at ESA (Germany), Monte-Carlo simulations of interaction between space radiation and astronaut habitats.
Languages: French, Spanish, English, German
I love outdoor sports, chess, playing piano, astronomy and cooking.

Ilaria Catanzaro (Italy)

I am a biologist with a M.Sc. in Ecology of Global Changes (University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy) and a B.Sc. in Natural Sciences (University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy). Passionate about space biology research, since 2020 I have been a PhD student on a project funded by the Italian Space Agency, under the supervision of Prof. Silvano Onofri at University of Tuscia (Viterbo, Italy). In particular, my research focuses on the resistance strategies implemented by melanized micro fungi under simulated Martian surface conditions, using genetic engineering to silence target genes in melanin production and other molecular tools to study the responses of these organisms to the simulated planetary conditions.

Gabin Charpentier (France)

2022 – 2025         Ill   Ph.D. Candidate, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)
Radiation protection for astronauts towards Mars: multilayer optimization to reduce doses and cancer risks
2022 – 2022       Ill   Resarch Intern, European Space Agency (ESA)
Characterisation of lunar environment and sintering of four Apollo mission samples
2021 – 2021         Ill   Resarch Intern, TU Delft
The durability of adhesively joints in space structures during planetary exploration
­2022 – 2025         Ill   Ph.D., ISAE-SUPAERO Space physics and biology.
2021 – 2022         Ill   M.Res. and final year of M.Sc., ISAE-SUPAERO
M.Sc. specialization in Space Systems and M.Res. in Structures and Materials
2019 – 2021         Ill   M.Sc.  Aerospace  Engineering, ISAE-ENSMA
French engineering degree equivalent to a Master of Science (M.Sc.)
2017 – 2019         Ill   Classe Préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles, Lycée Joseph Gay-Lussac
Maths, Physics and Engineering Sciences

Lina Cumps (Belgium)

In 2021, I received my Master in Biology at the KULeuven, Belgium. With a passion in space, I continued my studies with the Master of Space Studies from which I graduated with Magna Cum Laude in 2022 at the KULeuven and Ghent University, Belgium. During this master, I fulfilled my Master Thesis at SCK-CEN, studying the effects of lunar dust on the immune system. With a background in biology and space, I am currently working as a Belgian National Trainee at the European Space Agency, ESTEC. Here, I am working in the SciSpacE, Life Sciences team where we manage projects studying the effects of space stressors on human health and biological systems both in space and on ground-based platforms.


Elisa Maria Gandolfo (Germany) (Auditor)

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Nuclear Physics at the GSI institute working on the LISA project. My research activities have focused on experimental nuclear physics in particular on radiation detectors in harsh radiation environments.

I graduated cum laude at the University of Napoli Federico II in 2019 with a thesis on the development of a new liquid scintillator for gamma and neutron. During my PhD at the University of Napoli Federico II (2019-2022) I have studied detection apparatus systems for the NUMEN experiment and their response to high fluences of different radiations. At this purposes I have carried out experiments with the accelerator facilities of the INFN section Catania (LNS) and of the IJC Laboratory (ALTO) in Orsay.

Besides from my research project, I have participated to the VORAC project of the Italian Space Agency and I collaborate with a private industry for the development of radiation hardness assurance tests on electronic devices and optical instrumentation.

I have a flair for experimental and creative work and a keen interest for radiation detection for biological, environmental and space applications.

Amѐlia Jansen van Vuuren (Germany) (Auditor)

Graduated in 2019 from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) with a BSc degree (Summa Cum Laude) in the department of Medical Bioscience (MBS), followed by an Honours BSc degree (Cum Laude) in 2020. Completed a MSc degree (Cum Laude) in 2022 in MBS at UWC, in conjunction with iThemba LABS. My project focused on a unique South African radiobiology project entitled “Tumour Suppression and Subdual of Cancer (TUSSC) in elephants: An in vitro study to shed light on Peto’s Paradox”. During this period, I joined the iThemba LABS/GET_INvolved Programme for a 5-month research stay at GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research. In 2023, I did a 4-months internship hosted by iThemba LABS and funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme (MSCFP). Currently employed by GSI for a PhD in the space radiation biology group.

Arpad Lenart (United Kingdom)

I am a PhD researcher at the University of Strathclyde focusing on the application of laser-wakefield accelerators for space radiation testing and radiotherapy studies.  I have been working on radiation effects in electronics since my undergraduate degree, where I investigated the effects of space radiation on Silicon avalanche photodiodes for a Low-Earth Orbit CubeSat. In which I correlated the in-situ instrument performance to a detailed radiation model of the space mission. Through my PhD, I aim to expand on my research by exploring ways laser-wakefield accelerators can improve the radiation testing of instruments for space-based applications as well as radiotherapy techniques for cancers.

Francisco Liberal (United Kingdom)

Francisco Liberal earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from UTAD in Portugal, and a master's degree from Porto University. He then pursued a Ph.D. in RadiaDon Biology and Biophysics from University Nova Lisboa, compleDng his thesis in collaboraDon with Prof. Kevin Prise and Dr. Stephen McMahon. AJer compleDng his Ph.D. in 2021, he joined Dr. McMahon's team as a research fellow at the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen's University Belfast in the UK. Currently, he is focused on developing new mechanisDc models of radio sensiDvity of high-LET radiaDon, with a parDcular emphasis on DNA damage and repair. Francisco has already published more than 10 papers in peer- reviewed journals, and he also serves as a reviewer for several journals in this field.

Ani Mkrtcyhan (Greece)

As an undergraduate Physics student, this year I had some courses on astronomy, subatomic and particle physics where I learned about elementary particles and the standard model. I also participate in a student rocketry team called Aristotle Space and Aeronautics Team (ASAT), as the Recovery System Coordinator. Finally I completed my two-month practical training in AHEPA University General Hospital in the field of Medical Physics. The training is specialised in Radiotherapy with Linear Accelerators and Nuclear Physics in Dosimetry Laboratories, hence I have acquired knowledge concerning radiation treatment and ionised particles-matter interaction.

Jesús Ordoño (Spain)

My name is Jesús Ordoño and I am a postdoctoral researcher at IMDEA Materials Institute, in Madrid. I graduated with honours in Biotechnology at the University of Barcelona and obtained a MSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. In 2015, I started a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, where I worked on novel regenerative strategies for cardiac tissue engineering, and where I had the opportunity to develop part of my thesis at Michigan State University and present my work at numerous international conferences, such as the 5th TERMIS World Congress celebrated in Japan. After graduating, I worked at Kintsugi therapeutics SL for a year, and in 2022 I joined IMDEA Materials Institute for the development and characterization of novel 3D-printed metamaterials for cardiovascular implants. With an innate passion for space science and technology, I am looking forward to contribute to the space research community.

Enrico Pierobon (Italy)

My name is Enrico Pierobon and I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Bio-Medical Radiation physics (BiMeR) laboratory at the University of Trento. I graduated from Trento with a thesis on the characterization of an innovative Hybrid Detector for Microdosimetry (HDM). The Ph.D. has allowed me to continue the development of this hybrid detector, which I have as my main goal. I possess skills in both Monte Carlo simulations (GEANT4, TOPAS) and advanced electronics, which are essential for the development of this detector. In addition, I have participated in many microdosimetric experimental campaigns at the Proton Therapy Center in Trento.

Emil Rehnberg (Sweden)

Emil Rehnberg studied MSc. Engineering Nanoscience at the Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Sweden. In 2018 he was nominated to go to University of California, San Diego, where he studied microfabrication technologies and bioengineering. After graduating in 2020, Emil worked at the Lung Bioengineering and Regeneration lab, Lund University, where he worked on the development of an organ-on-a-chip and other human 3D lung models. Currently, Emil works as a PhD student on a joint collaborative effort between the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK CEN), Ghent University and Maastricht University, developing 3D cardiac models to investigate cardiac aging in space. 

Juliette Restier--Verlet (France)

After a bachelor’s degree in animal physiology and a master’s degree in cancer research, I am currently doing a PhD in space radiobiology funded by the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) within an INSERM unit, UMR 1296 "Radiation: defense, health, environment". My thesis focuses on the documentation and characterization of radiation-induced risks on the main tissues impacted in astronauts: the eye, bone, heart, and skin. The objectives are therefore to quantify the biological effects induced by radiation related to low-energy particles but also to the bath of X and gamma rays and, on the other hand, I aimed to study various measures of radiation protection, chemical and physical, to reduce the risks of radiosuceptibility and radiodegeneration as cancer and accelerated aging, resulting in cataracts, bone degeneration, and cardiovascular disease.

Jade Sutter (France)

I’m Jade Sutter, and I just started a PhD few months ago. I did a bachelor degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Strasbourg (France), a part of this degree (1 year) was performed in the frame of a mobility program at the University of Montreal (Canada). Then I went to Bordeaux to do a Master degree in cell biology and physiopathology. After my graduation I worked as an assistant engineer until the start of my PhD. I currently work for my thesis in the Physics Laboratory (LPC) in Clermont Ferrand (France). I’m interested by radiobiology. My PhD program is focused on hibernation and radioprotection using the Brown Bear as a model. I’m really passionate by my work and by sciences in general. I really enjoy discovering new lab environments and people. I’m a team player and I like to collaborate with others to get the utmost of every project.

Tamara Vitacchio (Germany) (Auditor)

My name is Tamara Vitacchio and I am a PhD candidate at GSI. I graduated in Biology (Bachelors’ degree) and Evolutionary Biology (Masters’ degree) at the University of Padua, Italy. My passion for space sciences and radiation developed during the course of my studies, in particular thanks to an Astrobiology course. Nevertheless, I have always been a science fiction enthusiast! I concluded my Master’s with a thesis work at the Biology Department of the University of Padua, on the topic of potential photosynthesis on exoplanets orbiting around red dwarf stars. Since these stars release strong radiation bursts, I developed an interest in how radiation exposure influence lifeforms, and their environment, in every aspect. I am currently working at GSI within the ERC BARB project, to study the feasibility of using radioactive ion beams during radiotherapy in a preclinical setting.