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FIDELIO will train 14 young researchers  for next-generation bone and diabetes researchers. Each ESR will be enrolled in a PhD programme to study for a doctorate and will conduct her/his own individual research project. Interdisciplinary training and implementation of innovative approaches are the key. The training programme and experience of different international research environments with international leaders cuts across traditional data and life sciences silos.

Lejla Emini

ESR1: Investigating the role of Wnt signalling in type 2 diabetes induced bone disease

Lejla completed her BSc in Biology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, then achieved her MSc in Molecular Biology at the same university. She did her master thesis at the Finsen Laboratory and Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC) which focused on construction of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting macrophages in cancer. After her studies, she worked as a research assistant at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Rigshospitalet in Denmark, investigating the effect of P2Y12 receptor antagonists on bone turnover in a preclinical in vivo model.

Objectives: Regulation of Wnt signaling in the monogenetic db/db mouse as well as the polygenetic TallyHo mouse. Investigation of miRNA profiles to determine which miRNAs are associated with diabetic bone disease and target Wnt signaling and whether modulating specific miRNAs may qualify as a therapeutic strategy.

Host: TU Dresden, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Lorenz Hofbauer

Souad Daamouch

ESR2: Role of Dkk-1 in type 1 diabetes bone fragility 

Souad has been graduated with a BCc in Health Engineering from the University of Nancy in France. She obtained her MSc in Pathophysiology & Personalized Medicine in Human Trans- plantation, from the University of Medicine in Strasbourg. The main goal of her project was to study histocompatibility genes in human transplantations. After her university studies, she worked as a clinical research assistant at the Orthopedic Surgery Department in the Luxembourg Hospital Center. Thanks to her personal experiences in Karate, she also collaborate with the National team of Karate from Luxembourg, to give athletes advices to prevent them from orthopedic injuries.

Objectives: Determine the cell-specific contribution of Dkk1 to impaired bone strength in T1D, and whether modulating Dkk1 also affects the bone vasculature. Validate the importance of Dkk1 in T1D patient cohorts.

Host: TU Dresden, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martina Rauner

ESR3: PhD student – Early Stage Researcher (ESR3) Investigating the role of different diet regimens on bone health and fracture risk in T2D

Host: Universita Campus Bio Medico di Roma, Italy

ESR4: Epidemiology of fragility fractures and diabetes

Host: Syddansk Universitet, Denmark

ESR5: Bioenergetics of human osteoblasts

Host: Syddansk Universitet, Denmark

ESR6: Development of diabetes-sensitive computational models of bone strength for the clinical diagnosis and pre-clinical tracking of diabetic bone fragility

Host: UKE Hamburg, Germany

Sara Delon

ESR7: Investigating the role of osteocyte and mechanotransduction on bone fragility in type 2 diabetes

Sara completed a BSc in Cell Biology and Physiology at the Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, France, then obtained a MSc in Cell and Tissue Engineering at the Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Étienne. She has been invastigating the effects of the ketogenic diet on obesity-related osteoarthritis.

Objectives: Identify osteocyte factors that are regulated by glucose metabolism and contribute to bone fragility in T2D, and characterise their involvement in the bone response to exercise and diet.

Host: Universite de Geneve, Switzerland
Supervisor: Prof. Serge Ferrari

ESR8: Mechanoregulation of bone remodelling in type 2 diabetes using HRpQCT in vivo patient data

Host: ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Ankita Duseja

ESR9: Role of microRNA in diabetic bone disease

Ankita completely her Bachelors in Biotechnology at VIT University, Vellore, India in 2016. After Graduation she worked as Project Assistant at DBT-BUILDER, Anna University in India exploring the Regenerative potential of Wharton’s Jelly derived-Mesenchymal Stem Cells. She pursued her masters degree in Regenerative Biology and Medicine at Centre for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), TU Dresden completing the thesis in the lab of Dr. Franziska Knopf understanding the Role of Macrophages during Bone Development and Regeneration in Zebrafish.

Objectives: To identify those miRNAs that are differentially expressed between the T1D, T2D and healthy adult control groups. To test the osteogenic, adipogenic, and proliferative potential of these most promising miRNAs via in vitro functional studies.

Host: The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Supervisor: Prof. Richard Eastell

Samuel Ghatan

ESR10: Genetics and biologic pathways underlying fracture risk in type 2 diabetes

Sam graduated with a Bsc in chemistry from the university of Liverpool, then went on to obtain a Masters in Neuroscience from Kings College London specialising in Psychiatric genetics. His Msc project focused on using genetics to infer a causal relationship between bone fragility and Alzheimer’s disease.

Objectives: To leverage the evidence derived from GWAS studies to identify possible plausible molecular pathways involved in both skeletal and glucose metabolism, with particular emphasis on the overlap of the biological underpinnings of T2DM and fracture risk.

Host: Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Netherlands
Supervisor: Ling Oei

ESR11: Metformin effects on the diabetic bone and the interaction with the gut microbiome

Host: Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Netherlands

Sofie Kolibová

ESR12: Bone matrix characterization and analysis of AGE accumulation in diabetic bone

Sofie earned her BSc degree from Forensic Analysis at University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague. For her Master’s degree, she specialized in General and applied biochemistry at Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the same university. Her MScs project was focus on how Mason-Pfizer monkey virus is using transport system of a host cell during infection. After studies she was focused in science popularization and communication.

Objectives: Characterize bone microstructure and matrix composition in terms of AGE accumulation, mineralization degree and biomechanical properties in T2DM.

Host: UKE Hamburg, Germany
Supervisor: Dr. Katharina Jähn

David Carro Vázquez

ESR13: miR-203a functions as regulator of type-2 diabetic bone disease

Bachelor in Biochemistry and a master’s degree in Biotechnology, both at the University of Málaga, performing mass spectrometry nuclear profiling of brain cancer cells; with two internships at the University of Ulm/Germany and at CNRS in Nice, France. After finishing master, David did one year of research work about the role of mesenteric fat T cells in Crohn’s disease, at Charité University Hospital in Berlin.

Objectives: To characterize expression levels of miR-203a in different compartments of bone tissue from T2D and non-diabetic animals, and to identify novel mRNA targets under hyperglycemia compared to normal conditions. Predict and experimentally confirm the interaction of transcription factors with miR-203a promoter region, and to characterize miR-203a transcription in response to parathyroid hormone, sex hormones, and glucose. Investigate tissue expression as well as circulating levels of miR-203a together with its validated target mRNA levels in the context of onset and progression of T2D bone disease in clinical and non-clinical samples.

Host: TamiRNA GmbH, Austria
Supervisor: Dr. Matthias Hackl

ESR14: Exploring subgroups to inform personalized treatment strategies

Host: ETH Zuerich, Switzerland