DNARepairMan PhD candidates

Name: James Portman

Project title: Correlative single-molecule analysis of the DNA incision and DNA unwinding complexes in transcription-coupled DNA repair. 

Institute: CNRS


I am originally from London, England and went to the University of Bristol to study Biochemistry. My PhD project, with Professor Terence Strick, will look to analyse the protein complexes which exist during transcription-coupled DNA repair, using correlative single-molecule methods.



Name: Kos Breiev

Project: Development of a low sample volume microfluidic platform for single molecule studies.

Institute: Elvesys


I came from Kiev, Ukraine. I obtained my MSc in Chemistry (organic, polymeric) and water treatment there. After I was studying plasma, ion and applied Physics as well as software development (Java, Labview) at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

 Now I'm doing R&D at ELVESYS, working with biology and engineering. 



Olha StorozhukName: Olha Storozhuk

Project: Structural and kinetic analysis of helicase complexes using fluorescent labeled proteins and DNA

Institute: Justus-Liebig University Giessen


My name is Olha Storozhuk. I came from Ukraine (from west part). I am Master of Biochemistry graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Previously I had obtained my Bachelor degree in Biology at the same institution.  I will work on JLU2 project "Structural and kinetic analysis af helicase complexes using fluorescent labeled proteins and DNA"  under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Friedhoff with starting date on 1st of September this year. 



Name: Vlad Kunetski

Project: Covalent and kinetic trapping repair machinery for structural and functional studies

Institute: Justus-Liebig University Giessen

My name is Vladislav Kunetski and I am from Republic of Moldova. After finishing high school in Republic of Moldova I joined the Moscow State University of Fine Chemical Technologies. I worked in the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, investigating new ways of synthesis modified nucleosides. Objects of my research were derivatives of natural nucleosides benzyl adenines. I worked in my spare time as a research assistant in the Scientific Research Institute of Neurology. My theme was application of next generation sequencing in clinical practice.



Name: Gwen Brouwer

Project: Diversity in transcription-coupled DNA repair pathways and recruitment of UvrD during transcription-coupled repair and global genome repair.

Institute: University of Bristol


My name is Gwendolyn Brouwer and I am from Oudewater in the Netherlands. I obtained my Bsc Biomedical Science from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and graduated with a Msc Biomedical Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands last year. I will be starting my PhD project on the 18th of September and will be based at the University of Bristol with Prof. Nigel Savery as my supervisor. The project involves looking at the variation between transcription-coupled DNA repair pathways and UvrD recruitment during transcription-coupled repair and global genome repair. 



Inigo Urrutia IrazabalName: Iñigo Urrutia Irazabal

Project: Recruitment of UvrD during transcription-coupled repair and global genome repair.

Institute: University of Bristol


I received my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of the Basque Country in 2016. One year before, I did an internship in structural biology in the CryoEM of biological macromolecules laboratory of the CICBiogune (Spain).

Before starting my master’s degree, I joined Jorge Alegre-Cebollada’s laboratory in the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (Spain) for a summer internship to deepen my knowledge about how single-molecule techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, can be applied to study cardiomyopathies. After that, I started my master’s degree in Engineering and Chemistry of Biomolecules at the Université Paris-Sud in order to learn more about protein chemistry and structure. I did my master’s thesis in the Structural Motility laboratory at the Institut Curie (France).

My project within the ITN will try to understand how the recruitment of UvrD affects transcription-coupled repair and global genome repair.


Anna StasinskaName: Anna Stasińska

Project: Study of synthesis and properties of cystamine modified oligonucleotides. 

Institute: FutureSynthesis


My name is Anna Stasińska and I come from Poland. I graduated from Lodz University of Technology as BSc in Chemical Technology with specialization in organic synthetic chemistry. I obtained MSc in Advanced and Applied Chemistry from Technical University of Denmark (DTU), where I carried out final project in drug development. After graduation, I had a chance to continue working as research assistant at DTU Nanotech department. My PhD project will be based in FUTUREsynthesis and Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań where I will be working on cystamine modifications of nucleic acids in order to influence their chemical interactions with peptides.


Susanne BrueknerName: Susanne Bruekner

Project: Structural Studies on DNA mismatch repair proteins

Institute: Netherlands Cancer Institute


I am from Germany and I studied Biochemistry in Tübingen (Germany).  From early on I was interested in the structure and function of proteins and thus I joined Titia Sixma’s lab at the NKI in Amsterdam to do my PhD. As part of the DNARepairMan project, I am working on proteins that are involved in DNA mismatch repair. 


Alessandro BorselliniName: Alessandro Borsellini

Project title: Cryo-EM structures of MutS/MutL with the β- clamp and DNA polymerase.

Institute: Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands


I came from Rome, Italy. I obtained my BSc in Chemistry from Sapienza  - University of Rome and in the same university I graduated with a MSc in Chemistry of Biological systems. During my PhD project, with professor Meindert Lamers, I will study the interaction between the DNA Replication Machinery and the DNA Mismatch Repair.


Name: Ankon Paul

Project title: Characterization of MMR unwinding complex formation

Institute: Erasmus MC


Before arriving here I was in France where I graduated in my Master’s course in Cell Physics from the University of Strasbourg. I was also in USA a couple of years back where I worked on Replication Biology at Indiana University. In addition I hold another master’s degree in environmental Science from University of Calcutta in India where I’m originally from. Nucleic acid research fascinates me, besides that I am a complete nerd : Star Wars, LOR, HP and the list goes on and on.


Foteini TraikouName: Foteini Traikou

Project title: The mechanism of unwinding tract formation and regulation of directionality during MMR

Institute: Erasmus MC


My name is Foteini Traikou and I come from Thessaloniki, Greece. I have obtained my MSc degree in Biotechnology in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. For my PhD project, with Dr Joyce Lebbink in Erasmus MC, I will work on the mechanism of unwinding tract formation and regulation of directionality during DNA mismatch repair.


Katerina NitsenkoName: Kateryna Nitsenko

Project: Nanomanipulation and fluorescence-based analysis of DNA mismatch repair.

Institute: CNRS

I am from Kiev, Ukraine. Obtained my BSc degree in Medical physics in Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. 2 years later I graduated with Master degrees in Physics at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and University of Strasbourg, where I've been working on the interaction between tau protein and dsDNA. I will do my PhD under supervision of Professor Terence Strick in Paris, France. This project is focused on the composition of protein complexes upon DNA incision with further determining the stoichometry of MutS and MutL and also on the protein complexes upon DNA unwinding with determining the directionality of UvrD using single molecule nanomanipulation technique in a combination with TIRF microscopy.