Biology meets engineering - A successful concept of future medical research.
Dipl.-Kff. Petra Nitschke is responsible for the Business Development of vasQlab. After studying business administration with focus on finance and marketing, she held various management positions on national and international level, including the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis. Since 2009 she worked freelance on strategy and innovation projects, among others for a pioneer in 3D-printing and as a startup consultant.
At the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology Management and Innovation at KIT, Petra Nitschke was responsible for curricular and non-curricular training, including the start-up accelerator program upCAT, where she met the team. Since 2016 Petra Nitschke has been completing vasQlab with her business skill, especially in the areas of finance, marketing, sales and business development.
The head of production and development, M.Sc. Christoph Grün, joined the group of Prof. Dr. Ute Schepers in 2009. He did a training as a biological lab technician at the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and finished in 2012 as Baden-Württembergs best lab technician. Since 2012 Christoph Grün studies Chemical Biology at KIT. His bachelor thesis was about the differentiation of liver progenitor cells in 3D cell culture and the modulation of these cells with viral gene transfer systems. He finished his master in chemical biology in 2017. The main goal of his master thesis was the establishment of a liver-model in the vasQchip.
Since 2012 Christoph Grün is responsible for the development and production of the vasQchips. He is also coordinating the assistants, bachelor and master students, who are working with vasQchips. In addition to the development of new vasQchip versions, he also represents vasQlab at conferences.
Prof. Dr. Ute Schepers is group leader at the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. She studied chemistry in Bonn and got her PhD in biochemistry. In 1998 she was a research associate at the department of cell biology at Harvard Medical School. Since 2001 she did research on organspecific molecular transporters, tissue engineering and vascularization of 3D tissues. The prototype of the vasQchip was developed in her research group. She initiated the spin-off vasQlab. Because of her experience in research and her alumni network Ute Schepers support vasQlab in the advisory board.
M.Sc. Vanessa Kappings studied Chemical Biology at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In November 2014 she started her PhD at the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) at KIT. In 2016 she worked in the field of Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials at Harvard Medical School in Boston in the group of Prof. Ali Khademhosseini with focus on hydrogels. Currently she is working on the reconstruction of several tumor models in the vasQchip.
M.Sc. Eva Zittel obtained her Master of Science in Chemical Biology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and has started her PhD project at the KIT’s Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG). She is involved in establishing drug screenings and corresponding tissue models in the vasQchip.
During a research stay at the Wyss Institute in Boston in 2016, she had the opportunity to gain some more knowledge of the handling and the application of tissue models and organs-on-chip. With her experience, she will contribute to the R&D sector.