In 2022 the first four PhD projects were awarded under the HTRIC flag. The PhD candidates are introducing themselves here.

Our HTRIC PhD candidates

PhD projects supported by HTRIC funding

In 2022, four PhD projects were supported with funding that was assigned by HTRIC. The subjects fit to the HTRIC scope. One of the criteria was that the subject needs to be supported by at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) as well as the UMCG. Four very exciting projects were chosen and staffing is taking place.

Lower-limb prostheses: optimal human-in-the-loop co-adaptation

– This position has already been filled –




This project is applied for by Prof. Dr. Raffaella Carloni (FSE) and Prof. Dr. Han Houdijk (UMCG).

Project start: January 2023

Early detection of sepsis using reactive oxygen species

PhD Candidate Britt Coenen:

After finishing my bachelor degree in Life Science I started my master degree in Medical Biology to learn more about key mechanisms in biology and disease. During my PhD on the early detection of sepsis I will apply the knowledge I gained to limit effects from preventable causes, aiming to improve diagnosis and healthcare for patients.

This project is applied for by Prof. Dr. Romana Schirhagl (UMCG), Prof. Dr. Geert van den Boogaart (FSE) and Dr. Hjalmar Bouma (UMCG).

Project start: September 2022

Take a breath: Development of a novel lung adhesive sealant for severe COPD patients

PhD candidate Ayla Kwant:

After finishing my master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, I started my HTRIC PhD project in September 2022. The main focus of my research is developing and testing a ‘glue’, which is intended to seal the damaged parts of the lungs of COPD patients and thus improve the capacity of the functional parts. With this research, I hope to contribute to an improved quality of life for COPD patients.


This project is applied for by Prof. Dr. Marleen Kamperman (FSE) and Dr. Simon D. Pouwels (UMCG), together with Prof. Dr. Dirk-Jan Slebos and Prof. Dr. Janette Burgess.

Project start: September 2022

4D Local drug distribution determination using advanced optical (light sheet) microscopy

PhD candidate Nawal Aledlbi:

After doing my bachelor’s in applied chemistry, I went for a master’s degree in analytical chemistry. But to focus more on what lies beneath, I joined the Nanoscience TopMaster program at the University of Groningen to broaden my horizons. In my master’s I worked using characterization techniques for studying chemical systems. During my Ph.D., I look forward to developing a 4D optical analysis to get an insight into targeted drug distribution, that can lead to efficient personalized medicine in IBD patients using light-sheet microscopy.

This project is applied for by Dr. Pieter van der Zaag (FSE) and Prof. Dr. Wouter Nagengast (UMCG).

Project start: September 2022