ERA-Chair scientific event


The ERA-Chair project organizes a scientific event dedicated to the ERA-Chair team on October 30 and 31 (Hybrid event).

Nanomedicine for cancer treatment: new challenges and perspectives

Aim: The major role of the ESEI-BioMed project is to advance tumor diagnostics and nanomedicine at the TRANSCEND center. To achieve this ambitious goal, a team of researchers at different levels of career development from master students to experience researchers and trained in various domains (chemistry, biology, medicine) were selected. Considering the multidisciplinarity of the team, the biggest challenge to function properly is crossing the barriers imposed by the monodisciplinary research and finding a common language. As a first attempt in addressing this challenge, experts in various fields involved in nanomedicine were invited to talk from their own experience to the newly set-up team of researchers. Therefore, the lectures provided during these two days are focused on

  • - synthesis of nanostructures,
  • - physico-chemical characterization of nanomaterials,
  • - testing of nanostructures in various in vitro models,
  • - methods for analyzing biomolecules for diagnostic purposes,
  • - translational process and the industry perspective on nanomedicine

The members of the ERA-Chair research team are thus challenged to encounter the concepts, benefits and pitfalls of the research fields different from their own and understand them in order to create a homogeneous team of researchers able to work together and do research and produce the necessary knowledge for converting relevant basic research products into marketable products.

We would like to extend a warm thank you to the guests who took the time to prepare for the talks and to be with us for this event.


Agenda of the event





Dr. Brindusa DRAGOI

Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Project Coordinator


Prof. Radu ILIESCU

Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Project Manager


Prof. Rares STIUFIUC - ERA-Chair Holder

Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Is nanomedicine a powerful approach for cancer research?


Prof. Raluca FRATILA – Invited (online)

University of Zaragoza, Spain

Current challenges and opportunities in Magnetic Nanoparticle Hyperthermia


Coffee break

Chair: Prof. Rares Stiufiuc



Prof. Wolfgang PARAK – Invited (online)

University of Hamburg, Germany

Characterization of colloidal nanoparticles towards biological experiments


Assoc. Prof. Oommen Podiyan OOMMEN - IAB member

Tampere University, Finland (onsite)

Glycosaminoglycans: A formidable biopolymer for engineering nanoparticles and 3D scaffolds


Dr. Maria Jesus VICENT - IAB member (online)

Príncipe Felipe Research Center Foundation, Valencia, Spain

Versatile Polypeptide-based Nanoconjugates for Multimodal Therapeutic Applications



Chair: Assoc. Prof. Alina Petre


Prof. Romulus TETEAN –Invited (onsite)

Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania

Characterization techniques for magnetic nanoparticles


Prof. Dietrich ZAHN – Invited (onsite)

Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

Plasmon Enhanced Optical Spectroscopy of Tiny Amounts of Matter Including Biomolecules


Assoc. Prof. Zoe COURNIA – Invited (online)

Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece

Computational Modeling of Nanoparticle-Membrane interactions


Coffee break



19.00 - ….

Dinner - Panoramic, Unirea Iasi


Chair: Prof.Radu Iliescu


Prof. Dominique HEYMANN - invited  (online)

University of Nantes, France

Professor and chair of the Department of Histology and Embryology of the University of Nantes


Prof. Frances BALKWILL – invited (online)

Queen Mary University of London, UK

The Tumour Microenvironment of High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer


Prof. Gabriel DIMOFTE - IAB member (onsite)

Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

IRO 2023 - from clinical towards translational research


Coffee break

Chair: Prof. Eugen Carasevici


Prof.  Pedro  BAPTISTA – Invited (online)

Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

A road with challenges - nanomedicine from bench to industry


Mrs. Gabriela MACOVEIU - IAB member (onsite)

North-East RDA, Piatra-Neamt, Romania

North-East RDA, promotor of innovative regional development



Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Medical Scientific Manager


Dr. Brindusa DRAGOI

Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Project Coordinator




Visit: CEMEX – UMF Iasi


Prof. Rares STIUFIUC

ERA-Chair holder
Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Prof. Știufiuc received his PhD degree in Physics at the "Babeș-Bolyai" University in 2005 and habilitation Degree in Pharmaceutical Science at the "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine & Pharmacy of Cluj in 2017. During his PhD Thesis he was awarded with a Marie Curie fellowship at Laboratoaire de Physique des Solides, Universite Paris Sud XI (2003-2004). Between 2005-2007 he was employed as PostDoctoral Research Associate at Institute d’Électronique, Microelectronique et Nanotehnologie - IEMN, Lille, France. He is currently Professor and Coordinator of research activities at MedFUTURE – NanoBioPhysics Department at the "Iuliu Hațieganu" University of Medicine & Pharmacy of Cluj. His research activities are focused on the development of different types of multifunctional nanohybrids (magnetic, plasmonic & magnetoplasmonic nanoparticles, nanoliposomes, quantum dots, etc.) for biomedical applications such as targeted drug delivery, cancer treatment, biodetection, etc. He is also very much involved in the advancement of new early detection techniques mainly based on ultrasensitive vibrational spectroscopy performed on biofluids. Professor Stiufiuc’s scientific activity can be measured in 75 scientific papers published in high-impact journals (Science, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Talanta, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Cell Death & Disease, Pharmaceutics, Cancers, International Journal of Nanomedicine, Cell Death and Disease - Nature group, Journal of Liposome Research, Scientific Reports, etc.). As a recognition of his research activities, in 2020 he received the Romanian Academy Prize for the „Development of multifunctional nanostructures with applications in Nanomedicine”.
Since April 2023, he joined the IRO-TRANSCEND as ERA-Chair holder of the ESEI-BioMed project and leads the activities related to the creation of a multidisciplinary research team that will perform research activities in the field of NanoBioPhysics. These activities are focused on the development of new multifunctional nanohybrids having a core/shell architecture and several functionalities that will be further characterized and tested in-vitro as well as in-vivo for theranostic applications. All these efforts have the clear goal of integration TRANSCEND research centre in the European Research Area by increasing the international visibility, expanding participation in collaborative projects, and promoting the translational capability.

Assoc. prof. Raluca FRATILA

University of Zaragoza, Spain

Prof. Fratila holds a PhD in Chemistry obtained in 2005 at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. He did a Predoctoral stay at UPV-EHU (Department of Organic Chemistry I, Prof. Jesús Mª Aizpurua) and several stays in Spain (UPV-EHU) and The Netherlands (University of Twente, Enschede). Since 2013, she is researcher at the University of Zaragoza (ARAID-Cofund 2013-2015, Marie Sklodowska-Curie 2015-2017). Between 2017-2023, she was Ramón y Cajal researcher at the University of Zaragoza. From February 1, 2023 she is Associate Professor at the same university. The scientific interest is focused on bioorthogonal chemistry applied to nanotechnology, functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles, magnetic hyperthermia, mechanotransduction using magnetic nanoactuators. In the last 10 years she has participated in 7 European and 5 national projects, obtaining ~ 1 M € of funding as PI in national and European calls (plus ~ 300 k€ as Ramón y Cajal grant, including my salary and research costs). She regularly acts a peer-reviewer for several journals and as evaluator for Horizon 2020 (MSCA-RISE: 2017-2020 and MSCA-IF: 2017-2020), Horizon Europe (MSCA PF 2022) and national projects (Spain, Serbia, France, Poland). I have supervised 4 PhD, 8 MSc and 5 BSc students, as well as more than 10 visiting researchers.

Prof. Wolfgang PARAK

University of Hamburg, Germany

Wolfgang Parak is Professor at the University of Hamburg. He has studied physics and obtained his PhD in Munich. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Berkeley he returned 2003 to Munich to start his own group. Before moving to the University of Hamburg in 2017 he spent 10 years as professor at the Philipps University Marburg. The research of Wolfgang Parak is dedicated towards the development of new surface chemistries of inorganic nanoparticles and towards the characterization of their physicochemical properties. In particular, the development of an amphiphilic polymer coating is nowadays used by many different groups worldwide. Nanoparticles with such high colloidal stability are the bases of experimentally correlating their physicochemical properties with their interaction will cells (involving uptake and cytotoxicity), which has been the research topic of the Parak group for the 2 decades. The group also uses polymeric polyelectrolyte capsules fabricated by layer-by-layer assembly for biological applications (in vitro sensing and delivery).

Assoc. Prof. Oommen Podiyan OOMMEN

IAB member
Tampere University, Finland

Prof. Oommen received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay in 2010. He, then moved to Uppsala University, Sweden to pursue his Post Doc in the field of regenerative medicine. In Sept. 2016 he joined Tampere University-Finland as an Assistant Professor where he has established the Bioengineering and Nanomedicine Group. Since Aug. 2020, he is working as an Associate Professor and he leads a multidisciplinary team of chemists, molecular biologists and material scientists. His research interests are in the fields of designing functional materials (biomimetic 3D scaffolds and nanomaterials) for disease modeling, tissue engineering, drug delivery and nucleic acids therapeutics. He has established extensive collaborations with leading scientists in Europe and Japan and participate in several collaborative projects. He authored several peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He has also filed several patents and is a co-founder of a spin-off called ‘Uppsala Therapeutics AB’ that focus on nanotherapeutics for brain delivery and nucleic acid delivery.

Prof. Maria Jesus VICENT

IAB member
Príncipe Felipe Research Center Foundation, Valencia, Spain

Prof. Vicent received her PhD in 2001 in chemistry on solid supports from Univ. Jaume I after several scientific stays in Prof. Fréchet’s lab. Univ. California, Berkeley (USA). Then, she moved to more biomedically oriented research, initially with a company Instituto Biomar, and then at the Centre for Polymer Therapeutics with Prof. Duncan after the award of a Marie Curie Postdoc fellowship in 2002.
In 2004, María joined Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF) as research associate through a Marie Curie Reintegration contract and was promoted to her current position, head of Polymer Therapeutics Lab at CIPF in 2006.
Currently, she is the responsible for the Screening Platform, a Specialist site in the ERIC EU-OpenScreen and also coordinates the Advanced Therapies Program at CIPF. She is part of the Strategic Committee of the Valencian Agency of Innovation (AVI), Member of the International Advisory Board of Institute Nanoscience Nanotechnology Univ. Barcelona (IN2UB) and Consortium Foundation Hospital Provincial Castellón (CFHPC).
Her research group focused on the development of novel nanopharmaceuticals for different therapeutic and diagnostic applications, in particular Polymer Therapeutics for unmet clinical needs and has been funded by national (i.e. Fund La Caixa-NanoPanTher) and European grants (ERC Consolidator grant-MyNano and ERCPoC-Polyimmune) from academia and industry.
María received several prizes including Idea awards or Concepció Alexandre award to Women in Science. She is fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows 2019 and Controlled Release Society College of fellows 2021. She co-authored >125 peer reviewed publications and 10 patents, 3 of them licensed to the pharmaceutical industry and one used as foundation of the spin off ‘Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions SL’ in 2012.
She is widely invited to talk in international conferences and is currently vicepresident of the specialised Chemical Biology Section of the RSEQ and chair of key conferences on the field (i.e. Int. Symp. Polymer Therapeutics or CRS2019 Annual meeting). María is executive editor of ADDR, DDTR and board member of key journals.

Prof. Romulus TETEAN

Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania

Romulus Tetean is Professor at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania, Faculty of Physics and is the Director of Research Center for Condensed Matter Physics and Advances Technologies at Ioan Ursu Institute of Physics. He studied Physics at the Babes-Bolyai University and obtained a PhD. in Physics from the from the same University. He also spent research stages at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, Louis Néel Laboratory Grenoble, France, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, Zaragoza University, Spain, Osnabrueck University, Paul Scherrer Institute Villigen, Switzerland. His research activity is focused on the structural, electronic, magnetic, calloric and transport properties of different classes of materials, bulk, thin films, core-shell like: rare-earth 3d transition metals intermetallic compounds, half metals, nanostructured materials, transition metals oxides. Both, basic properties and possible technical application like permanent magnets, sensors, magnetic refrigeration, nanomedicine (magnetoplasmonic și nanolipozomes magnetic nanoparticles for the separation and detection on exosomes derived from tumors, magnetoelectric nanoparticles for cancer treatment), spintronics are of interest. Dr. Teteans has been the project leader in a number (9) of European and National R&D programmes, published more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles and 8 books or books chapters.
He is member of the European Physical Society, SR Society, Rare-earths Society, Balkan Physical Society, Romanian Physical Society, Romanian Materials Society. He act as co-chairman at two Romanian-German summer schools (suported byDAAD), Co-chairman at ICPAM 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 (International Conference on Physics of Advanced Materials). He won the Romanian Academy, Ştefan Procopiu prize in 2009 and the Babes-Bolyai prizes for research in 2008 and 2009.

Prof. Dietrich ZAHN

Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

Prof. Zahn studied Physics at RWTH Aachen and received a PhD degree in 1988 from the University of Wales in Cardiff. After a post-doc period at the TU Berlin he became Professor for Semiconductor Physics at the Chemnitz University of Technology in 1993. His research interests focus on the spectroscopic characterisation of semiconductor surfaces, interfaces, ultra-thin films, and low-dimensional structures (> 1000 publications, h-index 59). He served as Vice President for Research at the Chemnitz University of Technology and as Head of the Thin Film Division of the German Physical Society (DFG). He was Speaker of the DFG Research Units FOR 1154 “Towards Molecular Spintronics” and FOR 1713 “Sensorical Micro and Nano Systems”. He is member of the Excellence Clusters „MERGE“ and „cfaed“. Prof. Zahn is President of the Gaede Foundation.

Assoc. prof. Zoe COURNIA

Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece

Prof. Cournia is a Researcher – Associate Professor level at the Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, where she works on anticancer drug and materials design using High Performance Computing ( She graduated from the Chemistry Department, University of Athens in 2001 and received her PhD at the University of Heidelberg in Germany in 2006. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Chemistry Department, Yale University, USA, on computer-aided drug design and in 2009 she became a Lecturer at Yale College. She has been awarded with the American Association for Cancer Research Angiogenesis Fellowship (2008), the "Woman of Innovation 2009" Award from the Connecticut Technology Council, USA, the Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union (2010), the "Outstanding Junior Faculty Award" from the American Chemical Society (2014) and the first "Ada Lovelace Award" from the "Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe" (2016). She was a member of the Infrastructure Advisory Group (INFRAG) of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking in 2018-2021 and in 2022 she was appointed as the Greek representative in the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking. She is an Executive Editor at the Journal of Chemical information and Modeling, American Chemical Society and the national representative of Greece and Treasurer in the Division of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry in the European Chemical Society. She is currently teaching at the Master’s program “Data Science and Information Technologies” at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, National University of Athens.

Prof. Dominique HEYMANN

University of Nantes, France

Successively Professor of Bone Oncology (2015-2107) and Honorary Professor of Bone Oncology at the University of Sheffield (UK), Dominique Heymann is Professor and chair of the Department of Histology and Embryology of the University of Nantes (FR). He directed a research laboratory (INSERM UMR 957) studying the pathophysiology of bone resorption and pathogenesis of bone sarcomas until the end of 2016. From 2016 to 2020, he led the Sarcoma Research Unit (European Associated Laboratory, Inserm/ University of Sheffield / University of Nantes) based in Sheffield. From September 2017, he joined the ICO Integrated Cancer Centre (Saint-Herblain, FR) where he is the head of the biological resource centre – tumour tissue bank and the “Tumour Heterogeneity and Precision Medicine” lab.
He has authored more than 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals, mainly in the field of bone and associated diseases, as well as more than 300 abstracts, 20 book chapters and three books (“Bone Cancers” Ed Elsevier). He is Co editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bone Oncology and is involved in several other international journals (PloS one, Current Medicine Chemistry, European Journal of Pharmacology, Cancers, International Journal of Molecular Sciences and Bone Reports).
He was nominated for the Publication Committee of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) (2016-2019). In 2006, he obtained the ‘Paul Mathieu” price of the National Academy of Medicine and in 2017, he was awarded the European Oswald Vander Veken prize (The Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) and the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique-FNRS (F.R.S.-FNRS).

Prof. Frances BALKWILL

Queen Mary University of London, UK

Frances Balkwill is Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London and Deputy Lead for the Centre for Tumour Microenvironment. She is especially interested in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer. Much of her work focuses on the tumour microenvironment of ovarian cancer. After publishing a multi-level profile of the human ovarian cancer microenvironment, her lab developed a platform of new mouse models as well as human multi-cellular tissue culture models. They are now using these to research biological therapies that may prevent relapse and increase patient survival.
Fran is Director of the Centre of the Cell, a biomedical science centre for children, educational website and outreach project in East London. There have been more than 230,000 participants in Centre of the Cell activities since opening in September 2009. Together with illustrator Mic Rolph, Fran has also produced thirteen science books for children on cell and molecular biology with titles such as Enjoy Your Cells, The Egg and Sperm Race and You, Me and HIV. These books have been translated into at least twelve foreign languages with over half a million copies sold worldwide.
Fran chairs the Research Advisory Committee of Prostate Cancer UK and serves of CRUK and AIRC grant committees. She was recently named in the Top 100 list of female scientists in the UK.

Prof. Gabriel DIMOFTE

IAB member
Regional Institute of Oncology Iasi, Romania

Prof. Gabriel Dimofte is Profesor at the “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iasi. He also works as Senior Consultant Surgeon in the 2nd Oncologic Surgery Department in the Regional Institute of Oncology. As medical director and Chair of Medical Research, he is actively involved in the coordination of basic and clinical research in the institute and was actively involved in the development of Transcend as a major centre for biomolecular research. He grew a major interest in the bio distribution of nanoparticles in the context of malignant tumors and was involved in two major European projects, as project leader in multinational consortium: Euronanomed-ERANet -CheTherDel (study of the bio distribution of nanoparticles functionalised with Anticollagen IV antibodies in microwave thermal modified liver tissue/liver metastasis using subliminal conditions) and EEA funds – NANOHer2RRESTORE (development of Nano carriers using ph sensitive polymers for targeted delivery of Trastuzumab and AXL inhibitors for breast cancer with ove expressed Her receptors).

Prof. Pedro BAPTISTA

Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Prof. Pedro Viana Baptista (PVB) graduated from Faculdade Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa (1996) and a PhD in Human Molecular Genetics from the School of Pharmacy, University of London (2000). Took up a position at NOVA School of Science and Technology (NOVA FCT) in 2001, where he created the Nanomedicine Group focused on nanotechnology for precision therapeutics studies and molecular diagnostics, developing conceptual nanotheranostics combinatory approaches against cancer. Since 2018, PVB has been Full Professor of Life Sciences - Molecular Genetics & Nanomedicine at Dept Life Sciences (NOVA FCT).
PVB has been leading/involved in more than 22 national and European projects, publishing 13 book chapters, >200 papers, and several patents. The Nanomedicine Group is part of UCIBIO (Research Unit in Biomolecular Sciences) and Associated Laboratory i4HB. PVB has participated in several international networks in the field of Nanomedicine/Nanobiotechnology, advisor of more than 9 young post-doc researchers, supervising 15 PhD students and >40 MSc students. PVB is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Nano4 Global Lda – a NOVA spin off.
At NOVA FCT, PVB is member of the Scientific Council, Head of Department of Life Sciences and President of the Ethics Committee

Mrs. Gabriela MACOVEIU

IAB member
North-East RDA, Piatra-Neamt, Romania

Mrs Macoveiu is engineer by training. She graduated the Technical University Ghe. Asachi Iasi. Her experience in business was accumulated by practicing as engineer for 10 years on the Fibrex Nylon Savinesti Chemical Platform; in 2003 she obtained an MBA certificate issued by INCCOR Bucuresti that was successfully used in the field of European programs management in RDA North-East, where she works since 1999 as regional development manager. During the last 20 years Gabriela coordinated multidisciplinary teams, implemented strategic regional development and smart specialization activities, elaborated and coordinated economic development projects, both for RDA and other similar public authorities and private managers from EU and accessing countries. Her experience as consultant was accumulated by delivering regional development technical assistance and trainings for RDA North-East, EURECNA CNA Veneto, European Commission Delegation in Yerevan, Assogal Toscana, European Institute for European Policies in Berlin. She is a certified trainer for projects evaluation and strategic management.


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