ESR 10

Name:  Merve Bulut

Host Organisation:  Leiden University Medical Center ( LUMC)

Project Title: Microvasculature-on-a-chip modelling vascular degenerative diseases

The aim of the project is to develop and validate a functional 3D microvasculature-on-chip platform that is highly representative of capillary and venule networks. Which be next used to model inflammatory responses of healthy and diseased human microvasculature in vitro using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived vascular cells. The platform will be optimized in order to develop a vascular disease model based on hiPSCs derived from the somatic cells of the patients who suffer from Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1), an inherited vascular degenerative disease. The inflammatory response of the healthy and diseased vessels will be evaluated upon perfusion with primary or hiPSC-derived immune cells which can bear the diseased phenotype.

  • University of Bern, Switzerland for 2 months
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland for 3 months
  • Transgene, France for 2 months

Acquiring a taste of different fields in biomedical science has guided me towards my research passion; recapitulating the human organ and tissue systems in vitro. I started my academic journey in my hometown Ankara, Turkey with a BSc. Degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Middle East Technical University. My interest in stem cell biology lead me to Germany for Master’s in Regenerative Biology and Medicine program at Technische Universität Dresden. I completed my thesis in University of Bern, focusing on the establishment of in vitro 3D pulmonary microvasculature and the effect of rhythmic respiration on in vitro vascularization. As being highly motivated to deeply engage with vasculature-on-chip models, I am honoured to have become a part of EUROoC MSCA-ITN network and joined the Orlova Lab to work on hiPSCs based microvasculature-on-chip platforms for modelling inflammation and degenerative vascular diseases.

Another of my personal passion of mine is the nature with its extremes and joys. I always find activities in nature refuelling as feeding my brain and heart, helping me to find myself truly, which has a big contribution to my professional life as well. I like travelling and exploring different landscapes, ecosystems and their people as much as I could.