Partners*meet the team

Hind Medyouf

Preclinical models, metastasis, single cell approaches.

Itay Tirosh

Tumor heterogeneity; Systems biology; Single cell RNA-seq

Luca Bertero

Pathology; Neuropathology; CNS tumors

Manuel Valiente

Patient-derived organotypic cultures, preclinical models, functional experiments, drug-screening

Marc Schmitz 

Serap Aksu

Photonic biosensors, organ on chip microfluidics, nanofabrication


Juan Vázquez

Juan was born in Banyeres de Mariola, Alicante (1999). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology (2021) at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) with a specialization in Animal and Human Biotechnology. He also carried out his bachelor´s thesis internship in the Department of Biotechnology at UPV, where he worked on the isolation and characterization of Helicobacter pylori and Arcobacter bacteria in order to assess the microbiological diversity, quality, and safety of organic vegetables, determined by culture, molecular and massive sequencing technologies. 

Afterwards, he moved to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a specialization in Immunology at Maastricht University. Following the precious advice of his mentor, Dr. Jan Willem Voncken, he understood that he wanted to expand his knowledge in the immuno-oncology field. For this reason, he moved to Leuven (Belgium) to conduct his master´s thesis internship at the Laboratory of Translational Genetics in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, led by Dr. Diether Lambrechts. During this period, he was focused on the assessment of the response to dual immune checkpoint blockade therapy in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients using single-cell (spatial) approaches. 

In 2023, he joined the Brain Metastasis group to carry out his PhD studies. The main goal of his project is to gain insight into the immunosuppressive TME that promotes metastasis progression and limits the efficacy of current immunotherapy approaches in patients diagnosed with brain metastasis. To do so, he is an active part of the RISEBrain consortium.

Alex Schäffer

Alexander received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the Hamburg University with specialization in genetics and immunology. He then went on to study molecular medicine at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and gained research experience in the group of Lisa Westerberg at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) where he worked on immunodeficiencies linked to the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein. During his master thesis he joined Lisa Sevenich’s group and investigated the therapeutic targeting of tumor-associated macrophages and microglia in the tumor microenvironment of brain metastasis. In 2018, he joined the Medyouf group as a PhD student to study the role of ageing in the context of human bone metastasis and immunotherapy in brain metastsis.

İsmail İshak Arslan

İsmail İshak Arslan’s academic journey in Molecular Biology and Genetics, rooted in his studies at Biruni University, has led him to pursue a PhD at KOÇ University. His skill set extends from practical molecular biology and cell culture techniques to engaging in cancer therapy and drug repurposing studies. Now, İsmail is advancing the field of Biomedical Engineering, focusing on Lab-on-a-Chip and biosensors, aiming to transform diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring through innovative approaches.

Nisan Feigin

Nisan Feigin holds an MD degree from the Hebrew University. Currently serving as a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Nisan’s research focuses on cancer, particularly brain metastasis, utilizing computational tools for analysis of bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing.