Division of Molecular and Computational Toxicology

Prof. Dr. Paul Jennings

Paul-JenningsPaul Jennings is the newly appointed Professor at the Division of Molecular and Computational Toxicology, VU, Amsterdam. His background is in epithelial and renal biology, in vitro cell culture system development and mechanistic toxicology. Current research interests include:

  • Development of improved human renal and hepatic in vitro models
  • Mechanistic understanding using integrated omic approaches in carefully designed exposure scenarios (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and epigenetics)
  • The understanding of how cells deal with stress and the delineation of stress response pathways, including oxidative stress (Nrf2), DNA damage (p53), hypoxia (HIF-1alpha) and the unfolded protein response.
  • Chemical induced dedifferentiation and recovery after exposure
  • In vitro biokinetic studies
  • Integrating cheminformatics, kinetics and dynamics into computational systems toxicological models
  • Collaboration with specialists to build tiered integrated approaches for testing and assessment (IATA) / integrated testing systems (ITS) – (eg. BBB, liver, lung, brain, heart, skin) which are regulatory relevant (i.e. built with application to Adverse Outcome Pathways)
  • Understanding genetic diversity of dynamics and kinetics using iPSC.
  • Development of clinically-translational mechanistic biomarkers

Links: Pubmed, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Dr. Anja Wilmes

Anja-WilmesAnja Wilmes graduated with a Diplom in “Biology” from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 2004. She then completed her PhD thesis in “Cell and Molecular Biology” in 2008 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand under thervision of Prof. John Miller. Her PhD thesis was entitled “Differences  in Mode of Action between Peloruside A and Paclitaxel, two Microtubule Stabilizing Agents”. She joined Pauls Jenning’s group at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria as a PostDoc in 2009 where she habilitated in “Physiology” with the thesis "Molecular investigations of chemical stress induction in the renal proximal tubule” in 2016. Her work focuses on the development of human renal cell culture models for toxicity screening with a major focus on iPS cell differentiation into proximal tubular cells and glomerulus cells. She is currently involved in the StemBANCC and the in3 project. Her works also focusses on studying functional roles of claudin expression and water transport in renal proximal tubular epithelial cells. In 2017, she moved with the Jennings group to the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. 

Links: Pubmed, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Dr. Alice Limonciel

Alice-LimoncielAlice Limonciel studied the life sciences at the University of Nice - Sophia-Antipolis, France, before entering the engineer school Polytech’ Nice-Sophia in 2005. In Polytech’, she first studied pharmacology before specialising in toxicology. She graduated with an Engineer’s degree in "Toxicology and Health and Environment Security" in 2008. Dr. Limonciel completed her PhD entitled "Characterisation of the molecular stress responses of cultured human renal proximal tubule cells exposed to industrial and pharmaceutical nephrotoxins" in the Renal group of the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, in October 2013. She received several prizes for her work on mechanistic toxicology, including the Lush prize for Young Researcher in 2013 and the CEFIC-LRI award in 2015. Dr. Limonciel’s work is focused on the molecular responses of mammalian cells to xenobiotics and stress, with a particular focus on stress response pathways and the use of omic methodologies to unravel mechanisms of toxicity.

Links: Pubmed, Google Scholar, Research Gate

Giada Carta.MSc

Giada-CartaGiada Carta graduated with a bachelor in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” in 2012 with a neuroscience based experimental thesis performed at Medical University of Innsbruck. She continued her studies at the Leopold-Franzens-University in Innsbruck, and graduated with a Master in Cell Molecular and Developmental biology in 2015. In 2016 she started her PhD in the Molecular Cell Biology program under the supervision of Ass. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Paul Jennings in the renal group at the Division of Physiology of the Medical University Innsbruck.Her study focuses on the development of integrated testing strategies for in vitro assessment of chemical induced organ injury via mitochondria-mediated toxicity to predict human in vivo adverse outcome as part of the EU-ToxRisk21 project. In 2017 she moved with the Jennings lab to the division of Molecular and Computational Toxicology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Links: Pubmed

Vidya Chandrasekaran.MTech

Vidya-ChandrasekaranVidya Chandrasekaran received the integrated Master’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology from the SASTRA University, India in 2015. For her Master’s thesis, Vidya worked in the Laboratory of Kidney Toxicology and Regeneration, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, towards understanding the pathophysiology of kidney disease. She also had a yearlong experience in developing a cell based bioassay for identifying predictive toxicity signatures at Laboratory of System Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston. To advance her scientific knowledge in the field of invitro toxicology, she joined in3 project through Prof. Dr. Paul Jennings’s lab at the Division of Molecular and Computational Toxicology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Her work focuses mainly on differentiation of renal proximal tubule-like cells from iPSC and application to nephrotoxicity testing.

In3 website

Cormac Murphy.MSc

Cormac-MurphyCormac Murphy gained his undergraduate degree in Zoology from Trinity College Dublin in 2014 with a thesis project in the field of Developmental Biology. He graduate with an MSc in  Regenerative medicine from National university of Ireland Galway in 2015 where he worked on a project to model a rare form of familial retinitis pigmentosa using induced pluripotent stem(iPS) cells. He worked for fifteen months as a research scientist in Biotalentum, Hungary. In 2017 he stared his PhD as part of the Marie Skłodowska- Curie - International Training Network In3 project under the Supervision of Prof. Paul Jennings in the Molecular and Computation Toxicology division of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. His project focuses on the generation of a glomerular model from IPS cells and their application for nephrotoxicity testing.

In3 website