New recruits for Triple-A-COAT at KU Leuven
Three early career researchers have joined the Triple-A-COAT project, as PhD students recruited by each of the participating KU Leuven research groups MICA, SUSMAT and LOMAC.
Sander Casier (picture, left) started at the KU Leuven MICA group in September 2022, working on his PhD under the supervision of Prof Hans Steenackeers. Born and raised in Leuven, he knows the city well. He obtained his bachelor studies in bioscience engineering at KU Leuven, including a year in Lisbon via the Erasmus programme, and then did a master degree in cellular and genetic engineering back at KU Leuven.
In Triple-A-COAT, Sander will focus on antimicrobial activity of the functionalised nanocellulose. He also aims to acquire new insights into the 2-AI antibiofilm compounds that the MICA group discovered several years ago. Sander says “I’m excited to be part of this international consortium and look forward to collaborating on a sustainable solution for human pathogens.”
Pragya (picture, centre) has joined the KU Leuven SUSMAT group as a PhD student supervised by Prof Wim Thielemans. Pragya was born and brought up in Delhi, India. After secondary school, she started her bachelor studies in field of chemical engineering at University School of Chemical Technology, Delhi, followed by masters studies in Polymer Science and Engineering at IIT Roorkee. Pragya had also been to TU Dresden, Germany for her master thesis after earning the prestigious DAAD fellowship.
In Triple-A-COAT, Pragya is working on the functionalization of nanocellulose. She told us “I always want to do application-based research and I am glad to be a part of this international consortium where we are solving real world issues. This project is a great opportunity to grow professionally and to be a part of a dynamic and successful team.”
Banibrata Maiti (picture, right) is the new PhD student at Prof Erik Van der Eycken’s LOMAC lab at KU Leuven. He did his bachelors degree in Chemistry at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, part of Calcutta University in India. His masters studies were at IIT Kanpur, India during 2020-2022, where Banibrata worked in the chemical biology lab under the guidance of Dr. Dharmaraja Allimuthu.
Banibrata is passionate about organic synthesis with biological applications. In Triple-A-COAT, he will be working on the synthesis of the 2-AI compounds, ensuring their stability in the coatings and under different conditions. “I am passionate about organic synthesis with biological applications” Banibrata told us. “Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat. Our 2-AI compounds are an exciting new way to combat human pathogens without generating resistance. I am looking forward in working this project with other collaborators.”