Derya Gunes

Derya G.

My name is Derya Gunes, I am from Berlin/Germany and I joined the EVIDENCE programme in June 2020.

I studied Medical Biotechnology and loved the interdisciplinary approach to it. For my Master's thesis, I moved to Vienna, so I looked for a PhD programme that combined interdisciplinary research with a multinational aspect.

Reason for joining

The EVIDENCE programme fulfils all that and more. With 15 early-stage researchers  working on different and sometimes overlapping work packages all over Europe, every PhD candidate has an individual and tailored learning experience. Secondments in the labs of the consortium partners in clinical, industrial and academic settings foster project-oriented scientific exchange.

Multiple training events during this programme show how Red Blood Cell research has its significance in academic, but also in non-academic research and not only form research experience but also show highlight multiple career directions as a researcher.

EVIDENCE - short for ''Erythrocytes properties and viability in dependence of flow and extra-cellular environment''- aims to explore the RBC's properties and behaviour in vivo in circulation combined with theoretical modelling, to construct a spleen-on-chip and dive into diagnostics of RBC-related diseases  to understand these unique cells.

In my project in Zwaag and Utrecht, in the Netherlands, I am working in an industrial (R&R Mechatronics) and an academic/clinical setting (UMC Utrecht).

My role is it e.g. to investigate oxidative stress in healthy RBCs and in those of patients with different disorders in terms of deformability and to measure the effect of anti-oxidative drugs on oxidative stress response damage. With the LoRRCa Ektacytometer I am able to measure that stress response and to see individual, patient-based results, providing a personalized medical approach on anaemic patients and their medication.


In being part of the EVIDENCE Innovative Training Network, I am looking forward to build meaningful connections throughout our research field, to connect findings and experience and, together, make important and exciting discoveries that will hopefully serve research, patients, clinicians and generations to come.

I believe that exchanging scientific ideas accelerates positive outcome and strengthens the group. On one hand we are individuals who work on their separate subprojects, on the other hand we are all working on the same overall scope in EVIDENCE. I hope that together, we will make that knowledge valuable and useful for humankind.

The international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral training sessions will give me insights into the different perspectives and applications of research and development.