Consortium members

Consortium members


The Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC)

is a leading international research center dedicated to understanding the basis of cardiovascular health and disease and to translating this knowledge into improved patient care.The center was founded in 1999 by the Ministry of Health and is located in the Instituto de Salud Carlos III campus in Madrid. The CNIC adopted its current form after a “relaunch” in 2006, made possible through a partnership between the Spanish government and the Pro CNIC Foundation, a panel of 14 leading Spanish companies and charitable foundations.

CNIC – c/ Melchor Fernandez Almagro 3. 28 029 Madrid. Spain

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Dr Miguel Torres graduated in Biology in the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in 1986 and obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid in 1991. His doctoral thesis in the laboratory of Lucas Sánchez (CIB-CSIC, Madrid), concentrated on the genetic analysis of sex determination in Drosophila. During his postdoctoral stay in the laboratory of Peter Gruss in the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen, Alemania 1992-96), he performed insertional and targeted mutagenesis in the mouse model, contributing to the understanding of mammalian organ and early embryo patterning. In 1996 he incorporated as an independent scientist to the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC, Madrid), where he started an internationally recognized group specialized in the study of transcriptional and signaling mechanisms in vertebrate organogenesis and tissue homeostasis. At the CNB Dr Torres directed the Immunology and Oncology Department from 2004 to 2006. In 2007 he joined CNIC, being the founding Director of the Cardiovascular Development Department (2007-2012), Director of the Cardiovascular Development and Repair Department (20012-2015) and CNIC Associate Director (2009-2012). Dr Torres is Coordinator del Fundamental and Systems Biology area at the Spanish National Evaluation and Foresight Agency (ANEP). The most relevant scientific contributions have been the formulation of a new pattern formation paradigm underlying vertebrate limb development and regeneration, the identification of the regulatory role of Meis genes in cardiovascular and hematopoietic development and the identification of Cell Competition as an endogenous cell selection mechanism in the early mammalian embryo. Currently the group investigates the relevance in cardiovascular development and repair of Cell Competition and Meis transcription factors.

CNIC – c/ Melchor Fernandez Almagro 3. 28 029 Madrid. Spain

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Borja Ibáñez holds a degree in medicine from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a PhD from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He completed his clinical fellowship in cardiology at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital in Madrid, during which he became interested in clinical research, working mainly with invasive imaging techniques for the study of the atherothrombotic disease. After completing his training in clinical cardiology, he made a training period of three years in basic research at Mount Sinai in New York. His doctoral thesis focused on the study of the ability of HDL-cholesterol to stabilize atheroma plaques and their assessment using non-invasive imaging tools. Since returning to Spain, he combines his scientific activity in the CNIC with clinical activity in the Fundación Jimenez Diaz University hospital. His passion is the study of myocardial diseases, with a clear translational vocation. His research ranges from the study of the mechanisms responsible for the development of myocardial diseases, to clinical trials to test therapies identified by his group in preclinical studies. His clinical activity consists mainly in coronary interventions of patients suffering an acute myocardial infarction. To perform this translational research, he uses noninvasive imaging technology, mainly magnetic resonance, also including the development of new imaging algorithms to improve the use both on research and clinical levels.

Acquifer ( was founded in 2012 as a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and five founding members from Heidelberg and Karlsruhe.

Since 2016 Acquifer is a division of Ditabis AG, Pforzheim. Acquifer integrates expertise for the development of assays, instruments and tools required for whole organism and cell based high content screening applications, and is strongly interlinked with a network of scientific and industrial partners. The company has specialized on services, developments and products centred on automated microscopy and other modern imaging technologies. This includes the development of the Imaging Machine, a novel high content screening platform, following a unique opto-mechanical design rendering it ideal for non-adherent motion sensitive samples or large specimen such as zebrafish. Additionally, ACQUIFER has developed the HIVE, a modular IT solutions for workflow optimization in data intensive biomedical research projects. Besides product development, ACQUIFER is carrying out research projects with an emphasis on methodology development for whole organism screening, in particular for zebrafish screening pipelines. The team members have a track record in the development of HCS technologies and the conduction of screening assays. The expertise covers most aspects of screening pipelines: assay development, laboratory automation, automated intelligent microscopy, data handling and image analysis, and data crosslinking and web-based sharing and publishing.

ACQUIFER AG – Freiburger Str. 3 ∙ 75179 Pforzheim

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Jochen Gehrig currently works as an Application Scientist at Acquifer. He received his Diploma in Biology at University of Karlsruhe in 2006 and his PhD in molecular biology in 2010 from the University of Birmingham, UK. In his PhD thesis, carried out in Ferenc Müllers’ laboratory, he was member of an interdisciplinary team designing and developing a zebrafish high throughput screening platform to study enhancer-promoter interaction specificities.

After his PhD, Jochen joined the team of Urban Liebel at the Screening Centre at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany to develop novel zebrafish screening assays and methodologies utilizing techniques such as high content screening and intelligent microscopy. He particularly focussed on developing workflows for automated high resolution imaging of zebrafish tissues and organs in a large scale.

Jochen joined Acquifer in 2012 focusing on designing and implementing automated screening assays for whole organism and cellular systems. He is developing tools and workflows enabling complex screening protocols. Furthermore, he closely works with hard- and software development to benchmark and guide new developments, provides application support to the sales team and customers and is supervising scientific projects of Acquifer.

Leica Microsystems’ Life Science Division supports the imaging needs of the scientific community with advanced innovation

and technical expertise for the visualization, measurement and analysis of microstructures. The company is represented in over 100 countries with 12 manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries and an international network of dealers.

Leica has developed an adaptation to the TCS SP8 confocal for light sheet microscopy. This allows imaging of tissues and organs in vivo at high speed and cellular and to some extent at subcellular resolution.

Head Application Development

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Leica Microsystems CMS GmbH I GmbH mit Sitz in Wetzlar I Amtsgericht Wetzlar HRB 2432

Am Friedensplatz 3

D-68165 Mannheim (Gemany)

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Petra Haas studied Biology at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Massachusetts. In 2003, she moved to the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen to study collective migration in the Zebrafish lateral line. She finished her PhD in 2007 at EMBL in Heidelberg and continued working on fish development, now using Medaka as a model organism. After one year as Technical Support Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, she joined Leica Microsystems in 2012 as Product Manager for Confocal Software and the Digital LightSheet (DLS).


The laboratory of Dr. Julien Vermot is located at the IGBMC,

one of the leading centers of biomedical research in Europe. It involves the Inserm, CNRS and the University of Strasbourg. The institute aims to develop interdisciplinary research at the interface of biology, biochemistry, physics and medicine. The IGBMC provides one of the premier research environments in France, in terms of infrastructure and expertise, in which to carry out a program combining live imaging of highly dynamic samples and omics type approaches, such as high throughput drug screening and mRNA sequencing. Importantly for this proposal, the Cellular Imaging Platform at the IGBMC offers state-of-the-art imaging for advanced quantitative fluorescence microscopy as well as correlative EM microscopy and image processing, data management and calculation cluster for data analysis. Furthermore, a strong biophysics community is emerging, making it an excellent scientific environment for PhD students.

IGBMC , 1 rue Laurent Fries 67404 Illkirch, France

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Julien Vermot obtained his PhD in developmental biology from the University of Strasbourg in 2003, where he worked on the role of retinoic acid during embryonic development. He then worked as a visiting scientist the Stowers Institute for Biomedical Research in Kansas City, USA, followed by a post-doctoral position at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena where he developed new tools to study the role of mechanical forces during development. He is now a group leader in the department of stem cells and development at the IGBMC of Strasbourg. For his research, he has won numerous prizes, including selection for the EMBO Young Investigator program (YIP), the Career Development Award from the HFSP and the ERC Consolidator Grant.


The ​CNRS Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences

( at Ecole Polytechnique is located in the Paris area and gathers a very interdisciplinary group of researchers and scientific projects. The Laboratory employs at a single site researchers with expertise in molecular, cellular biology and developmental biology, in optics and femtosecond dynamics as well as in computer science and image processing. A major axis of the lab activity is to develop novel imaging approaches to probe cell activity inside intact tissue using advanced nonlinear/multiphoton and light-sheet microscopy.

Ecole Polytechnique, Lab for Optics and Biosciences, CNRS UMR7645 – INSERM U1182, Palaiseau, France

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Willy Supatto is an expert on two-photon light-sheet microscopy and multiphoton microscopy for imaging embryos and multicolour two-photon light sheet microscopy. His research focuses on cilia driven fluid flow imaging and quantitative analysis of morphogenetic movements. Recently, he has also established protocols for tracing stem cells during organ regeneration in the living zebrafish.


The vision of the University of Bern can be summed up in three words:

Knowledge generates value. The University of Bern is a top-class performer in research areas that are of great social and scientific importance. It is a full university offering the best conditions for inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary research of the highest level. The targeted promotion of young researchers is a key priority and state-of-the-art conditions have been created to facilitate an academic career. The campus at which the Institute of Anatomy is located allows an easy access to all infrastructures and the use of services from different Institutes such as Cell Biology, Immunology or Vetsuisse Institutes. An ideal access to Microscopes is guaranteed through the MIC-Bern platform. Interaction with cardiovascular research groups is promoted through the Cardiovascular Research Cluster.

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Nadia Mercader Huber received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH,Zurich) in 1998, and was awarded her PhD in Molecular Biology by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, in 2003. The subject of her doctoral studies, carried out in Miguel Torres’s laboratory (CNB-CSIC), was the role of Meis genes during proximodistal vertebrate limb development. After her PhD, she continued her study of the function of Meis genes during limb regeneration in urodeles. These studies were performed in Miguel Torres’s laboratory (CNB-CSIC) and in Elly Tanaka’s laboratory (Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany). During her postdoc with Carl Neumann at the EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany), Nadia Mercader Huber studied early events in limb induction using zebrafish as a model organism. Next, she joined the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares CNIC (Madrid, Spain) in 2007 as a Junior group leader. During that time, her group investigated the mechanisms of cardiac regeneration and the development of the epicardial layer using the zebrafish as an animal model. In 2013 she was awarded an ERC starting grant to study the mechanisms of cardiac regeneration in the zebrafish. In 2014 she was promoted to Assistant Professor. Since August 2015, Nadia Mercader holds a professorship at the Institute of Anatomy and is visiting professor at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares CNIC.


Philips Healthcare (PH) is one of the Product Divisions (PD) of Royal Philips Electronics.

In the field of Magnetic Resonance Philips Healthcare is at the edge of the technology since 1982. From this early stages Philips is in the cutting edge of the Magnetic Resonance technology providing high quality MR scanners. During this period PH has become a leader in cardiac MR with the inclusion of very advance acquisition methods to perform 3D acquisitions of the cardiac muscle in a single breath hold and providing the higher gradient strength in the market.

Philips Healthcare Iberia has experience in the development of new acquisition and quantification procedures as well as in image post-processing to obtain quantitative information of the MR data. PH is going to lead the technological aspects of MR imaging for better characterization of the infarct and the follow up of the regeneration treatment.  Philips Healthcare has been involved in other European Projects related with cardiac disease such as EUHeart or CareMI.

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Clinical Scientist, Philips Iberia
C\María de Portugal, 1, 28050 Madrid (Spain)


Bitplane AG develops interactive visualization and analysis software.

The company focuses on 3D and 4D imaging shapes for the processes of microscopic images. Bitplane was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland

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Chief Technology Officer at Bitplane AG

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid UAM Spain Rafael Garesse Training
ANDOR-BITPLANE Oxford Instruments BITPLANE Switzerland R&D Department Peter Majer Recruitment, Training through research, specialized training courses
Universidad Carlos III UC3M Spain Jorge Ripoll Training
Ecole Polytechnique I'X France Alexandra Belus Training
Université de Strasbourg France Catherine Florentz Training
IDIAP Research Institute IDIAP Switzerland Michael Liebling Hosting secondment
Instituto de Empresa IE Spain Krysta Martínez Provider of specialized training courses
Juan Sarasua JS Belgium Juan Sarasua Provider of specialized training courses