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The University of Southampton
OLIGOMED - Oligonucleotides for medical applications

ESR Project 15, University of Udine (IT)

Molecular approach for mRNA profiling of antisense ONs in Huntington disease and cancer cellular models

ESR15 Mara Equisoain Redin
Mara Equisoain Redin

Mara Equisoain Redín obtained her double degree in Biology and Environmental Sciences at the University of Navarra (Spain).

During her undergraduate years, she did different internships. At Navarra Biomed Research Centre (Spain), she collaborated in the study of protein expression in neurodegenerative diseases, and at NASERTIC company (Spain) she performed molecular analysis in the animal and human field becoming familiar with DNA sequencing techniques.

In her Erasmus exchange year at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), she had the opportunity to do her Final Degree Thesis in the Department of Microbial Biotechnology. There, she studied the antimicrobial properties of surfaces coated with C-based nanoparticles.

Subsequently, she studied a Master´s Degree in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at the Open University of Barcelona (Spain). As part of her Final Master’s Thesis, she investigated possible treatments against the SARS-CoV-2 virus by performing an in silico screening of a nutraceutical library by molecular docking.

Mara is also finishing a Master´s Degree in Biological Education from the European University of Madrid (Spain).


Host institution University of Udine, Department of Medicine, Udine, Italy
Supervisor Dr. Carlo Vascotto
Co-Supervisors  Prof. Annemieke Madder, University of Gent, Belgium (Academic)
Dr. Krzysztof Kucharczyk, BioVectis, Wasrsaw, Poland (Industrial)


Project description

The aim of this ESR PhD project will be mainly focused on the characterization of the biological effects of ONs using different cellular models. In particular, we plan to evaluate how antisense oligonucleotides affect gene expression by performing gene array and pathway analysis. During secondments in partner organizations the students will validate the pathways activated in response to ONs treatment and extend his/her knowledge on gene ontology analysis.

During secondments in partner organizations the students will extend his/her knowledge on the effect of ONs derivatization and modification on RNA transcription or translation.



This project is carried out in strong collaboration with the following groups:

Host laboratory

Research activities in the group of Dr. Vascotto are focused on the study of DNA repair mechanisms, mitochondrial RNA degradation processes, and the role of mitochondria in tumour progression and resistance. The laboratory has full access to laboratories for handling mammalian cell cultures and primary human cells under normal and hypoxic conditions; flow cytometry facility; microscopy facility equipped with state of the art microscopes for confocal and nanoscope analyses, and in vivo fluorescence microscopy; instruments for monitoring cell parameters (e.g. viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial respiration, and more).

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