The strength of the TheraMe! Consortium is its interdisciplinary expertise

Our team includes University Professors in Microfluidics, Bioinformatics and Clinical Oncology, as well as experts in entrepreneurship, business administration, physics and biomedical sciences.

Prof. Christoph A. Merten



Christoph is a Professor for biomedical microfluidics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL; in Lausanne, Switzerland. He also holds an adjunct position at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR).

In parallel to his academic career, Christoph has gained significant industry and entrepreneurship experience: He successfully commercialized microfluidic technology for genomic applications (e.g. licensed to Diagenode for the BioRuptor OneTM), collaborated with big pharma (including Roche and GSK) and worked for many years as a consultant. Furthermore, he is the scientific founder and CSO of Velabs Therapeutics (, an antibody discovery company that successfully secured 2 investment rounds within just one year and which is constantly growing and acquiring deals with large pharma industry.

Christoph holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry (directed evolution) from the University of Frankfurt and did postdoctoral studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK) and the Institute de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg, France. Before moving to Switzerland he lead a group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

Prof. Julio Saez-Rodriguez



Julio Saez-Rodriguez is Professor of Medical Bioinformatics and Data Analysis at the Faculty of Medicine of Heidelberg University, director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine, group leader of the EMBL-Heidelberg University Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit and a co-director of the DREAM challenges.

His research focuses on computational methods to understand and treat the deregulation of cellular networks in disease ( Towards this end he works with biomedical groups in academia and industry.

He holds a PhD (2007) in Chemical Engineering. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and M.I.T (2007- 2010), group leader at EMBL-EBI, Cambridge (2010-2015), and professor of Computational Biomedicine at RWTH Aachen (2015-2018).

Ramesh Utharala, MBA



Ramesh is a Project Leader for a startup grant by EXIST, BMWi, European Social Fund (ESF) and European Union, and currently working at European Molecular Biology (EMBL;, Germany.

In addition to his academic career, Ramesh has gained significant management and administration, and leadership skills through experience and education. His main expertise is developing microfluidic technologies and designing software for controlling the instruments. He holds several patents and published articles in peer-reviewed journals on the microfluidic-based technologies and personalized medicine. He is also technology consultant at Velabs Therapeutics (

Ramesh holds an M.B.A from Mannheim Business School, University of Mannheim (Mannheim, Germany) and did his Masters in Chemistry from Murray State University, (Kentucky, USA). He also had a degree in Pharmacy.

Prof. Federica Eduati



Federica is Assistant Professor in Systems Biology for Oncology at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e; in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Federica is an expert in personalized cancer therapies. Her approach combines both data science and experimental methods. She is the lead author of numerous articles in high-impact journals (including Nature Biotechnology, Cancer Research, Nature Communications, Molecular Systems Biology).

Federica holds a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Padova working on mathematical modeling of biological systems. She was then a interdisciplinary postdoc (EMBL EIPOD, co-funded Marie Curie fellowship) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), shared between the Systems Biomedicine group of Julio Saez-Rodriguez at EMBL-EBI (Cambridge, UK) and the microfluidics group of Christoph Merten at EMBL-HD (Heidelberg, Germany).

Prof. Dr. Med. Thorsten Cramer



Thorsten is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the TheraMe! Consortium, and a Professor for Molecular Tumor Biology at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Maastricht University (The Netherlands).

Thorsten is a board certified specialist in Internal Medicine involved in both clinical care of patients with cancer and basic research in tumor biology. The mechanisms that underlie both sensitivity and resistance to drug therapy of solid tumors are one important focus of his research group in Aachen. Thorsten’s group has been funded continuously in the past 15 years by the German Research Foundation, the German Cancer Aid and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Dr. Dipl.-Phys. Anna Grab



Anna is a physicist with over 10 years of international experience in biosensors, drug development for cancer patients, cellular biophysics, plasmonics and applied surface chemistry.

Research, management and communication skills cultivated across 5 different interdisciplinary and multisectoral research projects resulting in a phase I clinical trial and 10 peer-reviewed publications. Highly motivated, innovative and team player colleague. Eager to apply my scientific expertise and expand my management and communication skills to start a career in a fast-pace international environment in the industry sector.

Dr. Wenwei Ma



Wenwei is currently working as a postdoc at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. She has abundant experience of working in academia and industry in the field of In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD).

Wenwei holds a PhD degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Lincoln UK. Before moving to UK, she worked as a research scientist for Becton, Dickinson and company, developed the IVD device for determining Adeno and Flu virus. She has been successfully awarded the management certificates of six sigma (black belt), and ISO13485 training.

Dr. Vida Vafaizadeh



Vida is a post-doc at EMBL  working on the EXIST startup project. She is an expert in cancer biomarkers, cell signaling and mechanisms of drug resistance. 

She leads a project for in vivo validation of combinational cancer drugs selected by TheraME microfluidic platform. Besides her expertise in state-of-the-art laboratory techniques and project management, she had great opportunities to successfully collaborate and publish with leading cancer laboratories and could build a valuable scientific network.

Vida holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology (summa cum laude) from the Goethe University Frankfurt and obtained the best Ph.D. Award from the Georg Speyer Haus in Frankfurt and the Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Langen. After her Ph.D., she received a three years Start-Up grant from the LOEWE Center for Cell and Gene Therapy Frankfurt to lead a project for the genetic and epigenetic regulation of cancer stem cells in ER+ breast cancer. Later as a senior postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel, she has worked more on metastatic tumor models and studied tumor heterogeneity and cross talk of signaling pathways regulating the cell plasticity and cancer invasion and drug resistance. In addition, she obtained several international fellowships for visiting and collaborations with leading cancer labs in the USA and UK.