Dr. Mara Saccomano

Postdoctoral Researcher



Mara comes from Udine (Italy) and studied Medical Biotechnology at the University of Trieste (Italy). During her studies, she did two internships in the Immunology Department of the University of Trieste, directed by Prof. Dr. Francesco Tedesco. She continued combining her studies in immunology with optical imaging: she first did an internship at the public-private company CBM scrl in Trieste (Italy) under the supervision of Stefania Biffi, where she investigated the role of β2-glycoprotein I (β2-GPI) in the antiphospholipid syndrome using a near infrared fluorescently labeled anti- β2-GPI antibody tracked by optical imaging. Then, she was selected to work within the FP7-People Marie Curie Action “P3AGI” project at the Experimental allergy group (Group leader: Dr. Michelle Epstein), Department of Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases of Medical University of Vienna (Austria), where she studied the development of asthma in animal models using fluorescently labeled probes and inflammatory cells by optical imaging. In September 2012, she started her PhD in Göttingen (Germany) at the Max-Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frauke Alves. Her PhD was funded by the FP7-ITN Marie Curie Action project “IonTrac”, focused on the role of ion channels and transport proteins in pancreatic cancer. In June 2016, she successfully defended her thesis dealing with the “Evaluation of new approaches for fluorescence-guided surgery and therapy of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) using orthotopic mouse models”. In September 2016, she was accepted for a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) at Elettra Sincrotrone (Italy) - SYRMEP beamline directed by Dr. Giuliana Tromba, where she used synchrotron radiation light for high resolution- virtual histology of PDAC tumor samples. In January 2017, she joined Percuros B.V. in Leiden (The Netherland) working in collaboration with the Translational Nanobiomaterials and Imaging (TNI) group (Group Leader: Luis J. Cruz), Radiology department of Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), as a postdoctoral research scientist funded by the H2020 RISE “PRISAR” project. The research aim of her project is using gold nanoparticles for computed tomography (CT) imaging of PDAC cancer using PDAC mouse models. By doing that, Mara is interested on developing a multimodal imaging approach, from optical to CT, to study the PDAC disease.


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 5266312

Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden

E-mail: M.Saccomano@lumc.nl