Early Stage Researchers

Eric Invers Rubio


Eric obtained his BSc in Biomedical Engineering in Universitat de Barcelona in 2017, and two years later, in 2019, he got his MSc in Biomedical Engineering focused in Radiology and Medical Imaging in Belgium, in Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universiteit Gent. During his student years, he was able to participate in several research projects involving medical imaging data and radiology departments, such as during his MSc internship in Lima, Peru, and his MSc thesis in Brussels, Belgium, where he could learn about machine learning processes to perform image data analysis to quantify pulmonary ventilation in animal experiments. Nowadays, he is part of the Personalize AF network in Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer in Barcelona, Spain. During his years as part of this network, he hopes to develop a new method to quantify the degree of fibrosis in patients with atrial fibrillation by using MRI images in order to contribute to a better treatment for these patients.





Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

Being a member of the Personalize AF network is stimulating in the sense of being able to work along recognized researchers and learning from them in superb environment and conditions. I expect to develop myself by gaining skills both in my research field and other disciplines related to it. With all of this I hope to make a contribution in the improvement of the treatment of AF patients by using non-invasive techniques. I am looking forward to face the challenges I will come across these years in order to improve professionally and personally, as well as culturally enrich myself, and this is a brilliant opportunity to do so!


Ozan Fırat Özgül


Ozan Fırat Özgül has obtained his B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University (Turkey) and his M.Sc. from the Biomedical Engineering Department of KU Leuven (Belgium). His research interests lie primarily in biomedical signal processing and application of machine learning on biological data. Currently, he is working towards a Ph.D. at the Physiology Department of Maastricht University as a part of the PersonalizeAF program. During his doctoral studies, Ozan will develop a software package for non-invasive and personalized assessment of AF substrate complexity and long-term treatment outcome prediction. He is hoping to contribute to the Personalize AF project by proposing solutions to
challenging signal processing problems related to both invasive and non-invasive AF monitoring.

Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

It is a great privilege to be a member of the PersonalizeAF community which brings scientists from distinct but complementary domains together for a better understanding of atrial fibrillation and improving treatment strategies. The interdisciplinary structure of the
program enables viewing atrial fibrillation from all angles. This is a great opportunity to
interact with other scientists and comprehend domain-wide problems and solution

During my doctoral studies, I expect to provide solutions to challenging atrial fibrillation- related signal processing problems mainly related to non-invasive monitoring and wave mapping. I am also anticipating to equip myself with all the required skills for an academic career path with the help of the PersonalizeAF program’s self-improvement opportunities including summer schools and research activities

Teresa Schiatti


Teresa Schiatti received her B.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2018 from Padova University (Italy) and her M.Sc. degree in Cell and Tissue Engineering in 2020 from Keele University (UK). Her research interests are the overlapping issues between engineering and medicine in the cardiac field. She contributed to the development of a physical model for integrating optoelectronic scaffolds with optogenetics to investigate their effects on human stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte functionality. She is currently part of the Personalize AF network at the Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine in Freiburg (Germany). During the course of her project, she will investigate the functional heterocellular coupling between cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts in the context of atrial fibrillation. She hopes her work will contribute to finding new therapeutic strategies, and, eventually, translate interdisciplinary research into the clinical setting.




Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

I am thrilled to be part of Personalize AF network as it gives me the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers towards the same goal of improving the treatment for atrial fibrillation. During as well as after my Ph.D., I expect to contribute to advancing the field, by gaining more interdisciplinary knowledge as well as applying different facets of my background. Although I believe this to be a challenging project, I feel to be part of something bigger than myself, which can eventually make a difference in cardiac medicine. For this reason, I am looking forward to diving into this culturally and academically captivating adventure!

Cristian Barrios Espinosa


Cristian did a 5-year degree in Theoretical Mathematics at Universidad Sergio Arboleda in 2011 in Colombia. Later, he obtained his 6-year degree in Medicine at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 2014 also in Colombia.
Afterwards he worked for 3 and a half years at a health center of the Colombian Red Cross in Bogota. In 2018, he
won a full scholarship to study a master’s degree in Systems Biology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In this master, he learned to apply mathematical theories and computational methods to solve medical research questions. In his master thesis, he developed a patient-level Markov model to assess risk factors and clinical outcomes of atrial fibrillation.   
Currently, he is part of the Personalize AF project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He will develop a reentrant reaction-Eikonal model of atrial fibrillation to assess arrhythmogenicity in different patterns of fibrosis




Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

I am particularly excited about working in a multidisciplinary environment in the consortium of Personalize AF. At the same time, I am very lucky to be surrounded by experts in the field at KIT. Under these circumstances, I am looking forward to transforming my previously acquired knowledge to great contributions in science guided by my supervisors. Moreover, I am delighted with the idea of collaborating with other ESRs with different academic and professional backgrounds. I believe they will provide invaluable insights into my work.

Thomas Hutschalik


Thomas obtained his B.Sc. in Medical Engineering and M.Sc. in Biomedical Technologies from the University of Tübingen. Originally from Germany, he has had the opportunity to work at various international institutions during his career including the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the European Commissions Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety in Brussels. He most recently engaged in developing novel, high-throughput Organ-on-a-Chip systems used to advance pharmaceutical R&D and personalized medicine. His research focus has been utilizing his broad background in biomedicine and engineering to work on creative solutions for medical problems.

Thomas has joined PersonalizeAF working as a Ph.D. student at Ncardia in Leiden (NL) and is currently researching atrial cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells to be used as an in vitro disease model of atrial fibrillation.




Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

I look forward to working collaboratively, combining diverse fields like computer modelling, engineering and biomedicine to better our understanding and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). Contributing from the cell based side of the project, I aim to develop a reliable in vitro model to help research AF in general and by using human induced pluripotent stem cells open up the possibility for patient-specific approaches.

I hope to give my personal contribution in tackling AF as part of the PersonalizeAF ESRs, wherein I am especially excited to bridge the gap from academic research to industry implementation and work to connect private and public sector for patient benefit.

Narimane Gassa


Back in 2019, Narimane obtained her engineering degree in scientific computation and data sciences at the National Engineering School of Tunis in Tunisia. During her student years she has been introduced to both modeling and numerics, covering several aspects of computational mathematics. As she was mainly interested in the application of machine learning in medicine, she had a particularly intriguing internship at the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) in France where she worked on various statistical methods to define an effective target for deep brain stimulation.

Narimane has joined PersonalizeAF as a Ph.D student at University of Bordeaux where she will be working on developing new methods of diagnosis and prognosis of atrial arrhythmia.



Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

I’m looking forward to taking part of the european project PerosnalizeAF with great excitement as I will be able to work and collaborate with distinguished researchers, clinicians and professionals.

I would love to dedicate myself with commitment to this challenging project and I hope that I will contribute the best way I can to improve atrial fibrillation diagnosis and treatment.

By the end of my Ph.D I expect to develop myself by gaining more knowledge and insight into cardiology and I will have grown not only professionally but also personally as it’s an amazing opportunity to meet people with different backgrounds and explore new cultures.



Carlos Fambuena Santos


Carlos obtained his BSc in biomedical engineering at the Universitat Poliècnica de València (Spain) in 2017. Then, he moved to the Netheterlands to continue his studies also in
biomedical engineering at the University of Twente (The Netherlands) where he got his MSc degree. During his years as a student, he developed interest in different research fields like biomedical signal processing, machine learning and medical robotics. He also had the chance
to participate in projects related to all these disciplines like his bachelor thesis at the Bioelectronic group (GBIO) of the I3B institute and his MSc internship at the Biorobotics lab of the University of Delft. Currently, he is working at the Information and Communications Technologies Institute at the Universitat Poliècnica de València as part of the PersonalizeAF network. His research in this new stage will be focused on develop reliable post-processing algorithms to identify atrial fibrillation drivers in ECGI.



Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

Being part of the PersonalizeAF network is a new and exciting challenge that I am very glad to face. This project provides the opportunity to work collaboratively in a very enriching community of scientist coming from different fields and countries and pushing all together to get better diagnosis techniques and treatments for atrial fibrillation.
During my PhD I expect to bring a bit closer ECGI to the clinical practice, gaining new knowledge in the field and all the tools necessary to have a successful research career. This is why, in spite of all the difficulties that I will be finding in the way, I am really looking forward to
starting this new professional and personal adventure

Victor Gonçalves Marques


Victor G. Marques has a B.Sc. / M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the Federal University of ABC (Brazil). His Master’s work, financed by a grant from the São Paulo Research Foundation, was focused on the characterization of atrial arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, from a non-invasive perspective. Currently, he is enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, as part of the Personalize AF project, where he works with computer modeling of the heart and signal processing of atrial fibrillation. His main research interests are applying computational techniques to help enlighten the mechanisms driving cardiac arrhythmias, improving their diagnosis, and, eventually, leading to better therapeutic strategies


Goals and expectations in PersonalizeAF:

I am very excited to be a part of the PersonalizeAF project, which joins the efforts of some of the most relevant researchers and institutes in the field towards a common goal to improve the treatment of atrial fibrillation.

I expect to contribute to this goal with my project, improving the current knowledge of the arrhythmia and ablation strategies by using computer models and signal analysis. I also hope to develop myself personally and professionally during my Ph.D., enabling me to continue in this career path after the conclusion of the project and to continue my contributions to the scientific community.