Young researchers

Peter Banda

Dr. Peter Banda is a research associate at the Bioinformatics Core facility at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg since 2015. Peter completed his first Ph.D. in Computer Science at Comenius University in 2014 exploring emergent behavior and symmetrical properties of cellular automata, and his second Ph.D. at Portland State University in 2015 where he focused on learning and adaptation in chemical reaction networks and DNA-strand displacement circuits. Since joining the LCSB, and transitioning to bioinformatics, he has been working extensively on developing a scalable data integration and analytic system (Ada), primarily designed for translational biomedicine. Peter is passionate about machine learning, especially time series prediction and classification, visual analytics, distributed streaming, and blockchain.

Besides his academic career, he worked as software architect and developer for several companies, including IBM (banking), Portland General Electric (smart grid), and Daimler (car factory mgmt).

Sara Becker

Sara Becker, MSc, is a PhD candidate at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. She received her Masters Degree in Neurocognitive Psychology at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. Her dissertation investigates clinical and structural biomarkers associated with cognitive impairment in non-demented Parkinson patients. Her current research focus in the Department of Neurology at the Universitätsklinikum Tübingen is on impairments in activities of daily living and how mild impairments may pose as a risk factor for Parkinson’s Disease dementia.

Cristina Guardia-Laguarta

Cristina Guardia-Laguarta, PhD, is a research associate scientist at Columbia University Medical Center, New York. She received her PhD in Neurosciences at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). As a postdoctoral research scientist in Dr. Przedborski’s lab her research work has been focused in understanding the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration in the context of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) pathogenesis. Mutations in proteins that cause PD are related to mitochondrial malfunction. Her studies are focused on the analysis of these proteins and how they affect mitochondrial function which may cause this neurodegeneration.

Javier Jarazo

Javier Jarazo is a research associate at the Developmental and Cellular Biology lab at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg. He recently obtained his PhD in the same lab studying the influence of the PINK1/Parkin pathway during the early stages of development. During his doctoral work he streamlined a method for gene editing as well as identified key pathways that are altered in Parkinson’s disease derived cells. He established a high content throughout pipeline for screening novel compounds, using an automated platform for enabling precision medicine in Parkinson’s disease.