Seven doctoral students in biomedicine awarded the 2023 Pélican Grant

The 2023 Pélican grants have been awarded to seven PhD candidates from the University of Luxembourg and will cover travel expenses for their research stays abroad. 


The 2023 Pelican Grant awardees, from left: Carmen Lahr, Julia Ortis Sunyer, Najmesadat Seyedkatouli, Elena Valceschini (not pictured), Daniela Maria Vega Gutierrez, Ziyun Zhou, and Elisa Zuccoli.


Each year, the Fondation du Pélican, under the aegis of Fondation de Luxembourg, awards outstanding doctoral candidates affiliated with the Systems and Molecular Biomedicine programme of the Doctoral School in Science and Engineering (DSSE) at the University of Luxembourg with the “Pelican Grant”. This grant may be used for research expenses, covering costs for additional experiments or travel expenses to participate in conferences and training workshops, as well as to finance short-term stays abroad in the context of research collaborations.


In 2023, seven doctoral students were selected as Pelican Grant recipients:


  • Carmen Lahr

Doctorate Thesis: “Characterizing energetics of cell fate dynamics”.


With her grant, Carmen will participate in the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington and spend five months at the University of California.


  • Julia Ortis Sunyer

Doctorate Thesis: “Modelling of microbiome multiomics data to identify key effector molecules”.


With her grant, Julia will spend three months at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville, Tennessee.


  • Najmesadat Seyedkatouli

Doctorate Thesis: “Modeling the cellular and organismal consequences of deficient metabolite repair”.


With her grant, Najmesadat will attend courses at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, spend two months at Murdoch Children't Research Institute in Australia and participate in the annual Zebrafish Disease Models Conference.


  • Elena Valceschini

Doctorate Thesis: “Gene regulation of dopaminergic neuron differentiation”.


With her grant, Elena will visit Stockholm University and attend some courses at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.


  • Daniela Maria Vega Gutierrez

Doctorate Thesis: “Influence of metabolically rewired calcium signaling in melanoma on the immune response”.


With her grant, Daniela will spend three months at Saarland University, participate in workshops and courses at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.


  • Ziyun Zhou

Doctorate Thesis: “Diseases of ailing metabolism: analysing genetic etiology in murine aging populations”.


With her grant, Ziyun will spend three months at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW).


  • Elisa Zuccoli

Doctorate Thesis: “Development of small molecule compounds targeting altered autophagy in Parkinson’s disease specific microglia”.


With her grant, Elisa will attend a workshop on Microglia in Health at the European Molecular Biology Organization, participate in the Keystone Symposia on Neurodegenerative Diseases in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.


For more information :


Fondation de Luxembourg. All rights reserved