Julia Fernández-Pérez received her BSc in Human Biology from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (Spain). She did her undergraduate research project at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) at Prof. Elisabeth Engel’s lab. She graduated from the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) where she obtained her MSc in Molecular Bioengineering. Her master thesis was undertaken at the Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden, under the supervision of Dr. Laura J Bray and Prof. Carsten Werner. Julia did her PhD at the Trinity Center for Biomedical Engineering in Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) under the supervision of Prof. Mark Ahearne. Her project aimed at developing alternatives to traditional corneal transplantation using tissue engineering approaches, focusing on the use of decellularized matrices.
Julia's current postdoctoral project is part of the RegMedXB consortium focusing on (cardio)vascular tissue engineering. Coronary diseases affect millions worldwide and are commonly treated with a bypass using autologous tissue, usually from the saphenous vein or the internal thoracic artery. These procedures may induce secondary site morbidity and are not always possible due to insufficient tissue availability. Currently developed tissue engineered grafts rely on lengthy culture periods, which are costly and not always off the shelf. It is for these reasons that in situ tissue engineering approaches are gaining interest. These scaffolds are intended to be implanted acellularly and encourage the body to repopulate and remodel them over time.