Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (XDF)

Programme Fellows

Analytically minded people with unique skillsets.

XDF Programme Fellows 2018

Following an international competition and Edinburgh Interviews held on the 15th & 24th of May, Programme Directors offered the first set of Cross-disciplinary Fellowships starting in 2018.

Recruitment was highly competitive with over 80 applicants from around the world and from a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines wishing to join the Programme. Due to the nature of the Programme and necessarily restricted financial resources only 6% of the candidates could be offered a position.

The Cross-disciplinary Fellows admitted to the XDF Programme in 2018 are: Dr Andrew Papanastasiou (background discipline: particle physics), Dr Chantriolnt-Andreas Kapourani (background discipline: computer science), Dr Mattia Marenda (background discipline: physics), Dr Ava Khamseh (background discipline: particle physics).


XDF programme fellows 2018
Dr. Andrew Papanastasiou (top left), Dr Chantriolnt-Andreas Kapourani (top right), Dr Mattia Marenda (bottom left), Dr Ava Khamseh (bottom right).


The XDF programme is unique in providing a well-structured training year, during which I can make the transition from physics to biomedicine and define the direction I want my future research to take. The way in which the programme is structured to ensure a cross-pollination of ideas between the IGMM and Informatics makes this a truly interdisciplinary position and one which I am hugely excited about working in.

I hope to gain biological knowledge and medical-application experience that, combined with my analytical and technical background, will enable me to become an expert in data-driven approaches to biomedical problems. Above all, my ambitions are that my research has direct and positive knock-on effects not only on the fundamental research performed at the IGMM, but importantly to also lead to more effective treatments for patients.

Dr Andrew PapanastasiouCross-Disciplinary Fellow

The IGMM is one of the biggest biomedical research establishments in the UK with high quality data and important biological questions. The diversity of IGMM, where experimental, clinical, and computational research groups are placed in the same building, creates a collaborative and supportive atmosphere, which I believe to be really important for my development as an XDF Post-Doc Fellow.

The XDF programme and partnership between the IGMM and the School of Informatics is extremely beneficial. It will allow me to establish collaborations with pioneers in both fields and work directly on pressing biological problems while at the same time developing computational models that can advance the field.

Being an XDF Fellow will provide me with a dynamic and challenging environment from which I can build a successful academic career.

Dr Chantriolnt-Andreas KapouraniCross-Disciplinary Fellow

The IGMM is an institute where biologists consider it necessary and important to work alongside physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists. This programme is a unique opportunity for a mathematically-minded scientist to direct his research on biomedical problems and people’s health.

My ambition is to become a complete interdisciplinary and independent scientist. I want to be able to combine theoretical, computational and experimental expertise to develop original projects directed to biomedical research.

Dr Mattia MarendaCross-Disciplinary Fellow

The XDF programme provides opportunities to train in biology via lectures and rotation projects, very important given that I come from a different background – I have a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics. The programme will allow me to learn how to apply quantitative skills from physics and mathematics to biology.

I particularly hope to train in cancer biology and learn how to apply mathematical and computation skills to real biological data.

Dr Ava KhamsehCross-Disciplinary Fellow