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My name is Sandra Crnko and I come from Rijeka, Croatia. There, I completed my high school education at the First Croatian Gymnasium in Sušak, language track. Although the focus of my track was more on languages and social sciences, from the very start I showed affinity to biology and chemistry. Therefore, in 2010 I enrolled in my Bachelor’s at the University of Rijeka where I studied Biotechnology and Drug Research. In 2015, I completed my Master’s degree Biotechnology in Medicine summa cum laude at the same University. I did the master’s research internship at the University of Copenhagen, Center for Glycomics, at the lab of prof. dr. Henrik Clausen.

In 2016, I moved to the Netherlands to start my PhD training in the Experimental Cardiology group (Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht) under the supervision of assoc. prof. dr. Linda van Laake, prof. Joost Sluijter, and prof. dr. Pieter Doevendans. My research mainly focused on circadian rhythms and heart failure, but also on stem cells, cardiac fibrosis, and development of the 3D in vitro cellular models. I worked with patient-derived data and material (CardioMEMS HF readouts and blood samples, respectively), as well as with more fundamental research techniques (e.g. 2D/3D cell culture and qPCR, among many others). 

During my PhD, I supervised many Master's and Bachelor's students doing their internships, and very much enjoyed working with them. Therefore, I decided to continue my career as a teacher-researcher at the Bachelor Research Hub, where I am still staying current with the advances in the scientific world through the diverse projects conducted by the students.

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