Our ESIT PhD students presenting themselves and their projects


Jorge Simoes
Project 1

Project 1 hosted by the University of Regensburg: "Tinnitus profiling to guide personalized therapeutic decision- diagnosis improved with large-scale, longitudinal data"

After acquiring my Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the Free University of Amsterdam, I worked at the Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department of the Free University Medical Center in Amsterdam as a research assistant. Currently I am a PhD candidate at the Tinnitus Clinic from the University Hospital Regensburg under the supervision Prof. Dr. Berthold Langguth and Dr. Winfried Schlee. My PhD is entitled “Tinnitus profiling to guide personalized therapeutic decisions - diagnosis improved with large- scale, longitudinal data”, and my aim is to better understand the heterogeneity of tinnitus and implement the insights from his research into the clinical setting.







Eleni Genitsaridi
Project 2

Project 2 hosted by the University of Nottingham: "Harmonizing scientific and clinical perspectives on tinnitus subtypes and measures: synthesizing evidence and expert opinion"

My name is Eleni Genitsaridi and I was born in 1988 in Heraklion in Greece. I have a medical degree and a masters in Neuroscience, both awarded by the School of Medicine at the University of Crete. Also, I have 3 years of clinical experience as an ENT trainee. For my master, I applied computational methods to model and investigate the properties of the olfactory bulb. During my clinical practice, I interacted with many patients and gained experience in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of ENT conditions. On September 2017 I started my PhD at the University of Nottingham and my project focuses on characterising tinnitus subtypes.






Roshni Biswas
Project 3

Project 3 hosted by Instituto Ricerche Pharmacologiche Mario Negri Milano: "A coherent European Epidemiological survey of Tinnitus"

I obtained my medical degree from India and worked as a clinician for some time. In 2013, I moved to the US to pursue a Master’s program in Epidemiology. In my four years there, I worked in infectious disease research-mostly on HIV risk and quality of care related studies. Currently I am working at the Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy and getting a PhD from the University of Nottingham. For my PhD project, I will try to understand tinnitus epidemiology in Europe and identify various risk factors, particularly lifestyle related risk factors, associated with tinnitus.








Natalia Trpchevska
Project 4

Project 4 hosted by Karonlinska Institutet Stockholm: "Investigation of the environmental and genetics risk factors for tinnitus"

I was born in Skopje, Macedonia. In 2016 I graduated at the Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. As a medical student I had the opportunity to work in a state–of-the-art OB/GYN hospital “D-r Shterev” in Sofia, specialized in in vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive techniques, for 6 years. During my work at the hospital I developed a keen interest in human genetics. Hence, in 2016 I started my work and specialty training as a medical doctor in the Department of Medical Genetics and the National Genetic Laboratory of Bulgaria, with primary focus on postnatal cytogenetics and molecular genetics, as well as prenatal diagnostic and screening. As of September 2017 I am enrolled in the ESIT project as a PhD student at Karolinska Institutet working on the investigation of the genetics and environmental risk factor for tinnitus.

The project will start exploring the known environmental risk factors associated with tinnitus in a systematic review as well as we will further go into investigating rare genetic variants, incorporating a very high-resolution method of Whole Exome Sequencing.
Understanding the risk factors for tinnitus will give a comprehensive overview of the current information as well as clarify current gaps in knowledge. The ESR’s project aims at establishing the molecular basis of tinnitus and providing evaluation of environmental and genetic risk factors that will help to potentially identify the first genetic rare variants associated with tinnitus. The interpretation of the molecular pathways will serve as a basis for drug development with hopes to provide a personalized treatment and a cure for tinnitus.




Sana Amanat
Project 5

Project 5 hosted by the University of Granada: "Genetic Contribution to Chronic Tinnitus in Patients with Meniere’s Disease Tinnitus Extreme Phenotype"

My name is Sana Amanat Ali. I did my Masters in Computer Science at University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore, Pakistan. My Master thesis was “Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Videos for Efficient Video Retrieval”. My areas of interest are Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and Bioinformatics. Moreover; I also got a chance to work on heterogeneous format of biological data, at Bioinformatics Lab, Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science, UET. Now I am working as PhD student at Otology and Neurotology Group CTS495, Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (GenYo) Pfizer- University of Granada-Junta de Andalucia, Granada, Spain.

Inside this project we will design and implement algorithms to find out rare variants enriched in extreme tinnitus phenotype. The goal will be to analyse those variants in Meniesre's Disease patients with or without tinnitus to identify driver genes in tinnitus generation. We will use these genes to generate molecular networks for tinnitus.






Kushal Agrawal
Project 6

Project 6 hosted by Ulm University: "The Development of a generic framework for mobile data sensing and mobile patient intervention"


I did my Bachelors in Business Administration with IT Management (honors) and my Masters of Science in Information Systems from WU Wien where I finished among top 15% students. I specialized in IS Processes and Service Management and published an IEEE article with some of my colleagues. My Master thesis based on an empirical investigation of Cloud ERP adoption among the SMEs and was graded with the best grade.

During my interdisciplinary career I participated in multiple competitions and projects and also received awards and scholarships for my work. Furthermore, I gained industrial experience by working in different industries in India and Austria. Presently, I pursue my Doctorate at Ulm University, and I am also involved in lectures, seminars and practical projects of my institute. My project PhD title is “Incentive Management in the context of Tinnitus Patient Treatments by the use of Mobile Crowdsensing Technologies.






Muntazir Mehdi
Project 7

Project 7 hosted by Ulm University: "The Development of generic, robust and flexible middleware for real-time measurements of tinnitus-related parameters as well as electroencephalographic and physical activities"










José Lopez-Santacruz
Project 8

Project 8 hosted by University of Groningen: "Personalized hearing aid amplification to ameliorate tinnitus"

My name is Jose López Santacruz. I was born in Córdoba, Spain. I received my M.Sc. degree in Telecommunication Engineering at the University of Málaga (UMA) in 2014. From 2015 to 2017, I worked for the Application of Information and Communications Technologies (ATIC) research group, at the Communications Engineering department of the UMA. My research was focused on signal processing of the singing voice and its applications. At the beginning of 2017, I was awarded a 3 months mobility grant for visiting the center for Music In the Brain (MiB) in Aarhus, Denmark. There, I collaborated in several projects of EEG and MEG measuring on continuous music listening under the supervision of Pr. Elvira Brattico. I'm doing my PhD at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands, where I'm working on personalized hearing aids to ameliorate patients' tinnitus.







Matheus Pereira da Cruz Gomez Lourenco
Project 9

Project 9 hosted by Maastricht University: "What for whom? Personalized cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) treatment for patients with chronic bothersome tinnitus"

My name is Matheus P. C. G. Lourenco. I was born in 1989 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2011 I graduated with a Bachelor in Psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. In Lisbon, Portugal, I completed my master in health psychology at ISPA - Instituto Universitario. As a master student my clinical internship focused on psycho-oncology at the Instituto Portugues de Oncologia, while my thesis focused on psychometric properties of a self-report assessment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Currently, as part of the ESIT program, my research focuses on cognitive behavioral treatment components for tinnitus care as well as its theoretical underpinnings

The three main goals of the project are first  to develop a reliable test for identifying the tinnitus pitch. Second is to test three different approaches for hearing aid fitting in patients with tinnitus, according to their tinnitus pitch, and the last goal is to relate the treatment success to individual patient characteristics.
As a result of the project, a tinnitus pitch matching scheme and a guideline for fitting hearing aids in tinnitus patients will be developed. 






Constanze Riha
Project 10

Project 10 hosted by University of Zurich: "Developing individual tomographic neurofeedback protocols for tinnitus treatment"

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, I have developed a passion for interdisciplinary approaches to work on the challenges of tinnitus. As part of my PhD studies under Dr. Martin Meyer at the University of Zürich, I will focus on personalized tinnitus treatment based on neurofeedback, using EEG activity of the auditory cortex. I did a MSc in Neurobiology, Cognition- and Behavioural Science, and got a Bachelor of Anthropology from the University of Vienna. Prior to my doctoral studies as part of the ESIT program, I worked as a clinical study coordinator in a phase I Parkinson’s Disease vaccination study for five years.








Nuwan Liyanage
Project 11

Project 11 hosted by University of Zurich: "Improving cochlear implantation as a treatment for chronic tinnitus"

Being fascinated by the mechanisms of the human body as a whole, Nuwan always wanted to specialize in an area where he can apply his knowledge to resolve problems in the medical field. After graduating with an Electrical and Electronic Engineering bachelor’s degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, he moved to Europe following his dream. Being driven by passion, he successfully completed his Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium. From November 2017 onwards, he has been working as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow in the ESIT program. He started his Ph.D. at University of Zurich, Switzerland with Prof. Dr. Tobias Kleinjung, Prof. Dr. Alexander Huber, Dr. Flurin Pfiffner, other engineers and clinicians. He is working on Cochlear Implants (CI) as a treatment for tinnitus patients and the development of a fully implantable CI. In his free time, Nuwan loves to play chess, play guitar, read books and travel.

The laboratory “Otology and Biomechanics of Hearing” has started the development of an intra-cochlear acoustic microphone for implantation in the inner ear that can be used for totally implantable CIs. This Ph.D. project focuses on designing, undertaking and analyzing information from controlled laboratory-based investigations that will build the basis for future optimized intra-cochlear acoustic microphone prototypes.
As one of the most efficient treatments for chronic tinnitus with accompanying single sided and bilateral deafness, this next generation of CIs could be a treatment option for the patients.




Marta Partyka
Project 12

Project 12 hosted by Paris-Lodron University Salzburg: "Ongoing modulatory effects of transcranial electric stimulation on induced brain activity in persons with normal hearing and tinnitus"

I obtained my first Master degree in Psychology at the SWPS University in Warsaw, where I investigated changes of neurophysiological correlates of face perception in romantic relationships.
Previously as a Master in Neuropsychology and Neuroscience student at University Lyon 2 the Centre de Recherche en Neuroscience de Lyon, I studied the influence of auditory attention on otoacoustic emission measures.
As a PhD student at University of Salzburg, I investigate brain activity in tinnitus patients and neurophysiological correlates of tinnitus perception based on ideas from predictive coding. Our project aims to explore ongoing modulations of targeted activity by transcranial electric stimulation.







Stefan Schoisswohl
Project 13

Project 13 hosted by the University of Regensburg: "Activate and fire: Pairing auditory stimulation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulationfor the treatment of tinnitus"

I was born and raised in Austria and graduated from the University of Salzburg in Psychology with a specialization in “Cognition & Brain”. For my master thesis, I investigated the impact of different non-invasive brain stimulation techniques on sleep and procedural memory consolidation. As part of ESIT, I work at the Tinnitus Clinic at the University of Regensburg supervised by PD Dr. Martin Schecklmann and Prof. Dr. Berthold Langguth. For my PhD, my main interests focus on the neurophysiological and tinnitus-suppressing effects of different acoustic and non-invasive brain stimulation methods, as well as the combination of both. The current working title of my PhD thesis is “Activate & Fire”.








Shikha Spencer
Project 14

Project 14 hosted by Medical University Lodz: "Optimizating extra-cochlear electrical stimulations in tinnitus treatment"

Shikha Spencer is a physiotherapist specialised in neurological rehabilitation. After her graduation studies in India, she was selected for her post-graduation studies in Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 2013. Her passion is bringing healing to people who have been through stressful experience due to neurological and ENT problems using rehabilitation techniques, electrical and magnetic stimulation therapy. Currently she is an ESIT research student at the Medical University of Lodz, Poland under the supervision of Dr. Marzena Mielczarek. Her PhD is about finding best parameters for electrical ear stimulation to treat tinnitus.








Vinay Parameshwarappa
Project 15

Project 15 hosted by Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Marseille: "Developing new strategies of cochlear electric stimulation to suppress tinnitus"

My name is Vinay Parameshwarappa, born on the 3rd of March 1990 in Karnataka, India. I received my Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) degree in Biomedical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka, India, in 2013. My passion towards this field of engineering pushed me further to continue my education in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Imaging and Diagnostics at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. Received my Master of Science (MSc) degree from University of Twente on 26 August, 2016. At Twente, my research was focused on biomedical optics, photoacoustic & ultrasound imaging and image & signal processing. I did my master thesis at Biomedical Photonic Imaging Group (BMPI), MIRA, The Netherlands on the thesis entitled,” Real-time multispectral photoacoustic needle: phantom and ex-vivo tissue studies”. My thesis was focused on design and development of minimal invasive photoacoustic needle instrumentation for real-time guidance of interventional procedures. Results of this work lead to a scientific journal paper and conference proceedings. After my Master’s, I worked at BMPI, The Netherlands as a Researcher, focusing my research on further developing the photoacoustic needle instrumentation for its applications in liver oncology. I started my PhD from November 2017 at Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France under the supervision of Dr. Arnaud Norena. My project at CNRS aims to develop new strategies for extra cochlear electric stimulation to suppress tinnitus.