Mariia Saviuk

CRIG member
Mariia Saviuk

Doctoral fellow – Cell Death Investigation and Therapy Laboratory, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent
Principal investigator: prof. Dmitri Krysko (MD, PhD)


Research focus

Photodynamic therapy is a clinically approved, minimally invasive form of anticancer therapy which involves the administration of a photosensitizer, followed by irradiation with a light source leading to the generation of highly reactive oxygen species that kill tumor cells. Our research has enabled us to develop photodynamic therapy-based approaches to efficiently trigger ICD in several cancer cell types including glioblastoma and melanoma, to build and expand our expertise in orthotopic cancer intracranial and sub-cutaneous models and to develop dendritic cells’ based cancer immunotherapy. Within this line of research, the CDIT strives to develop combination strategies based on photodynamic therapy and nano- and bio-materials for the therapy of melanoma and glioblastoma. In addition, we aim to search for novel and more effective photosensitizers, that can induce ICD in cancer cells.


  • Mariia obtained a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences with greatest distinction and congratulations of the jury (summa cum laude) in 2022 at the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhniy Novgorod (Russia).
  • During the bachelor (2019) and master (2022), Mariia received several scholarships for experimental research work in “Cell Death Investigation and Therapy“ laboratory at the Department of Human Structure and Repair at UGent (Belgium).
  • In December 2022, she started a Ph.D. in the Cell Death Investigation and Therapy Laboratory (Ghent, Belgium) under the supervision of Prof. Dmitri Krysko.  


  • Scholarship of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation (Russia);
  • Prize winner of the competition for grants from the president of the Russian Federation to support individuals who have high achievements in the scientific field of activity (Russia);
  • Five awards for winning at the All-Russian Olympiad "I am a professional" – in the sections "Biology" (2019, 2020, 2021), "Biosecurity, Bioengineering and Bioinformatics" (2020, 2021) (Russia).

Key publications

  • ‘DC vaccines loaded with glioma cells killed by photodynamic therapy induce Th17 anti-tumor immunity and provide a four-gene signature for glioma prognosis’. Cell Death and Disease, 2023. (in press)
  • 'Unraveling of functional activity of primary hippocampal neuron-glial networks in photodynamic therapy based on tetracyanotetra(aryl)porphyrazines'. Cells, 2022. (PMID: 35406776)
  • ‘Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) in ischemic stroke and neurodegenerative disease’. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2021. (PMID: 34395432)
  • ‘Double-edged sword of vitamin D3 effects on primary neuronal cultures in hypoxic states’. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021. (PMID: 34063823)
  • ‘Neuroprotective effect of kinase inhibition in ischemic factor modeling in vitro’. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021. (PMID: 33672819)
  • ‘Signatures of the consolidated response of astrocytes to ischemic factors in vitro’. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021. (PMID: 33114758)
  • ‘Neuroprotective effect of HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibition in an in vitro hypoxia model’. Antioxidants, 2020. (PMID: 32722310)

Contact & links