Aniridia is a devastating ocular disease requiring intensive eye care, social and community support from birth and throughout an individual’s lifetime.

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Short Term Scientific Mission

ANIRIDIA-NET invites researchers to submit proposals for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM).

ANIRIDIA-NET #CA18116 COST Action invites researchers to submit proposals for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM). A Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) is an exclusive COST  tool offering the opportunity to conduct Action related activities at a participating host institution. All STSM specific aims and objectives must be aligned with the Action tasks as listed in the ANIRIDIA-NET Memorandum of Understanding. It is particularly useful for capacity building of Early Career Investigators (ECI) and those from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC).

STSM calls will be continuous for each grant period, and applications will be treated in a first come, first served basis, after checking the suitability of the applicant and their application.

Please check this space regularly for our open STSM Calls and the latest needs and requirements of our Action. Updates are also circulated through @AniridiaNet in Twitter and Linkedinn.

For more details, contact ANIRIDIA-NET STSM Manager: Prof Thomas RITTER (

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Dr. Gerard Boix Lemonche, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Udine (Italy), recently returned from a scientific mission in the research group of Prof. Petrovski at the Center for Eye Research of the University of Oslo, Norway. The purpose of this fruitful mission was for him to gain hands-on technical experience in the production of bioengineered 3D corneal scaffolds, as well as in the isolation of corneal stromal and limbal epithelial stem cells from leftover donor corneas. This training provided Dr. Boix Lemonche with the expertise for developing of 3D corneal models and stablished the basis for future collaborations among both participating institutions. This scientific mission was made possible thanks to Aniridia-net CA18116 COST action networking tools. Representative...

Elena Danielle, an MSc postgraduate at the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Italy) recently returned from a short scientific mission with the Skottman group at Tampere University (Finland) to share knowledge on primary limbal stem cell (LSC) culture and characterization techniques. During her visit, different LSC cultivation approaches were tested and compared to identify ABCG2-positive cells in primary limbal stem cells cultures obtained from fresh human as well as porcine corneas. These are the first experiments of a future research collaboration aiming to understand LSC behaviour under different conditions and to select highly regenerative cells for more effective LSC transplantation in aniridia patients. The picture shows Meri Vattulainen (front, PhD student at Skottman’s Lab), and Elena Danielle (behind) sharing knowledge on LSC...

Last December 2019, Arianne Van Velthoven, a phD student in stem-cell based regenerative medicine at Maastricht University (the Netherlands), returned from a scientific mission at Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto (Italy) under the supervision of Dr. Stefano Ferrari, where she has received intensive training in the know-how that allows for limbal cell transplant for the treatment of LSCD. This COST action #CA18116 scientific mission involved techniques such as: 3T3-J2 maintenance and irradiation, isolation and culturing of limbal cells from cadaveric samples, transplant preparation using fibrin glue gels and quality control assays (viability, life span, expression markers analysis, etc). This fruitful cooperation will enhance the research efforts being invested in the VISION project, a collaboration between the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine (Maastricht University), the University Eye Clinic Maastricht (MUMC+) and the...