dr. M.A. Heinrich (Marcel)

About Me

Marcel's personal goal is to combine biology and chemistry with engineering strategies to develop novel models and create innovative treatments for cancer. 

In 2016, Marcel obtained his Masters degree cum laude from the University of Twente for which he was awarded the KNCV Golden Master Award 2016 from the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society for the best Master thesis in a (bio)chemistry related field in the Netherlands. His thesis focused on the development of a novel lipoxin-based therapy for pancreatic cancer.

During the graduation phase he was pre-doctoral research fellow at the Khademhosseini Lab at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA where he was able to gain additional experience in the field of 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. After his Masters he continued as a PhD student at the University of Twente working on a NWO/KWF funded project in the group of Jai Prakash. 

In 2022 he obtained the degree PhD cum laude. The main focus of his thesis was to design and develop novel 3D in vitro cell culture models using 3D biofabrication technologies such as spheroids or bioprinting to mimic the tumor microenvironment of glioblastoma multiforme and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. These models were used to study the cellular crosstalk between cancer cells and their environment in greater detail and to evaluate novel drug candidates. 

Currently Marcel works as a PostDoc at the University of Twente, continuing his work in novel 3D models. 


Medicine & Life Sciences
Biocompatible Materials
Tumor Microenvironment
Engineering & Materials Science


I am currently working on novel 3D in vitro models that are able to mimic the complex microenvironment found in different tumors, with a particular focus on fibrotic and immune suppressed conditions. The goal is to generate models that allow for the optimization and evaluation of novel drug candidates in a controlled laboratory environment before these candidates reach animal studies. In such way the amount of animals needed, the time as well as financial burden for drug development might be significantly reduced. I hereby use several different biofabrication techniques including spheroid/ organoid technologies, 3D bioprinting or organ-on-chip systems.


Pednekar, K. , Heinrich, M. A. , & Prakash, J. (2022). Role of Integrins in the Tumor Stroma. In J. Prakash (Ed.), The Tumor Stroma: Biology and Therapeutics https://doi.org/10.1201/9781003224921-7
Calejo, I. , Heinrich, M. A., Zambito, G., Mezzanotte, L. , Prakash, J. , & Teixeira, L. M. (2022). Advancing Tumor Microenvironment Research by Combining Organs-on-Chips and Biosensors. In D. Caballero, S. C. Kundu, & R. L. Reis (Eds.), Microfluidics and Biosensors in Cancer Research: Applications in Cancer Modeling and Theranostics (pp. 171-203). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 1379). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04039-9_7

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Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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