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I am currently doing my PhD in the Lab of Peter Carmeliet at Center for Cancer Biology CCB, VIB/ KULeuven. My research focus is to investigate the role of the serine synthesis pathway in endothelial cells and blood vessel formation. In the past, I worked in the field of Neuroscience and Synthetic Biology before and won a prize for the ‘Best Mathematical Model’ at iGEM, the world championship in Synthetic Biology held at MIT, Boston, USA. Since I enjoy all aspects of (medical) science, I decided to switch fields and enrich my scientific background with more business accumen, for which I have attended the BioBusiness School in Amsterdam. As a real planner, I love to manage several research projects and take results-focused initiative. In my free time, I am the President of Toastmasters Leuven, in which I follow the Public Speaking, Mentoring and Leadership Program. 


Current Experience

  • President
    Since April 2017
    President of a Belgian Toastmaster's club with over 40 members. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is more than 332,000 memberships. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 15,400 clubs in 135 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations. We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. Quote from Martin Jugmans, Toastmaster: "Saar was voted our new president for the next year. Unfortunately she could not attend a special TM meeting which was held outdoors set in beautiful surroundings. So she sent a short speech on video with a positive message. It assured me she was fully on board and ready to tackle the challenge of being the new President of the club. It was a considerate gesture and an example of the kind of positive leadership we can expect."

  • PhD'er Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium
    Since October 2014
    Promotors: prof. Mieke Dewerchin & Peter Carmeliet FWO Fellowship Aspirant SEP 2014- JUN 2018 Doctoral thesis in the field of cardiovascular metabolism and its link with cancer development.

Past Experience

  • Scientific research stay at Matthew Vander Heiden Lab
    October 2016 --- November 2016

  • Vice President Education Toastmasters Fonske
    June 2015 --- January 2016
    I have been Vice President Education at the Toastmaster's club Fonske Leuven from 2016-2017, in which I am improving my leadership skills together with public speaking. In december 2016, I obtained my Competent Leadership Certificate and Competent Communicator Certificate.

  • Master student
    August 2013 --- June 2014
    Fishing for the mechanisms underlying epilepsy: Hyperthermia and brain lesion induced seizuresin zebrafish larvae.

  • Head hostess at KUL Host Group
    September 2011 --- June 2014
    Active as hostess considering to direct several protocol events, such as: the official opening of the academic year, celebration of the Patron, retirements and honorary doctorates,…

  • International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) world championship
    January 2013 --- December 2013
    iGEM is currently the most prestigious synthetic biology competition worldwide for and by students. iGEM’s fame has grown and teams come from all over the world. In October 2013 we proposed our project during the European preselections in Lyon and after winning a golden medal, we could participate in November, 2013 at the world championship in MIT, Boston. There we won a prize for the Best Model award: a prize for the best mathematical model and computer simulations of the devised biological system. Summary of E.coligy: Plants with BanAphids Since the world population keeps on growing and all people need to be fed, it’s important that crop yields are optimised. Different factors ranging from weather to diseases and pests have a huge impact on food supplies worldwide. An example of one of these factors are aphid pests, these can lead to yield losses worth hundreds of millions of euros! Aphids leech on plants everywhere: ranging from crop fields to fruit trees and even in vegetable and flower gardens. Farmers try to control them by using insecticides, but these harm the environment and aphids can become resistant to them quite readily. This is why we, the KU Leuven iGEM 2013 team, created an ecological insecticide-free aphid controlling mechanism, which mimics natural signalling systems used by both plants and insects.

  • Student-researcher, department HUMAN++, cell in vitro/in vivo
    July 2012 --- August 2012
    Active as student-researcher in Dries Braeken’s team, requested by prof. G. Callewaert. In vitro: mounting of primary cell cultures, heart cell recording, patch-clamping, confocal microscope imaging. In vivo: electrical brain stimulation and microrecording


Self Assessment :
ProactivityCommunicativeFlexibilityCollaborationCreative thinkingProblem solvingResult OrientedAnalytical thinking


Self Assessment :
Life SciencesPhases of clinical development (phase I to IV)oncologyCardiovascular diseasesMetabolism
LinkedIn Assessment :
Researchmolecular biologyConfocal MicroscopyCell CultureNeuroscienceCell biologyScientific WritingMicroscopyLifesciencesscienceEnglishDigital ImagingLife SciencesPublic SpeakingRepresentative for the bachelor Biomedical Sciences KULAK (2009-2011)Strong organisation capabilities

Skills and Expertise

Self Assessment :
Solve problemsLead teams


  • BioBusiness School focused on Life Science in Business/Commerce, General from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam) in 2017
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences in Master Thesis student at NERF, imec from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 2014
  • Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences in from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 2012
  • Magna cum laude in ASO, Latin-Sciences from Sint-Janscollege Poperinge in 2009

Training and Certification

  • Electronic Laboratory Notebook Training in 2015 Training
  • Scientific Integrity training in 2015 Training
  • Radiation Protection Training in 2014 Training
  • First Aid & Bandage skills in 2011 Certification
  • Active Learning and Listening Certification
  • Competent Leader Certificate Certification
  • Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials Certification
  • Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Association (FELASA B) (Laboratory Animal Science) Certification
  • First Aid & Bandage skills- Instrumental Technical Skills Certification
  • Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management Certification
  • Introduction to Corporate Finance Certification
  • Introduction to leadership for PhD students Certification
  • Introduction to Marketing Certification
  • The network always wins: an introduction on networking Certification
  • Time and selfmanagement Certification


BrightOwl Assessment:
Self Assessment:
Full Proficiency
Professional Proficiency
Elementary Proficiency

Work Preferences

  • Notice Period:
    13 weeks
  • Positions I am interested in:
    Medical Science Liaison (MSL) Medical Manager Medical Affairs Associate Medical Officer
  • Work From Home:
  • Work Regime:
    Permanent position
  • International:


    Expert has 3 publications (Will be avalible with full profile)

Area / Region

Leuven, Belgium


Driving License
  • Yes