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Mangala has (May 2021) started as Professor and Chair Group Leader at Wageningen University & Research, in Cell Biology and Immunology (CBI). Her group is currently in a transition phase. She will continue as CSO of Cenya Imaging BV.
Mangala started her career in research at the National University of Singapore, before completing her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). She is the founder and CSO of Cenya Imaging, a spin-off from her academic group at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her work focuses on agents for in vivo imaging. Mangala's early work helped establish the field of 19F MRI for quantitative in vivo cell tracking. More recently, her group works on customisable nanoparticles for imaging and advanced personalised medicine applications, such as cell therapies. Some of these nanoparticles are produced at GMP-grade for a clinical cell tracking study using multimodal imaging, in melanoma patients. Her group works with fluorescence, MRI, PET, SPECT, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging in different disease models, particularly cancer and cardiovascular disease. This multidisciplinary work is, and has been, supported by prestigious grants such as an NWO VENI, ERC Starting Grant (the largest European grant available to early stage researchers), ERA-NET CVD grant, 3 ERC PoCs, and others. She won the Dutch Venture Challenge in 2015, for her ideas on cell tracking.
Overall, Mangalas team has taken a new type of imaging agent from development to the clinic and commercialisation.
Mangala is also active in the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), where she served as Chair for two full terms; she also served as Category Chair for the European Molecular Imaging Meetings, twice. Mangala was also shortlisted for the World Molecular Imaging Society WIMIN Outstanding Leadership award in 2019.
In addition to her academic career, Mangala worked for GE Healthcare in Strategy, Search and Evaluation, where she helped identify and evaluate emerging technologies in the fields of imaging.
Mangala has given many invited talks and been on panels, such as at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, CATAPULT UK, Phacilitate Cell and Gene Therapy, European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), and WMIC. She has also been invited to several meetings, such as by the International Science Council, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), European University Association (EUA), and UNESCO.
At home, Mangala, has 3 children, all under the age of 10. You may see and probably will hear them in the background at some video calls.