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Simona M. Cristescu


Group leader

Office: HG.01.732
Phone: +31 (0)24 365 22 77
E-mail: S.Cristescu at science.ru.nl

Research Gate: Link

Simona M. Cristescu holds a Ph.D. in physics (Magna cum laude) from 1999. Her group develops methodologies and applies laser-based spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to study the dynamics of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by plants and microorganisms and human breath, as well as plasma diagnosis.

Dr. Cristescu participated in a large number of research projects, at national and international level, being the scientific responsible/coordinator of more than 9 projects in the last ten years (H2020-SFS-2018-1, H2020-ICT-29-2016: EFRO, Interreg NW Europe, H2020-MSCA-ITN, e-COST Action, NWO, FP7-KBBE, FP6-EU, etc.). She conducts trials for testing and demonstration of optically-based systems and mass spectrometry for measurement of various gas metabolites and reaction products in both laboratory and field conditions (e.g. bio-medical, environmental).

A central role in her research is the analysis of exhaled human breath and in vitro culture headspace. Particularly, monitoring real-time signatures of oxidative stress (e.g. ethylene as marker of lipid peroxidation) in various clinical settings (ICU, cardiac surgery, infections) is of current interest.

She published 130+ peer-reviewed articles (h=38), has given 100+ presentations at international conferences and seminars and co-supervised 14 PhD students. She is chair of the PC-Chemistry and member of the scientific committee/management board/advisory board of organizations (ERS, IABR, JBR, OC, REC, etc.).


Main Research Topics:

  • Development and application of analytical methodologies based on state-of-the-art optical systems and mass spectrometry instrumentation for analysis of complex gas mixtures produced by biological systems (i.e. breathomics) and environmental applications.
  • Research on biomarkers with focus on volatile compounds in exhaled breath and/or produced by microorganisms with relevance for clinical applications, like diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
  • Understand the biochemical processes involved in disease and monitor the disease activity for improving treatment in precision medicine.
  • Research on development of miniaturized (spectroscopic) sensors using photonic technologies. e.g. for monitoring breath with devices that are affordable, accurate, acceptable to target patient groups and to the operator to save lives and reduce costs in healthcare.

Current grants

2022: NWA-ORC OBSeRVeD (Odour Based Selective Recognition of Veterinary Diseases)

2021: EFRO REACT SensorChip

2019: NWO Crossover program, SYNERGIA (SYstem change for New Ecology-based and Resource efficient Growth with high tech In Agriculture)

2018: H2020-SFS-2018-2020 project Fact-based personalized nutrition for the young (NUTRISHIELD)

2018: EFRO Proeftuin Citizen Science

2017: Meten en detecteren van gezond gedrag; NWA Startimpuls

2015: Ion-Molecule Processes for Analytical Chemical Technologies, IMPACT; Marie-Curie EU Training network, H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015 No: 674911