PhD student

Catho Schoenmaekers, MSc

I am a PhD student at the Lab for Equilibrium Investigations and Aerospace (LEIA) in Wilrijk, Belgium. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science in 2018 at the University of Antwerp. My main interests were/are research and clinical sciences, therefore it was a very logical choice to go for the master's degree "Biomedical Sciences: Clinical Scientific Research" with a minor in "Research", which I obtained in 2020. For my master thesis I investigated, under the supervision of Prof. Floris Wuyts, the effect of long-term spaceflight on the otoliths (the gravity sensors of the vestibular system). Because my interest in this research field continued to grow, I was able to stay after my master's and start as a PhD student at LEIA. For my doctoral thesis, I will remain active in space research, but the main focus will be on the Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). This is an under-diagnosed vestibular disorder where the patient feels like they are moving when sitting still, the feeling of being on a boat. Together with MdDS Reset we want to realize an accessible treatment that can be applied worldwide.