Principal Investigators

Catherine
Catherine Verfaillie, MD PhD - Scientific Coordinator and WP1 leader

Interdepartmental Stem Cell Institute
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
O&N I Herestraat 49 - Box 804
3000 Leuven, Belgium

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Expertise
Prof. Catherine Verfaillie received her Medical degree from the K.U.Leuven in 1982. She then trained as an internist/hematologist at the K.U.Leuven between 1982 and 1987. She went to the U. of Minnesota in 1987 for a postdoctoral fellowship. After completing her post-doctoral fellowship, she was appointed consecutively as Instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and finally full professor of Medicine in 1998. In 2001, she became the first Director of the University of Minnesota’s Stem Cell Institute. In 2006, she accepted to become the director of the Interdepartementeel Stamcel Instituut at the K.U.Leuven. She has a longstanding career in stem cell biology, initially focusing on normal hematopoietic stem cells and leukemic stem cells, and the role played by the microenvironment in regulating their selfrenewal and differentiation ability. Since 1997 she has also focused extensively on more pluripotent stem cells. Her group described in 2002 a novel cell population culture from rodent and human bone marrow samples with greater expansion and differentiation potency, named multipotent adult progenitor cells or MAPC. The current research of the Verfaillie lab is focused on understanding what regulates selfrenewal and (de)differentiation of adult as well as embryonic pluripotent stem cells, and testing the possible use of stem cell based and stem cell derived therapies in animal models of hematopoietic, liver, CNS-degenerative and metabolic (diabetes) disorders, and as tools for drug discovery and metabolization studies.

Role in HeMiBio
Catherine Verfaillie is coordinator of HeMiBio and lead partner Wp1, wherein hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells and hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells will be isolated from human induced pluripotent stem cells, and engineered using zinc finger nuclease technology to allow isolation and identification of mature cells, as well as to follow toxicologic damage from cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. She will also be responsible for providing cells to generate the sequential bioreactors to be made and assess the viability and function of the cells in the reactors.

Relevant Publications

  • RoelandtP, Obeid S, Paeshuyse J, Vanhove J, Van Lommel A, Nahmias Y, Nevens F, Neyts J, Verfaillie CM (2012) Human pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes support complete replication of hepatitis C virus., J Hepatol. 57(2):246-51.
  • Sancho-Bru P et al. (2011) Directed differentiation of murine induced pluripotent stem cells to hepatocyte-like cells. J Hepatol. 54(1):98-107. Epub 2010 Sep 6.
  • Roelandt P, Pauwelyn KA, Sancho-Bru P, Subramanian K, Ordovas L, Vanuytsel K, Geraerts M, Firpo M, De Vos R, Fevery J, Nevens F, Hu W-S, Verfaillie CM (2010) Human embryonic and rat adult stem cells with primitive endoderm-like phenotype can be fated to definitive endoderm, and finally hepatocyte-like cells. PLoS One 5:e12101.
  • Jiang Y, Jahagirdar B, Reinhard L, Schwartz RE, Keene CD, Ortiz X, Reyes M, Lenvik T, Lund T, Blackstad M, Du J, Aldrich S, Lisberg A, Largaespada DA, Verfaillie CM (2002) Pluripotency of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult marrow. Nature 418:41-9.

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (MD, PhD student) - Expertise: ESC/iPSC differentiation to hepatocytes and non-parenchymal liver-specific cells 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Postdoc) - Expertise: Generation of liver-specific hESC/iPSC reporter cell lines 
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Expertise:Epigenetic regulation of differentiation of hepatocytes using human pluripotent stem cells as a model
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (postdoc) – Expertise: Creation of scaffolds and 3D cell culture
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (postdoc) – Expertise: Bioinformatics
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student) – Expertise: Epigenetic regulation of stem cell differentiation
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Expertise: Metabolomics van stamceldifferentiatie.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Expertise:Use of optimized pluripotent stem cell derived hepatocytes for evaluation of the biology of viral replication of hepatitis viruses.  

 

Aernout

Aernout Luttun, PharmD PhD 

Katholieke Unversiteit Leuven
Center for Molecular and Vascular Biology (CMVB)
Campus Gasthuisberg
Onderwijs & Navorsing 1, Herestraat 49
3000 Leuven, Belgium

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Expertise
Dr. Aernout Luttun received his PharmD degree in 1996 and worked on vascular biology and disease during his PhD in the lab of Dr. P. Carmeliet and as a post-doc in the lab of Dr. C. Verfaillie. He was appointed as associate professor at K.U.Leuven since October 2009 and leads since 2006 the Endothelial Cell Biology Unit in the Center for Molecular and Vascular Biology (CMVB), focused on stem cell biology in vascular maintenance and disease. Link to laboratory website

Role in HeMiBio
Aernout Luttun is partner in WPs 1, 3, 4, and 5, more specifically involved in derivation of primary HSEC (hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells), BOEC (blood outgrowth endothelial cells) derivation, (HS)EC sorting from hiPSC cultures, HSEC/BOEC patterning in 2D-reactor and endothelial functional and transcriptional characterization.

Relevant Publications

  • Hendrickx B et al. (2010) Integration of blood outgrowth endothelial cells in dermal fibroblast sheets promotes full thickness wound healing. Stem Cells 28(7): 1165-1177
  • Aranguren XL et al. (2008) Multipotent adult progenitor cells sustain function of ischemic limbs in mice. J Clin Invest. 118(2): 505-514
  • Aranguren XL*, Luttun A* et al. (2007)  In vitro and in vivo arterial differentiation of human multipotent adult progenitor cells. Blood 109(6): 2634-2642; * equal contribution

Team Members


  

Leo_I

Leo van Grunsven, PhD - WP5 Co-leader

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy
Department of Cell biology - Liver Cell Biology Lab
Laarbeeklaan 103
1090 Brussel, Belgium 

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Expertise
Dr. Leo van Grunsven received his Ph.D, from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in 1996 and had his postdoctoral training at the NINDS/NIH (Bethesda, USA) and the K.U.Leuven (Belgium). He joined the group of late Prof. A. Geerts at the V.U.B. in 2006, became a  research professor in 2009 and heads the LIVR research group since the death of Prof. Geerts. He has a background in developmental biology, molecular mechanisms of transcription and liver cell biology. His current work includes several hepatic stellate cell and hepatic progenitor cell related projects (in vitro and in vivo).

Role in HeMiBio
Leo van Grunsven is WP 5 co-leader. The LIVR group will be mainly involved in WP1 and more specifically with the development of tools for efficient enrichment of HSC from human iPSC culture and the actually enrichment and testing of the identity of these HSC once isolated. They will also be implicated in the non-invasive assessment of the differentiated state of HSC in the 2D-and 3D-models.

Relevant Publications

  • Dollé L et al. (2010) The quest for liver progenitor cells: A practical point of view. Journal of Hepatology 52(1): 117-129.
  • Liu Z et al. (2010) Blebbistatin inhibits contraction and accelerates migration in mouse hepatic stellate cells. Br J Pharmacol 159(2): 304-315.
  • Mannaerts I et al. (2010) Chronic administration of valproic acid inhibits activation of mouse hepatic stellate cells in vitro and in vivo. Hepatology 51(2): 603-614.

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Postdoc) - Expertise: Hepatic stellate cells and hepatocytes for microbioreactor cultures
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student) - Expertise: Hepatic stellate cells
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Postdoc) - Expertise: Hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrogenesis 

 

vera


Vera Rogiers, PharmD - WP5 Co-leader

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Toxicology
Laarbeeklaan 103
1090 Brussel, Belgium

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Expertise
Prof. Vera Rogiers is h
ead of the Department of Toxicology, Dermato-Cosmetology and Pharmacognosy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel-Belgium. She is full-time professor in toxicology and organises on a regular basis postgraduate courses on risk assessment of cosmetics in the EU. Research activities concern the development of liver-based in vitro models for pharmaco-toxicological purposes. She is author of more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has obtained 5 scientific awards in the field of alternative methods. She is co-chair of the SCCS, member of ESAC and the epaa mirror group.

Role in HeMiBio
Vera Rogiers is WP 5 co-leader. The group is involved in (i) 
Selection of chemicals for testing hepatocellular functionality and toxicity; (ii) Selection of cosmetic ingredients for testing hepatocellular toxicity; (iii) Establishment of standard operating procedures for hepatocellular functionality testing; (iv) Establishment of standard operating procedures for hepatocellular toxicity testing

Relevant Publications

 

  • Snykers S et al. (2009)  Role of epigenetics in liver-specific gene transcription, hepatocyte differentiation and stem cell reprogrammation. J Hepatol 51(1): 187-211, 2009.
  • Pauwels Met al. (2009) Critical analysis of the SCCNFP/SCCP safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients (2000-2006). Food Chem Toxicol 47(4): 898-905.
  • Vinken M et al. (2009) Gap junctional intercellular communication as a target for liver toxicity and carcinogenicity. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 44(4): 201-222.

Team Members  

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Prof.) - Expertise: Compound selection, toxicity pathways
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Prof.) - Expertise: Risk assessment, molecular in vitro liver toxicology
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Postdoc) - Expertise: (Liver) stem cell biology
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Doc.) - Expertise: (Liver) stem cell biology

 

Philippe


Philippe Collas, PhD

University of Oslo
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
Department of Biochemistry
PO Box 1112 Blindern
0317 Oslo, Norway

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Expertise
Prof. Philippe Collas received his Ph.D, from the University of Massachusetts in 1991, worked in industry for 2 years and did postdoctoral training at Amherst College. He took on a research scientist position at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Sciences in 1995 and moved to the University of Oslo (UIO) Medical School as a Senior Scientist in 1999. He became professor in 2003 and now heads a lab of 16. He is recognized internationally for his contributions to the fields of nuclear programming, stem cell epigenetics and the development of epigenetic tools for analysis of small cell numbers. He holds several Norwegian program grants. He is a leader investigator in the Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research and member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. His current work includes two microfluidics-related projects on the development of a ChIP assay and of a stem cell differentiation chamber with automatic feedback controls. Link to laboratory website

Role in HeMiBio
DNA methylat ion and ChIP analysis on selected hepatic and control genes, from the various cell populations emanating from the microfluidic prototypes.

Relevant Publications

  • Sørensen, A.L et al. (2010) Promoter DNA methylation patterns of differentiated cells are largely programmed at the progenitor stage.  Mol. Biol. Cell, 21, 2066-2077.
  • Boquest, A.C., (2007) CpG methylation profiles of endothelial cell-specific gene promoter regions in adipose tissue stem cells suggest restrictive differentiation potential toward the endothelial cell lineage. Stem Cells 25, 852-861.
  • Håkelien, A.Met al. (2002) Reprogramming of fibroblast function in a cell-free extract: Nature Biotechnol. 20, 460-466.

Team Members

 

 PAU
Pau Sancho-Bru, PhD - WP6 leader

Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Suyner (IDIBAPS)
Laboratory of Liver Fibrosis
C/ Rosselló 149-153, Planta 3
08036 Barcelona

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Expertise
Dr. Pau Sancho-Bru obtained his PhD from the University of Barcelona under the supervision of Dr. Ginès and Dr. Bataller. In 2007 he joined the group of Dr. C. Verfaillie at the Stem Cell Institute Leuven at the KULeuven as a postdoctoral researcher. Form 2010 he is a researcher at the Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi I Sunyer (IDIBAPS) and member of the Liver Unit, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. His laboratory is focused on understanding the role of hepatic stellate cells and liver progenitor cells in liver disease and assessing the potential of stem cells for biomedical and biotechnological applications. 

Role in HeMiBio
Partners in WP1, 3, 5 and coordinator of WP6. IDIBAPS will be involved in: (1) the isolation of primary human hepatic stellate cells and other liver cells as a reference for cells generated from iPS; (2) the development of culture conditions to expand quiescent and activated stellated cells; (3) providing quiescent and activated stellate cells for WP1, 3 and 5; (4) evaluating the effect of ECM and medium modifications on primary HSC phenotype; (5) evaluating stellate cell phenotype in 2D and 3D culture; 6-developing in vitro conditions for human precision cut liver slices.

Relevant Publications

  • Sancho-Bru P et al. (2011) Directed differentiation of murine-induced pluripotent stem cells to functional hepatocyte-like cells. J Hepatol. 54(1):98-107.
  • Sancho-Bru P et al. (2007) Bradykinin exerts hepatoprotective and antifibrogenic effects in experimental liver fibrosis. Gastroenterology 133(6):2019-28.
  • Sancho-Bru P (2005) Genomic and functional characterization of stellate cells isolated from human cirrhotic livers. J Hepatol. Aug;43(2):272-82

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Postdoc) - Expertise: Liver cell biology, Stem cell biology

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Koby

 

Yaakov Nahmias, PhD - WP3 leader

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Bioengineering Program
The Selim and Rachel Benin School of Computer Science & Engineering
Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram
91904 Jerusalem, Israel

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Expertise
Dr. Yaakov Nahmias is a recognized expert in the field of liver tissue engineering and an associate member of the NIH-funded BioMEMs Resource Center. FP7 Starting Grant and the Marie Curie Foundation fund his work on the development of microdevices for the study of HCV infection and hESC differentiation to hepatocytes. His work elucidated the importance of heterotypic interactions in liver morphogenesis, polarization and drug metabolism (Kidambi et al. PNAS 2009). Link to the laboratory website

Role in HeMiBio
Yaakov Nahmias will lead WP3, and will be involved in the development of biological sensors in WP2 and the organ-simulating device in WP4. Long-term experiments in WP5 will be carried out at ?LT’s motorized Nikon Ti series EC1 confocal microscopy platform supporting stage incubation system and perfect focus. Tasks in WP3 include the design and fabrication of one-step isolation-patterning 2D-devices using soft lithography. The characterization and validation of these devices using human cell lines and their application for the isolation and maturation of iPS derived cells (WP1).

Relevant Publications

  • Uygun U et la. (2010) Organ reengineering through development of a transplantable recellularized liver graft using decellularized liver matrix. Nature Medicine. 16(7):814-20
  • Soto-Gutierrez (2010) Engineering of an Hepatic Organoid to Develop Liver Assist Devices. Cell Transplant. 19(6):815-22
  • Kidambi S et al. (2009) Oxygen-mediated enhancement of metabolism, functional polarization, gene expression, and drug clearance in co-cultures of primary hepatocytes, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(37):15714-9

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Investigator)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student) 

 

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jan

Jan Vanfleteren, PhD - WP4 leader

Centre for Microsystems Technology
Technology Park 914
9052 Gent-Zwijnaarde, Belgium

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Expertise
Jan Vanfleteren obtained his PhD in electronic engineering from Ghent University (Belgium) in 1987. He is currently a senior engineer at the IMEC-CMST group and is involved in the development of novel interconnection, assembly and substrate technologies, especially in wearable electronics technologies. As a project manager for CMST he has a long standing experience in co-ordination and co-operation in EC funded projects. In 2004 he was appointed as part time professor at the Ghent University. He is a member of IMAPS and IEEE and (co)-author of over 200 papers in international journals and conferences and he holds 14 patents / patent applications.

Role in HeMiBio
Main tasks of IMEC in HeMiBio are the following : integration of sensors for real-time basic culture conditions integration of sensors in 2D-bioreactors development of technology for 3D-multi-well bioreactor fabrication, esp. development of technology for sensor arrays and read-out electronics integration in a 3D-bioreactor Organisation of training events for HeMiBio partners on microsystem engineering, interconnection and packaging technology

Relevant Publications

  • Govaerts J et al. (2010) Fine-Pitch Capabilities of the Flat Ultra-Thin Chip Packaging (UTCP) Technology, IEEE Trans. on Advanced Packaging. Vol.33, No.1, pp. 72-78.
  • De Geyter N et al. (2009) Remote Atmospheric Pressure DC Glow Discharge Treatment for Adhesion Improvement of PDMS, Plasma Processes and Polymers. Vol. 6, Suppl. S, pp. S406-411
  • Carta R et al. (2009) Design and implementation of advanced systems in a flexible-stretchable technology for biomedical applications. Sensors and Actuators A-Physical, Vol. 156 (1): pp. 79-87 Sp. Iss. SI.

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Postdoc)

 

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Magnus



Magnus Jäger, PhD

Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik IBMT
Am Mühlenberg 13
14476 Potsdam

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Expertise
The Lab-on-Chip Technology group offers the customer-oriented development of procedures and prototypes for the manipulation of micro- and nanoparticles suspended in fluids. In our work, we focus on biomedical applications, e. g. the versatile and low-stress handling of single cells and small, valuable cell samples. To this end, the Lab-on-Chip Technology group primarily uses electric fields, mostly in the radio frequency range, in lab-on-chip architectures. In addition, the Lab-on-Chip Technology group develops procedures for the manipulation by means of ultrasound and by combinations of different methods. For development tasks, the Lab-on-Chip Technology group can rely on its broad range of up-to-date equipment, e. g. automated optical microscopy, electric test instrumentation, atomic force microscopy, laser tweezers and more. Our services also comprise experts' reports, e. g. in patent-related issues. In the following, you may find some of our current research projects in more detail. The Lab-on-Chip Technology group looks forward to discussing your specific demands with you!

Role in HeMiBio
To develop sensors for real-time basic culture conditions To develop sensors for real-time cell function Develop a 2D bioreactor for the efficient isolation of differentiated iPSC mixtures by trapping different cell types on micropatterned surfaces Fabrication of high-throughput microfluidics addressable array Fabricated multi-electrode plate Integrate sensor electronics using UTCP Computer interface and recording subrouting.

Relevant Publications

  • Jaeger, M. S. et al. (2008) Contact-free single-cell cultivation by negative dielectrophoresis. J Phys D Appl Phys 41:175502.
  • Jaeger, M. S. et al. (2008) The structure and functionality of contractile forisome protein aggregates. Biomaterials 29:247–256.
  • Jaeger, M. S. et al. (2007) Thermometry in dielectrophoresis chips for contact-free cell handling. J Phys D Appl Phys 40:95–105.

Team Members

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Thomas2

 

Thomas Löher, PhD

Fraunhofer Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration IZM
Gustav Meyer Allee 25
13355 Berlin, Germany

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Expertise
Thomas Löher studied physics at University Göttingen and Technical University of Berlin, diploma in surface physics in 1992. In 1995 he was awarded Ph.D. from Freie Universität Berlin. From 1996 to 1999 he held a post-doc position at the University of Tokyo. He joined TU Berlin in 2002. His activities focus around embedding technologies in flexible (EU Project SHIFT) and stretchable materials (EU Project STELLA).

Role in HeMiBio
Fraunhofer IZM will be involved in developing a technology for the physical realisation of the bioreactor, which allows the integration of various sensor types for electronic analysis and control of the reactor status (temperature, pressure) and simple bio-chemical characterization. A fabrication technology for the bioreactor will be devised, that allows for an assembly of different functional layers into 3D-reactor. The approach by Fraunhofer IZM will rely on the use of thermoplastic polyurethane foils and tissues (fibre based non-wovens), where components and interconnects can be embedded. The main contributions of Fraunhofer IZM will be accomplished in WPs 3 and 4.   

Relevant Publications

  • Loeher et al. (2009) Stretchable Electronic Systems: Realization and Applications. Proceeding of the EPTC, December 2009, Singapore

Team Members

 

Silvia

Silvia Generelli, PhD - WP2 leader

CSEM Landquart
Bahnhofstrasse 1
7302 Landquart, Switzerland 

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Expertise
Dr. Silvia Generelli graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and earned her Ph. D. Degree in 2008 from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. After a short postdoctoral period in the BioMEMS lab of the Ecole Polytechnique in Montréal, Canada, she joined the Landquart Regional Center of CSEM. Her main research activities are in the field of electrochemical monitoring for applications in biological media, with special emphasis on ion-selective microelectrodes and enzymatic sensing.

Role in HeMiBio
The CSEM will lead WP2, and participate in WP3 and WP4. CSEM will be particularly involved in the development of electrochemical sensors: K+- and NH4+-selective microelectrodes. Special attention will be given to address long-term stability and anti-biofouling coatings of the microelectrodes. CSEM tasks will also involve the design of the microelectrodes and their integration in the 2D-and the 3D-bioreactors.   

Relevant Publications

  • Generelli S., et al. (2008) Potentiometric platform for the quantification of potassium efflux, Lab Chip, 2008, 8, 1210.
  • Guenat O. T., et al. (2006) Development of an array of ion-selective microelectrodes aimed for the monitoring of extracellular ionic activities, Anal. Chem., 78, p.7453-7460.
  • Berdondini L., et al. (2006) Microfabricated platforms for the study of neuronal and cellular networks, J. Phys. Conf. Series, 34, 1-6.

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Investigator) - Expertise: Bioengineering
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student) - Expertise: Microtechnology, integrated sensing

 

 

Joris_Braspenning

 
Joris Braspenning, PhD

Managing Director
Medicyte GmbH
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

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Expertise
Dr. Braspenning has been working in life sciences for more than 15 years. During this period he gained extensive experience in protein biochemistry and cell biology. His work was mainly focussed on the development of cell-based assays used in the pre-clinical drug development process. At Medicyte, Dr. Braspenning applied his knowledge in the field of primary human cell culture, and first time managed to establish proliferating human hepatocyte culture systems. After expansion, cells differentiated and retained their typical hepatocellular characteristics. Medicyte is a cell technology company specializing in the controlled and scalable production of human primary cells. Medicyte’s vision is to establish its proprietary technologies as gold standard and preferred source of human cell-based products for research, industrial and therapeutic applications. Differentiated primary cells have no or only limited proliferation capacities. Medicyte’s patented Vericyte® and Upcyte® technologies, however, allow the controlled proliferation of primary cells without losing their typical properties. This enables improved and new cell products with consistent quality and industrial scalability for production processes, pharmacological R&D (ADMET, HTS etc.), basic research, cosmetic and chemical testing, and clinical applications. 

Role in HeMiBio
Using Medicyte´s innovative Upcyte® technology, differentiated primary cells are driven into proliferation, thus allowing controlled bypass of cell cycle control mechanisms without inducing permanent immortalization or loss of phenotype. In a first step Medicyte will select, from its proprietary gene pool, a set of optimal genes and gene combinations that may enable in vitro cell proliferation and a better production of the required primary cells like, hepatocytes, hepatic stellate cells and hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells. In a second step, the cells will be expanded and cell characteristics monitored during the proliferation and upscaling phase. Cells will be harvested and stored ready for use and growth in the bioreactor device. 

Relevant Publications

  • Medicyte developed two cell proliferation technologies Vericyte® and Upcyte®, which are protected by several international patents and patent applications

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Staff scientist) - Expertise: Molecular and cell biology
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (PhD student) - Expertise: Cell biology
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Technician) - Expertise: Molecular and cell biology

  

Toni

Toni Cathomen, PhD

University Medcial Center Freiburg
Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy
Hugstetter Str. 55
79106 Freiburg
Germany

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Expertise
Dr. Cathomen’s main interest is the characterization of the mechanisms that regulate the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and the exploitation of this knowledge to specifically alter the genetic makeup of cells. His rational genome engineering approach is mainly based on the use of zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and TALE nucleases (TALENs),
which can be designed to insert a site-specific DSB in a given gene of interest. The lab has made seminal contributions to the field by applying protein engineering technologies to improve the specificity of these designer nucleases. The long-term goal of his lab is to introduce specific alterations in the genome of pluripotent and multipotent stem cells to improve our understanding of DNA repair in somatic stem cells and to develop novel treatment options for patients suffering from chronic immune deficiencies. Link to the laboratory website

Role in HeMiBio
The main task of the Cathomen lab is to establish targeted genome engineering in human iPSC (WP1, WP2). This will be accomplished by developing customized ZFNs and TALENs, appropriately designed donor DNA, as well as protocols for efficient transfer of these components into human iPS target cells using non-integrating vector systems. The ZFNs and TALENs will be used to stimulate homologous recombination between various DNA donors containing different marker genes and pre-defined endogenous target loci. This approach will be used (i) to visualize the differentiation state of iPSC-derived cell populations in vivo and (ii) to characterize the response of these cell populations to different chemicals. Moreover, the lab will use assay systems to evaluate the performance of ZFNs and TALENs in hiPSC and to estimate genotoxic side effects through cleavage at off-target sites. 

Relevant Publications

  • Bloom K, Ely A, Mussolino C, Cathomen T, Arbuthnot P (2013) Inactivation of hepatitis B virus replication in cultured cells and in vivo with engineered Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases.MolTher[Epub ahead of print]
  • Händel E-M, Gellhaus K, Khan K, Bednarski C, Cornu TI, Müller-Lerch F, Kotin RM, Heilbronn R, and Cathomen T (2012) Versatile and efficient genome editing in human cells by combining zinc-finger nucleases with adeno-associated viral vectors. Hum Gene The r23, 321-9.
  • Mussolino C, Morbitzer R, Lütge F, Dannemann N Lahaye T, and Cathomen T (2011) A novel TALE nuclease scaffold enables high genome editing activity in combination with low toxicity. Nucleic Acids Res 39, 9283-93. 

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Postdoc)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (M.Sc. student)

 

 

BardII

Bård Smedsrød, PhD

Department of Medical Biology/Vascular Biology
University of Tromsoe
Hansine Hansens veg 14
9037 Tromsoe, Norway

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Expertise
Prof Smedsrod has worked with sinusoidal liver cells since 1975, and studied phagocytosis in Kupffer cells at UiT (1975-1979) and at University of Michigan (1979-1981). He then moved to Uppsala University Biomedical Centre in Sweden, where he discovered the physiologically important scavenger function of the HSEC (early 1980s). In 1993 became a professor at UiT. Studies of HSEC by the Smedsrod group include discovery and characterization of unique endocytosis receptors, identification of central innate immunity functions of HSEC, and the discovery that all vertebrates carry a population of specialized scavenger endothelial cells, located in liver of land based vertebrates, and in kidney, heart or gills of fishes and phylogenetically older species. The Smedsrod group (3 postdocs, 5 PhD students) is world leading in studies on HSEC. Smedsrod has received grants from major national and international funding bodies. Link to the laboratory website 

Role in HeMiBio
Establish i) optimal methods for isolation, characterization and long term cultivation of human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (hHSEC); ii) optimal cultivation media and incubator O2/CO2 composition; iii) structural and functional test parameters to determine the identity of healthy hHSEC; iv) fluorochrome tools to monitor the integrity of hHSEC in the bioreactor.

Relevant Publications

  • Nedredal, G.I. et al. (2009) Porcine liver sinusoidal endothelial cells contribute significantly to intrahepatic ammonia metabolism. Hepatology 50: 900-908
  • Seternes, T. et al. (2002) Scavenger endothelial cells of vertebrates: a non-peripheral leukocyte system for high capacity elimination of waste macromolecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99: 7594-7597

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Postdoc) - Expertise: LSEC biology and physiology

 

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Christianemod

Christiane Dascher-Nadel, PhD - Project Manager

Inserm Transfert SA
18, avenue Mozart, BP172
13276 Marseille Cedex 09, France

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Expertise
Christiane Dascher-Nadel has international experience in both academic and industrial R&D research and has been active in the field of EC project management for the last seven years. Within the European and International Affaires Department she is responsible for the management of the resources and expertises of the Stem Cells and Biotherapy unit.

Inserm Transfert SA, a subsidiary of Inserm (the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) is a public limited company. Inserm Transfert possesses extensive expertise in two core areas: Technology transfer and exploitation of research results, the funding and creation of biotechnology enterprises represent one of its core expertises. The second core expertise relies on specific tools and gold standard methods developed by the company for coaching scientists in their project preparation (international co-operation in biomedical research, large scale clinical trials) and then for the specific management of these international research networks, notably FP6 and FP7 European networks. With seven years of experience, the European and International Affairs Team of Inserm Transfert has helped to set up more than 130 collaborative research projects and has managed more than 50 projects involving overall more than 300 academic partners and 50 private companies worldwide. Since January 2010, the Team is certified ISO 9001-2008 for the management of European and International biomedical research projects.

Role in HeMiBio
In close collaboration with the coordinator Inserm Transfert will coordinate all aspects related to contractual and financial issues, general project management, communication, as well as project dissemination and exploitation.

Team Members

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Expertise: Degree in law, expert in business and contract law
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Assistant)