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Cardiomyocyte restoration and matrix support

The human heart has very restrictive regenerative capacity in response to injury. The extensive loss of cardiomyocytes in acute myocardial infarction or end-stage heart disease is not compensated by sufficient formation of new myocytes. Instead, remodeling processes ultimately lead to scar formation. The presence of excessive non-contracting scar tissue further impairs heart function and eventually leads to terminal heart failure. Few surgical therapies (heart transplantation, assist device implantation) exist, but are limited to a small number of patients. Therefore, cardiac cell therapy is currently being evaluated as an alternative treatment option for patients with advanced heart failure. Clinical trials using autologous bone-marrow and adipose tissue-derived stem cells have been performed to bring about long-term recovery of cardiac function.

However, the outcomes have been modest due to age- and disease-related impairment of stem cell function. We therefore aim to elucidate the cardiac regenerative potential of stem cells from alternative sources (neonatal and induced pluripotent stem cells). Another prime focus of our group is to investigate the mode of action of these transplanted cells, their interaction with the damaged myocardium and to identify cues from within the heart that determine their survival, engraftment and cardiogenic differentiation capacity. We also perform clinical trials of cell therapy for heart disease in close collaboration with the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin (DHZB).

Our research motivation is based on our proximity to clinical patient care. Prof. Stamm is a cardiac surgeon at DHZB, which is conveniently located right next door to the BCRT. Here, patients with severe heart disease are treated every day using every conceivable therapeutic means. For many of those, heart failure symptoms can be relieved only temporarily. Here, we are reminded every day that heart failure is a life-threatening disease. This is why, for us, research in clinically relevant novel methods for regeneration of the heart has top priority.

Research Focus

  • Impact of heart failure serum factors on neonatal stem cells
  • Crosstalk between cardiac extracellular matrix and progenitor cells
  • Mechanisms of cardiomyocyte protection of stem cells
  • Intramyocardial delivery of neonatal stem cells in a mouse model of myocardial infarction
  • Tumorigenic potential of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
  • Direct reprogramming of cardiac fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes

Methoden

  • Zellkultur (embryonale, induzierte pluripotenten, neonatale und adulte Stammzellen, Herzzellen)
  • Stammzellisolation, Trennung und Differenzierung (2D- und 3D-Differenzierung)
  • Proliferations-, Apoptose- und Migrationsassays
  • Molekularbiologietechniken (Western Blot, qPCR)
  • Immunoassays
  • Histologie
  • Tissue Engineering (Dekellularisierung / Rekellularisierung von Herzgewebe)
  • In-vitro-Simulation der Ischämie-Reperfusion
  • Tiermodell des Myokardinfarkts

Methods

  • Cell culture (embryonic, induced pluripotent, neonatal and adult stem cells; cardiac cells)
  • Stem cell isolation, separation and differentiation (2D and 3D differentiation)
  • Proliferation, apoptosis and migration assays
  • Molecular biology techniques (Western Blot, qPCR)
  • Immunoassays
  • Histology
  • Tissue Engineering (decellularization/ recellularization of heart tissue)
  • In vitro simulation of ischemia-reperfusion
  • Animal model of myocardial infarction

Team

Prof. Dr. Christof Stamm
Groupleader
Phone: +49 (0)30 459 32109
E-Mail: stammdhzbde 


Janita Maring
Postdoc
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 549
E-Mail: janita-aline.maring
@charite.de 

Timo Nazari-Shafti
Postdoc
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 539 549
E-Mail: timo.nazari-shafticharitede


Matthias Becker
PhD Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: matthias.becker@charite.de

Ana Garcia Duran
PhD Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: ana.garcia-durancharitede

Kristin Klose
PhD Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: kristin.klosecharitede 

Diphti Bachmanda Somesh
PhD Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: diphti.bachmanda-somesh@charite.de 

Georg Henke
Medical Doctoral Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: georg.henkecharitede

Farina Löper
Medical Doctoral Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: farina-aline-luca.loepercharitede

Natalie Vogel
Medical Doctoral Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: natalie.vogelcharitede

Zhiyi Xu
Medical Doctoral Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
E-Mail: zhiyi.xucharitede

Liu Zihou
Medical Doctoral Student
Phone: +49 (0)30 450 639 549
Email: zihou.liucharitede


If you are interested in joining our group for a bachelor's/master's thesis or for an internship, please feel free to contact us.