BSRT Graduate School

Project 7

Development and clinical validation of immune modulatory approaches to improve musculoskeletal healing

Biology track
Supervisor 1: 
Geissler, Sven
Supervisor 2: 
Winkler, Tobias
Supervisor 3: 
Andrea Sass


In our previous studies, we have investigated the influence of the adaptive immune system on endogenous regeneration processes and identified in particular T cells as important modulators of muscle and bone healing. Based on this preliminary work, we now aim to develop and clinically evaluated different pharmacological intervention strategy to improve endogenous healing processes in compromised patients. We will focus our analysis on different subpopulations of CD8+ T cells and their pro-inflammatory cytokine response. Our main objective is to evaluate the effects of these novel therapies in advanced 2D & 3D in vitro models and subsequently assess their impact on fracture patients depending on the individual immune profile. By combining patient-centred research and state-of-the-art basic scientific approaches, we aim to gain a more mechanistic understanding on how the adaptive immune system affects regeneration and at the same time enable the transfer of the obtained results into clinical practice.




1. Reinke S*, Geissler S*, Taylor WR, Schmidt-Bleek K, Juelke K, Schwachmeyer V, Dahne M, Hartwig T, Akyuz L, Meisel C, Unterwalder N, Singh NB, Reinke P, Haas NP, Volk HD, Duda GN. Terminally differentiated CD8(+) T cells negatively affect bone regeneration in humans. Sci Transl Med. 2013. 5-177:177ra36.


2. Winkler T, Perka C, von Roth P, Agres AN, Plage H, Preininger B, Pumberger M, Geissler S, Hagai EL, Ofir R, Pinzur L, Eyal E, Stoltenburg-Didinger G, Meisel C, Consentius C, Streitz M, Reinke P, Duda GN, Volk HD. Immunomodulatory placental-expanded, mesenchymal stromal cells improve muscle function following hip arthroplasty. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2018;9-5:880-97.