Stem Cell Biology and Signalling Cascades
The BSRT research network aims to unravel parts the molecular signalling cascades that control stem or progenitor cell differentiation and to establish stem cell based therapies to improve healing and regeneration of musculoskeletal injuries, myocardial infection and other diseases. Regeneration of tissues and organs depends on the recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation of stem or progenitor cells which reside in or migrate into the injured tissue. They must be replaced by new cells that are able to differentiate in order to restore the organ’s previous function. Failed regulation of the body's own regeneraion process may lead to over-representation of certain cell types, as seen in fibrosis or vasculopathy, or to insufficient development of new tissue, as in non-healing fracture or chronic cartilage destruction.
In order to improve the regeneration processes two treatment strategies are generally persued. The organ's previous functions can be resored by activating the body's own stem cells using cytokines or by administering in vitro cultured stem cells. The molecular signalling cascades that control this stem or progenitor cell differentiation are therefore of great scientific interest as they may open new approaches for treatment.