Head of the Institute of Biotechnology, Technische Universität Berlin
W3-Professor for Medical Biotechnology at the Technische Universität Berlin
Rheumatic diseases are generally characterized by a progressing tissue degeneration process. This concerns in the first line cartilage destruction of the joints but also holds true for soft tissues like skin or kidney in systemic arthritis. Future perspectives in the treatment are therefore not limited in controlling the inflammation but also include strategies in tissue regeneration. In order to do so, autologous or allogenic stem cell therapies offer a broad range of possible applications. In all cases however an intact microenvironment for cell differentiation is required. The focus of the molecular biology group is the analysis of such cell differentiating environments in some selected organ structures. We focus on growth and growth-differentiation factors from the TGF-ß and the FGF families, their antagonists, modifying enzymes, oxygen supply and mechanical load on the differentiation of chondrocytes. The second focus is the characterization of stem cells in the human hair follicle. This organ provides insights into general mechanisms of organogenesis and the organisation of stem cell niches. In addition organ cultures can be used for drug screening and tissue repair.