Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum
Augustenburger Platz 1
Juniorprofessor "Model system for cell differentiation", Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Since 2009 Principle Investigator of the "Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies" and Member of the "Kommission für Nachwuchsförderung", Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
My research group analyzes the role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signalling in development, disease and regeneration. BMPs and the related Growth & Differentiation Factors (GDFs) are phylogenetically conserved signalling proteins that belong to the Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) beta superfamily. Originally identified for their ability to induce bone, they were subsequently shown to be involved in multiple aspects of body patterning and morphogenesis. Some members of the BMP family appear to be crucial for endogenous skeletal development and mutations in these genes cause distinct skeletal malformations in humans and mice, like brachydactylies, joint fusions, acromesomelic chondrodysplasias or fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). We are using different in vitro and in vivo technologies to characterize disease-associated mutations in the BMP signalling cascade. Moreover, we develop new BMP variants with enhanced and/or altered biological activities for specific therapeutically applications that are more efficient than the two BMPs (BMP2 and BMP7) that are currently available for clinical applications, such as spinal fusions, bone induction in the mandibular before tooth implantations or to treat open tibia fractures.