N°1- Klinikum der Universität zu Köln (UKK)
The Institute of Neurophysiology was among the first institutions obtaining a permission to work on hES cells and has long-standing interests in cellular, molecular and genomic analysis of ES cells as well as translational research for clinical application. UKK has coordinated the pan-European FunGenES consortium and is currently leading the large-scale in vitro-toxicology IP “ESNATS” (ES cell-based novel alternative testing strategies) and the STREP “CRYSTAL” (Cryo-banking of human stem cells for therapeutic application).
- Key staff involved in the project (For more detailed information see Who-is-Who-Book)
Jürgen Hescheler, Prof., director of the Institute of Neurophysiology at UKK, has been working with ES cells for over 20 years. Beginning with studies on cellular signal transduction, he has defined many important basic aspects both for fundamental research and for clinical applications. He has a strong interest in the therapeutic application of ES and iPS cells. He received several awards for alternative testing research, including the Bundesminister für Jugend, Familie, Frauen und Gesundheit Award (1992), the Dorothy Hegarty Award (1999) and Honorary Doktor of the Tongji Medical Faculty of the Huazhong University in Wuhan (China) (2009).
Agapios Sachinidis, Prof., is especially interested in selective differentiation of transgenic ES cells that can be used for generation of pure populations of somatic cells (including cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells). He is also expert in identifying specific gene signatures applying large-scale gene expression methodologies.
Michael Heke, Dr. , PhD in Biology, has been focused on stem cell research for the past 10 years. Early on, his primary interest was to gain an understanding of the molecular basis of hESCs, as well as elucidating to their genetic route taken as they develop into an organism. Later, he shifted his attention towards clinical applications of stem cells, e.g. being in charge of a clinical trial of applied stem cell therapy for patients in cardiac surgery. He has since joined the DETECTIVE project to lead its knowledge management and scientific coordination.
Filomain Nguemo, Dr. (PhD in Biology) is team leader of electrophysiology group at the Institute of Neurophysiology. After studying biology at the University of Yaoundé (Cameroon), he joined the Lab of Prof. Hescheler at the medical school of the University of Cologne where he obtained his PhD in Physiology. Nguemo´ scientific work aims to better understanding the networks controlling cells specification (e.g. cardiomyocytes) and improving the physiological understanding of developing and diseased heart. For this propose several techniques such as molecular, cell biology and physiology, are combined with embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) models from mouse, rhesus and human sources. His current research involves functional expression of ion channels, the long-term effect of differents compounds/drugs on ES and iPS during the differentiation process. He is also focusing on large-scale electrophysiological recordings and studying pharmacology in an in vitro control and transplantation model.
Further information: http://physiologie.i-med.ac.at/jennings/