SCI-TReCS - Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center Salzburg

SCI-TReCS - Spinal Cord Injury and Tissue Regeneration Center Salzburg


Oxygen: Redirecting stem cells to their niche

Stem cells can be mobilized from their respective niche by stress or other instructive signals. They can display surface molecules (homing receptors) which permit migration to a wound region or return to their original location. Currently, it is considered that dormant stem cells reside in an environment with reduced oxygen supply (hypoxia). We study the role of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) and the regulation of HIFs through various stimuli as well as their effect on stem cell homing.

Small molecules: Pluripotency and multipotent adult stem cells

At present it is not completely clear whether stem cells with limited functioning potential (e.g. multi-potent stem cells, which are developing into three or more tissue cell types) or universal pluripotent stem cells (which could renew practically all tissue cell types) can be applied reliably in clinical medicine. In addition to optimizing protocols for direct application of only minimally manipulated adult stem cells, we also develop experimental methods to extend the potency of stem cells (by small molecules) and induced reprogramming (using iPSCs).

Platelet derived growth factors: Mechanisms of bone formation

Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) play an important role in regeneration (wound-healing, tissue homeostasis) as well as in the regulation of biology and function of stem cells. A more precise understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying homeostasis and regeneration is urgently needed to be able to use these factors clinically, in a targeted manner, in regenerative medicine. Based on experimental data about stem cell propagation under the aegis of platelet lysate, the PDGF-dependent mechanisms of the bone regeneration are currently studied in detail.