Protective Tissue Factors in Autoimmune Diseases
The main objective of the group is to understand the molecular mechanisms that promote pro-resolution responses in immune and stromal cells to restore homeostasis. In particular, the team will use the human synovium as a model system to characterize the pro-resolving phenotypes of macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis. The core of the project will be the development of a first in kind synovium-in-a-dish assay for systematic monitoring of macrophage functions. Our final goal is to identify new therapeutic targets, which promote pro-resolution in inflammation and autoimmune diseases, and thereby proposing novel concepts to improve patient outcomes.
- Dr. Jackie Perrigoue
Head of Tissue Mechanisms, Janssen Immunosciences, Spring House, USA (Industry mentor)
- Dr. Agnès Gardet
Principal Scientist at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson San Diego County, USA (Industry mentor)
- Prof. Dr. Greorg Schett
Vice President Research and Chair Internal Medicine at Medicine Faculty at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU), Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and Director clinical medicine 3 – Rheumatologie und Immunologie, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany (Academic mentor)
Our Team Members
PD Dr. Mojca Frank Bertoncelj
- 2022: Privatdozentin (PD), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 2020-2021: Junior Group Leader, Team Integrative biology of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 2012-2020: Postdoc in noncoding RNA biology, epigenetics, and functional genomics in autoimmune diseases with Prof. Dr. Steffen Gay & Prof. Dr. Oliver Distler, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 2011-2012: Articulum Research Fellow with Prof. Dr. Steffen Gay, University Hospital Zurich & University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 2005-2010: PhD in Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine & Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 1997-2005: Doctor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dr. Swathi Lingam
- 2019-2021: Research Fellow in studying retinal ageing and developing novel cell therapy systems to treat age-related retinal degeneration at the National University of Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.
- 2017- 2019: Postdoctoral scientist studying the function of the ABC transporter ABCC5 in diabetes at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
- 2014- 2017: PhD in biochemistry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
Dr. Jeinmy Carolina Gámez Villamizar
- 2019-2021: Postdoctoral researcher in stem/stromal cell research, articular cartilage regeneration, 3D cell culture and imaging, chondrogenic differentiation, mechanobiology. Section of Experimental Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery. Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University
- 2016-2019: PhD Fellow under the Cooperative Research Training Group: Tissue Analytics for Stem Cell Based Diagnostics and Therapy. Evaluated subjects: Orthopedics, Immunology and Biotechnology. Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University
- 2013-2016: Master of Science in Biochemistry. Medicine Faculty, National University of Colombia
Dr. Nataliia Stepanenko
- 2016 – 2022: PhD researcher, Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Fate Decision, Medical Faculty, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
- 2007 – 2016: Research assistant, Department of Experimental Cell Systems, Kavetsky Experimental Pathology, Oncology, and Radiobiology Institute, Kiev, Ukraine.
- 2007 – 2009: Master of Science in Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Biotechnology Branch, Shevchenko Kiev National University, Ukraine.
- 2022 – present: PhD at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- 2019 – 2020: Master of Science with Distinction in Biomedical Science from
Edinburgh Napier University
- 2018 – 2019: Biology Studies at the University of Cologne
- 2015 – 2018: Bachelor’s degree from the German Sport University of Cologne
María del Pilar Palacios Cisneros
- 2021 – 2022: Student research assistant in the “Molecular Pharmacology” Group of Prof. Dr. Rohini Kuner, Institute of Pharmacology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
- 2020 – present: MSc. in Molecular Biotechnology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
- 2013 – 2020: BSc. in Molecular Biotechnology, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Team PTA Alumni
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