The institute studies stem cells and their differentiated progeny. This includes adult stem cells, such as hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, and embryonic stem cells (ES cells). We also study engineered stem cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), and use precision genome engineering with CRISPR/Cas to generate cells with desired properties.
Stem cells are differentiated into a large array of terminally differentiated cell types with a focus on antigen presenting dendritic cells. Additionally, iPS cells are differentiated into mesenchymal cells, endothelial cells, mast cells and megakaryocytes, which are used for disease modelling and compound screening.
In cells, a specific grammar of DNA and chromatin modifications determine gene expression and thus cell identity and function. We study how gene networks direct stem cell fate by employing genome wide approaches (RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, ATAC-Seq and HiChIP-Seq) and knockout and knock-in mouse models.
Biomedical engineering entails the development of biohybrid systems, comprising of engineered materials and cells, including iPS cell derived cells tailored for personalized therapy. We investigate the impact of biomaterials on cell growth, differentiation and function. We develop systems based on robotics and machine learning for automatic cell production (www.stemcellfactory.net, www.stemcellfactory.org).