TSI Lab - Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology Lab

TSI Lab
TSI Lab - Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology Lab

There are three major areas of focus in the laboratory. First, we are interested in transplant immunology after heart and lung transplantation with particular focus on translational research and investigation of underlying mechanisms of acute and chronic graft rejection.
The second area of study addresses the immunobiology of adult and embryonic stem cells as well as iPS cells. In particular we are applying our knowledge of transplant immunology to the field of stem cell transplantation to provide novel therapeutic options in the future.
The third major interest is cardiovascular biology focusing on pathways related to the development of intimal hyperplasia and re-stenosis.

Our lab is located on the 1st floor within the "Campus Forschung" at the University Medical Center Hamburg. The "Campus Forschung" was built in 2007 and combines all areas of research within one building, encouraging interdisciplinary interactions and collaborations.

Our lab belongs to the University Heart Center Hamburg and provides techniques in cell culture, molecular biology, histopathology, confocal imaging, small animal surgery, and novel molecular in vivo imaging.

Team Members

Our Lab

Our Lab

Welcome to TSI Lab
TSI Office

TSI Office
  • Cell Culture
  • Cell Culture

    To study immunobiological processes isolated from the in vivo situation, we established the culture of different cell types. The following pictures demonstrate a brief overview.

    Cell culture lab: We are working with human and mouse adult and embryonic stem cells as well as cardiomyocytes, airway cells, lymphocytes, endothelial and smooth muscle cells, and fibroblasts.

  • Confocal microscopy and 3D histology is peformed for cell type identification, inflammatory cells, and co-localization of different target molecules.

    We are using state-of-the-art embedding protocols, which allow us to perfrom immunohistochemistry on almost all paraffin sections.

  • We are investigating the mechanisms of acute and chronic rejection, the interaction of different cells types in the rejection process and involved pathways using techniques like ELISPOT, FACS, ELISA, western blotting, dot blot arrays, and Immuknow assays.

  • Welcome to our microsurgery lab. We are performing LAD ligations, heterotopic heart transplantations, orthotopic and heterotopic trachea transplantations, skin transplantations, orthotopic aortic transplantations, bone marrow and lung transplantations, stent implantations and aortic injury techniques in mice and rats.

  • Our lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology like Bioluminescence Imaging (BLI) and OCT.

    BLI

    BLI requires genetic engineering of the cells or tissues to image with a reporter gene that encodes for a light-generating enzyme (luciferase).

    How does it work?

    Typically a gene encoding for an enzyme such as luciferase, is inserted into tissues of the animal model of interest. Cells expressing the gene are allowed to grow for the desired period of time. A substrate for the enzyme (eg. luciferin) is then administered to the animal. The reaction between the enzyme and substrate results in emission of light by the cells expressing the luceriferase. This light is imaged by the IVIS device- essentially a very sensitive CCD camera.
    Because mammalian tissues do not naturally emit bioluminescence, the advantage of in vivo BLI is the inherently low background signal.
    The firefly luciferase enzyme converts the substrate D-luciferin to oxyluciferin, resulting in green light emission at 562nm.

    What can it be used for?

    Essentially to monitor gene expression in vivo. The most simple applications use the luciferase expression as a marker of cell viability. If, for example, expression is limited to stem cells growing in the animal, the cell survival and migration after transplantation can be determined by measuring the amount of bioluminescence produced. If used as part of a multi-cistronic vector, then the signal can be used to monitor the function of control elements or other genes in the construct.

    Molecular imaging has proven a reliable methodology for tracking the long-term fate of transplanted cells. Therefore, molecular imaging is expected to play an increasing role in characterizing the biology and physiology stem cells in living subjects.

Open Positions in our team

  • We are currently accepting applications for technicians, postdoctoral fellowships and MD/PhD students (doctoral thesis).
    Please email your application in English (letter of intend including your specific research interests, two references and CV) to:

    Prof. Dr. med. Sonja Schrepfer
    Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology Lab (TSI)
    University Heart Center Hamburg
    Campus Forschung, N27
    Martinistr. 52
    20246 Hamburg
    Germany

    TSI Office:
    Bibiana Kesseböhmer

    phone: +49 (0) 40 7410 - 58048

  • We are seeking lab technicians interested in cell culture work, in vitro imaging and molecular biology. The ideal candidate is already trained in confocal microscopy and fluorescence staining and highly motivated to support the team. The applicant will participate in teaching lab techniques to students and scholars and assist in lab management and organization, including administrative documentation (e.g. antibody lists, etc). Lab language is English and computer skills (Microsoft office) are appreciated.

  • We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow with strong interest in cardiovascular biology. Ideal for candidates with experience in appropriate in vivo models, cell culture and molecular biology, seeking to acquire or strengthen her/his expertise in integrative methodology and research topics. The applicant is expected to participate in the supervision of PhD students and in teaching. Prerequisite is a PhD in a discipline relevant for the project. The successful candidate should have special expertise in DNA work, and cloning, a strong background in cell culture and imaging methods and a solid publication record. Doctoral degree in biology, medicine or biomedically relevant sciences required.
    The position is available immediately. The salary will be at the level of TV-L13 to TV-L15 (depending on qualification and experience).

  • A postdoc position is available for an ambitious coworker with strong interest in transplant immunology and stem cell research. Ideal for candidates with experience in molecular biology or biochemistry, seeking to acquire or strengthen her/his expertise in integrative methodology and research topics. We study the immunobiology of stem cells using gene therapy to investigate immune responses. The applicant is expected to participate in the supervision of PhD students and in teaching. Prerequisite is a PhD in a discipline relevant for the project. The successful candidate should have special expertise in DNA work, and cloning, a strong background in molecular genetic methods and a solid publication record. Doctoral degree in biology, medicine or biomedically relevant sciences required.
    The position is available immediately and the initial one-year contract can be extended for another two years. The salary will be at the level of TV-L 13.

  • We are looking for highly motivated PhD students (Biology, Biochemistry, Medicine or similar) with excellent scientific and practical background in molecular biology and transplant immunology to complement our team. The successful candidate will be driving individual projects and will work in a highly collaborative environment involving various scientists at the University of Hamburg and Stanford (California).
    The successful applicant is expected to work full-time in the lab for a minimum of 12 months.
    Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the positions are filled.

Lab activities

  • Paul-Martini Award 2015
    Preisverleihung Paul-Martini Award
    Paul-Martini-Award 2015
    Preisverleihung
    Prof. Sonja Schrepfer

    20.04.2015

    Prof. Dr. Sonja Schrepfer erhält den Paul-Martini-Award 2015 in Mannheim

    1. Preis für Qimu Wang

    22.04.2015

    The NDR is filming Qimu Wang. His "Jugend forscht" project received the 1. prize (Regional/ Landeswettbewerb)

    Leopoldina Award

    18.09.2015

    Leopoldina Award Ceremony in Halle. Angela Merkel is talking about "Asymetry and Dyssemetry"