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Research

Research Groups and Laboratories incl. Biobank

RG Amberg

Research Focus: brain development, pediatric brain tumors

 

Mag.arer.nat. Nicole Amberg, BSc PhD

contact: nicole.amberg@meduniwien.ac.at

Research Focus:

  • The brain harbors an extraordinary degree of neuronal and glial cell-type diversity. Recent studies show that the brain consist of more than 3,300 different cell types. The Amberg group is interested in how a brain of correct size and cell composition is being generated.
  • The basis for the brain’s impressive cell-type diversity is laid during embryonic and fetal development and arises through particular cell division and differentiation patterns of neural stem cells. The complex spatiotemporal coordination of neuron and glial cell production is highly vulnerable to intrinsic and external disruptions, such as hereditary or de novo germline mutations, somatic mutations, maternal malnutrition, and maternal exposure to viruses or toxins.
  • Thus, the Amberg group focuses on dissecting the cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms of brain development in health and disease. The lab covers a broad range of diseases, such as pediatric brain tumors arising through tumor predisposition syndromes or developmental malformations like hemimegalencephaly or rhomboencephalosynapsis.

Methods:

The lab employs patient-derived iPSCs, 3D cell culture models, mouse models, as well as fetal tissue from the Medical University’s neurobiobank. We perform state-of-the-art genetics and imaging techniques as well as various single-cell approaches to assess neural stem cell lineage progression on multiple levels.

Furthermore, the lab is highly enthusiastic to develop or participate in diversity, equity and inclusion activities as well as science education and outreach.

Learn more: https://www.nicoleamberg.com/

Keywords:

  • stem cells, developmental disorders, brain development, tumor predisposition syndromes, Polycomb, single-cell, cortex, cerebellum, brainstem

Selected third party funds/ongoing projects:

  • Sommer 2024 FFG Talentesommer
  • 05/2024 – 04/2027     FWF Elise Richter Fellowship V1041
  • 06/2023 – 05/2026     Fellinger Krebsforschung Förderung
  • Sommer 2023 FFG Summer Talents
  • 12/2018 – 11/2021     FWF Hertha Firnberg Fellowship T1031

RG Fetahu

Research Focus: Pediatric and adult cancers, tumor microenvironment, epigenomics, neurodegeneration, stem cell-derived models

 

Irfete Fetahu, MPharm, MBA, PhD

contact: irfete.fetahu@meduniwien.ac.at

Research Focus:

We seek to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms involved in pediatric and adult malignancies by combining an array of high-throughput wet-lab experimental approaches with computational methods. The resulting information is subsequently harnessed to define diagnostic and druggable targets in patients.

We employ state-of-the-art technologies that allow for mapping and deciphering of the changes in DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, transcriptome, and proteome to investigate:

  • Crosstalk between genetic and epigenetic components in normal and diseased cells.
  • Epigenetic heterogeneity and the resulting cellular plasticity in aiding drug development and generating new treatment avenues.
  • Use of epigenetic biomarkers for disease diagnosis and ‘real-time’ disease monitoring.

Key words:

Pediatric and adult cancers, tumor microenvironment, epigenomics, neurodegeneration, stem cell-derived models, liquid biopsy-based epigenetic markers, single cell technologies, bioinformatics

Funding:

Decoding the epigenome and its regulation in neuroblastoma
FWF Österreichischer Wissenschaftsfonds – Einzelprojekte (P35072)
Laufzeit: 01/12/2021 - 31/01/2025
Role: Principal Investigator

Links:

RG Gelpi

Schwerpunkte: Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen inkl. Prionen, Neuropathologie, Epilepsie-Pathologie

 

Priv.-Doz.in Dr.in Ellen Gelpi-Mantius, PhD

Kontakt Labor:
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Günther Regelsberger

guenther.regelsberger@meduniwien.ac.at

Kontakt Genetik:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Ströbel

thomas.stroebel@meduniwien.ac.at

Arbeitsschwerpunkte:

  • Unser Schwerpunkt liegt auf der Vertiefung des neuropathologischen Substrats neurodegenerativer Erkrankungen, vor allem die Erfassung früher Gewebsveränderungen auf zellulärer Ebene, Propagation der Pathologie und molekulare Grundlagen der Neurodegeneration; dabei unterstützen wir die Entwicklung von Biomarkern.

  • Österreichisches Referenzzentrum zur Erfassung und Dokumentation menschlicher Prionenerkrankungen (ÖRPE): Im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz.

Methoden:

  • Neuropathologie: Konventionelle histologische Färbungen, Immunhistochemie, Elektronenmikroskopie, Immunfluoreszenz/konfokale Mikroskopie; molekularbiologische einschließlich genetische Untersuchungen; Neurochemie: ELISA, RTQuIC.

Keywords:

  • neurodegenerative diseases; neuropathology; prion disorders; RTQuIC; tau; synuclein; TDP-43; FUS

RG Haberler

Research Focus: pediatric brain tumors, CNS malformations, Epilepsy-pathology

 

Univ.-Prof.in Dr.in Christine Haberler

contact: christine.haberler@meduniwien.ac.at

ORCID

Research Focus:

  • The brain is the most fascinating and ingenious gift we have received.

  • We are interested in brain diseases of fetuses, children and adolescents, and study tumours and neurodevelopmental disorders/developmental neuropathologies.

    Pediatric brain tumours are the most common solid tumours and the most common cause of cancer death in childhood. Our research focuses on molecular diagnostic and prognostic markers of pediatric brain tumours. We are particularly interested in the tumour microenvironment and brain development and their role in tumour origin.

    Developmental malformations of the brain comprise a wide range of different disorders. We correlate pre- and postnatal MRI images with morphological phenotypes and genetic alterations for a better understanding of these disabling diseases.

Alumni:

  • Asuka Araki

  • Bernadette Becsi

  • Johannes Gojo

  • Sabine Kaindl

  • Dominik Kirchhofer

  • Philippe Muller

  • Harald Stefanits

  • Anna Walter

RG Hametner

Schwerpunkte: Neuropathologie der Multiplen Sklerose, Eisenmetabolismus, Post-Mortem-Bildgebung der MS

 

Dr. med.univ. Simon Hametner, PhD

Kontakt: simon.hametner@meduniwien.ac.at

Arbeitsschwerpunkte:

  • Unsere Schwerpunkte liegen im Bereich der Neuropathologie und Post-Mortem-Bildgebung der multiplen Sklerose (MS). Hierbei fokussieren wir uns insbesondere auf Eisen als Magnetresonanz (MR)-Bildgebungsmarker und seine pathogenetische Relevanz in der MS. Zudem sind wir in diverse nationale und internationale Kooperationen bezüglich MS und anderer demyelinisierend-degenerativer Erkrankungen (X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophie, progressive multifokale Leukencephalopathie) involviert.
    Das Ziel unserer Arbeit ist die Translation neuropathologischer Beobachtungen über die MR-Bildgebung in die Klinik (Diagnose, Prognose).

Methoden:

  • Histochemie, Immunhistochemie, Großflächenschnitte, Post-Mortem-MRT-Bildgebung, biochemische Eisenquantifizierung im Gewebe, aktuelle Methoden der Molekularpathologie.

Funding (current):

  • International Progressive MS Alliance PA-2002-36405 – "Multimodal decoding of CD163 immune cell function in progressive MS" (PI) – 2021–2022
  • National Institutes of Health R01NS114227 – "Nucleus-specific decline in thalamic iron with disease progression in multiple sclerosis" (Subaward recipient) – 2021–2025

RG Höftberger

Research Focus: neuroimmunology, neuropathology

 

Univ.-Prof.in Priv.-Doz.in Dr.in Romana Höftberger

Kontakt:
romana.hoeftberger@meduniwien.ac.at

PhD Students:

Alumni (PhD):

Alumni (Humanmedizin Diplomarbeit):

  • Dr.inmed.univ. Stephanie Fink
  • Dr.inmed.univ. Julia Lang (2017)
  • Dr.med.univ. David Mikocki
  • Dr.inmed.univ. Valérie Anne Quinot (2021)
  • Sophie Oberndorfer, MSc

Alumni (Masterarbeit):

  • Theresa Kreiner, MSc (2021)
  • Alexandra Lang, MSc (2018)
  • Valerie Pichler, MSc (2016)
  • Vera Wallner, MSc (2021)

Arbeitsschwerpunkte:

  • Unsere Schwerpunkte liegen im Bereich der Neuroimmunologie und Neuropathologie mit einem Fokus auf Autoimmun-Erkrankungen sowie Traumata des zentralen und peripheren Nervensystems (z.B. Autoimmun-Enzephalitis, demyelinisierende ZNS/PNS Erkrankungen, Rückenmarksverletzungen).
  • Die Erforschung neuropathologischer Charakteristika und immunopathologischer Mechanismen soll zu einem detaillierteren Krankheitsverständnis führen und folgend eine bessere Diagnostik und Therapie betroffener Patient:innen ermöglichen. Entscheidende Prozesse umfassen auch die Verbesserung und Etablierung klinischer und immunologischer Marker sowie Nachweismethoden (inkl. Nachweis neuer, noch nicht charakterisierter Antikörper) diverser anti-neuronaler und anti-glialer Autoimmun-Erkrankungen.
  • Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit lokalen, nationalen und internationalen Partnern wird das Zusammenspiel von Grundlagen-, translationaler und klinischer Forschung ermöglicht, um entsprechende Pathomechanismen des immun-assoziierten Gewebeschadens zu entschlüsseln.

Methoden:

  • Neuropathologie, Histologie, Immunohistochemie, Immunofluoreszenz, Licht- und konfokale Mikroskopie, Neurochemie, Zellbasierte (CBA) und Gewebebasierte (TBA) Assays, Immunoblot/Lineassays, ELISA, Western Blot, Immunopräzipitation, Zellkultur inkl. primärer neuronaler und glialer Zellkulturen

Keywords:

  • autoimmune encephalitis, neuropathology of antibody-mediated neurological diseases, neuroimmunology

Selected third party funds/ongoing projects:

  • 2017-2021: ERA-Net Neuron JTC2016; I3334-B27

  • 2018-2022: Doc-Funds FWF, DOC 33-B27

  • 2019-2022: FWF, P32699-B         

  • 2019-2022: Wissenschaftsförderung d. Österreichische Gesellschaft f. Neurologie 

  • 2020-2023: FWF, I4685-B

  • 2020-2023: Medizinisch-Wissenschaftlicher Fonds des Bürgermeisters der Bundeshauptstadt Wien; COV38

  • 2023-2026: FWF, I6565-B

RG Koneczny

Research Focus: Myasthenia gravis, Neuroimmunology, IgG4 Autoimmunity

 

Mag.a Inga Koneczny, DPhil

contact: inga.koneczny@meduniwien.ac.at

Research Focus:

  • Inga Koneczny made groundbreaking contributions to the field of Myasthenia gravis research and IgG4 autoimmunity. During her DPhil studies at the University of Oxford with Prof. Angela Vincent, FRS FRCPath, she was the first to unravel the pathogenic mechanisms of MuSK autoantibodies as a functional block of binding between MuSK and Lrp4, and demonstrated their pathogenicity in vitro.
  • In her postdoctoral work with Prof. Marc De Baets and Drs Pilar-Martinez-Martinez and Mario Losen, she was the first to discover that MuSK autoantibodies, which belong to the rare IgG4 subclass, are bispecific in vivo in the patient serum, and that bispecific autoantibodies and Fab fragments are pathogenic in vitro.
  • In further projects she investigated the involvement of the thymus in Lrp4 MG, and the impact of long-term immunosuppression on IgG subclass distribution. She also contributed to reviews and wrote a book chapter for the Encyclopedia of Immunobiology.
  • She was awarded three  prestigious stipends from the Austrian science fund and the Austrian academy of sciences, two travel grants, one prize for the best conference poster and was invited speaker at several conferences. In 2023, as consortium coordinator, she was able to successfully obtain a large EU grant ("Doctoral Networks grant") for research into IgG4 autoimmune diseases ("IgG4-TREAT"), and is conducting research in another collaboration with Dr. Sarah Hoffmann from the Charité Berlin with seronegative myasthenia gravis ("Mya-DACH").

Keywords:

  • myasthenia gravis, neuroimmunology, IgG4 autoimmunity

Links:

RG Regelsberger

Research Focus: Neurochemistry, neuroimmunology, lysosomal and peroxisomal storage diseases, neurodegeneration

 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Günther Regelsberger

contact: guenther.regelsberger@meduniwien.ac.at

Keywords:

  • Neurochemistry, neuroimmunology, lysosomal and peroxisomal storage diseases, neurodegeneration

RG Ströbel

Schwerpunkte: Glioblastom, kindliche Hirntumore

 

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Ströbel

Kontakt: thomas.stroebel@meduniwien.ac.at

Arbeitsschwerpunkte:

  • Ursachen der Therapieresistenz bei Glioblastomen
  • Neue Therapieansätze, um Migration von Glioblastomen einzuschränken
  • Neue Therapieansätze bei kindlichen Hirntumoren
  • Neue Therapie-Targets bei kindlichen Hirntumoren

RG Voigtländer

RG Wöhrer

Schwerpunkte: Neuroonkologie, Neuropathologie, Neuromolekularbiologie, GlioAge (Project)

 

Dr.inmed.univ et sci.med. Adelheid Wöhrer

Kontakt: adelheid.woehrer@meduniwien.ac.at

Doktorand:innen:

Diplomstudent:innen:

  • Vivian Patrick Redl

Masterstudent:innen:

  • Raphael Hangel, FH Technikum Wien

Bachelorstudent:innen:

  • Yelyzaveta Miller-Michlits, Uni Wien

Alumni:

  • Ali Al Hilou, MedUni Wien
  • Baran Atli, MedUni Wien
  • Martin Borkovec, LMU München
  • Stefan Erben, HTL Hollabrunn
  • Johanna Gesperger, BSc, MSc, PhD (shared with Baumann lab)
  • Bernhard Hennebichler, FH Campus Wien
  • Andreas Mattes, HTL Hollabrunn
  • Anna Christina Moser, MedUni Wien
  • Martina Muck, FH Technikum Wien
  • Magdalena Neuhauser, MedUni Wien
  • Florian Scherz, MedUni Wien
  • Lukas Seebrecht, MedUni Wien
  • Gloria Wilk, FH Campus Wien

Arbeitsschwerpunkte:

  • I am Principal Investigator and neuropathologist at the Division of Neuropathology and Neurochemistry. My research is focused on the deep phenotypic characterization of malignant brain tumors such as glioblastoma or primary CNS lymphoma. We typically study population-scale cohorts, which we recruit through a disease registry and the local neurobiobank, and bring together multiplatform imaging phenotypes with molecular tumor profiles. We are particularly interested in the longitudinal tumor evolution including clonal outgrowth as well as the unique environment of aging brains.

Keywords:

  • Brain Neoplasm; Glioblastoma; Pathology; Multiplatform Imaging; Molecular biology

Funding:

  • Decoding cellular senescence in glioblastoma, GlioAge (2021). Source of Funding: WWTF (Wiener Wissenschafts- Forschungs- und Technologiefonds) LS20-034. Principal Investigator
  • Targeting clonal complexity in glioblastoma (2020). Source of Funding: FWF (Austrian Science Fund), TAI 98B. Principal Investigator
  • Portrait of Primary CNS Lymphoma (2016). Source of Funding: OeNB (Oesterreichische Nationalbank), 16725. Principal Investigator
  • Disease progression and treatment-induced alterations in glioblastoma (2014). Source of Funding: FWF (Austrian Science Fund), KLIF. Principal Investigator