Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

Speaker: Felix Engel
  Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Germany
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Place: USI Lugano Campus, room A13, red building (Via G. Buffi 13)
Time: 13:30

 

Abstract:

The mammalian heart grows initially during the tubular stage via addition of precursor-derived cardiomyocytes. "Ballooning" of the chambers and subsequent heart growth are achieved by proliferation of contracting cardiomyocytes. Yet, mammalian cardiomyocytes become post-mitotic shortly after birth rendering the mammalian heart incapable of regeneration. In contrast, adult zebrafish can regenerate their heart by cardiomyocyte proliferation. Understanding these processes is highly relevant to cardiac regenerative therapy. Thus, our group studies based on a highly temporal resolved expression database heart development in the model organisms zebrafish and mouse. In addition, we utilize siRNAs as well as growth factors and compound libraries to identify novel regulators and stimulators for cardiomyocyte proliferation to promote cardiac regeneration in mice or rats. Finally, we work on tissue engineering approaches based on silk as an alternative strategy to heart regeneration.

 

Biography:

Prof. Engel holds a diploma degree in Engineering from the Technical University Berlin. He finished his PhD in 2001 under the supervision of Prof. von Harsdorf at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin. Thereafter, he worked as a Research Fellow in the Group of Mark Keating at the Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA) where he became in 2005 an Instructor in Pediatrics. In 2006, he received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award and became the head of the Research Group for Cardiac Development and Regeneration at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim, in the Department of Prof. Braun. In 2012, he has been recruited as Professor for Experimental Renal and Cardiovascular Research to the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. His present research is focused on studying heart development and regeneration, in particular the mechanisms controlling cardiomyocyte proliferation. In addition, he works on tissue engineering solutions based on silk fibroin. Prof. Engel is a pioneer in his field and has published in top journals such as Cell, Genes Dev, PNAS, Elife, Biomaterials, Development, Circ Res and Development.

 

Host: Prof. Rolf Krause, Prof. Angelo Auricchio