Scientific Head of the DBA research project
“We want to solve the mysteries of biology. These insights are the basis of progress in modern medicine.”
“Our research team has developed a path-breaking hypothesis which we are currently investigating with the help of state-of-the-art stem cell technology. If our assumptions are correct, our results will uncover hitherto unknown aspects of DBA biology and enable the development of new therapeutics that will revolutionise the treatment of DBA.”
Astrid Hagelkruys, Senior Research Associate
Bianca Gapp, Postdoc
Geert de Vries (Master student)
Yannik Thüringer (Master student)
Irma Sakic (Internship student)
Humans are complex organisms that are comprised of billions of cells. Each human cell contains 2 meters of DNA that is packed up in the nucleus in a very sophisticated way. This 2 meter DNA stretch encodes over 20 thousand genes (= the blueprint for proteins) that give rise to over 300 thousand proteins (= the stuff that actually makes a human body work). To scan the human genome for mutations that could compensate for DBA causing mutations, we mutate 120 million cells so we hit each of the over 20.000 human genes several times.
We than isolate the DNA and sequence all this 120 million mutations at the same time on a so-called next generation sequencing machine. The generation and culturing of these 120 million cells takes several weeks, the sequencing of all the mutation in parallel is done in 24 hours.
Martinez Lab/Max Perutz Labs
Devon Germain, Postdoc
In preparation for future experiments, Bianca and I counted and stocked 670.100.000 cells. Differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells into early red blood cell progenitors take 23 days.For the generation of our genetically modified IPSC lines over 200 individual colonies were collected and analysed. When not in use, cells are stored below -150⁰C in liquid nitrogen.
Stem Cell Facility/IMBA
Sofia Aligianni, Co-Head SCCF
Jennifer Volz, Co-Head SCCF
Michelle Foong-Sobis, Research Assistant SCCF
Manuela Kinzer, Research Assistant SCCF
Nicole Leeb, Research Assistant SCCF
Miroslava Peterkova, Research Assistant SCCF
Elisabeth Stein, Research Assistant SCCF