ITN Partners

Full Partners

1. The University of Liverpool, UK (coordinator)
2. The University of Turin, Italy
3. The Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Germany
4. University College London, UK
5. Biomer Technology Ltd [SME], UK
6. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands
7. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
8. Heidelberg University, Germany
9. Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel
10. Spheritech Ltd [SME], UK
11. University of South Australia

Associated Partners

12. Freudenberg Forschungsdienste, Germany
13. Cyanagen, Italy

Affiliated Partners

14. Andreas Kurtz at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

1. The University of Liverpool, UK (coordinator) (

Lead scientists: Patricia Murray (stem cell & developmental biology); Kevin Park (pharmacology)

The University of Liverpool (UoL) is one of the UK’s top 20 research-led universities. UoL has an established Stem Cell Consortium (, and hosts the Centre for Drug Safety (, a priority of which is to use stem cells to develop safer medicines. UoL coordinated the FP6 Research Training Network, KIDSTEM.

Relevant publications:

A. Fuente Mora C et al. 2012 Stem Cells and Development 21(2):296-307 DOI:10.1089/scd.2010.0470 B. Murray P et al. 2010 Biochem.Soc.Trans. 38: 1062-1066 DOI:10.1042/BST0381062 C. Antoine D et al. 2010 Biochem. Pharmacol. 79: 647-654 DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2009.09.021

2. The University of Turin, Italy (

Lead scientist: Benedetta Bussolati (renal stem cell biology & nephrology)

The research will be developed at Molecular Biotechnology Center, a Center of Excellence for interdisciplinary research, hosting internationally renowned research laboratories and a Stem Cell factory. The team has a constant interchange among basic scientists and clinicians from Nephrology, Kidney Transplant and Endocrinology Divisions. The Turin team has a track record in studies on renal repair and immunopathology, and has a particular interest in the mechanisms leading to stemness or differentiation of renal progenitors as well in the paracrine effect of stem cells and derived microvesicles/exosomes in renal regeneration.

Relevant publications:

A. Bussolati et al. 2011. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol.302: 1: F116-F128. 10.1152/ajprenal.00184.2011 B. Bussolati B et al. 2011 FASEB J. 25: 9: 2874-2882 DOI: 10.1096/fj.10-180323 c. Bussolati B et al. 2008 Am J Nephrol. 28: 5: 813-22 DOI: 10.1159/000137681

3. The Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Germany (

Lead scientist: Carsten Werner (polymer research & biomaterials science)

The Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF) is one of the largest polymer research facilities in Germany. IPF is committed to carrying out application-oriented basic research. The combination of competences in natural and engineering sciences, for which the IPF is known, as well as state-of-the-art technical equipment, allows a holistic approach to material science research.

Relevant publications:

A. Tsurkan MV et al. 2010 Chem. Commun. 46: 1141–1143 DOI: 10.1039/b921616b B. Tsurkan MV et al. 2010 Macromol. Rapid Commun. 31: 1529–1533 DOI: 10.1002/marc.201000155 C. Freudenberg U et al. 2009 Biomaterials 30: 5049–5060 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.06.002

4. University College London, UK (

Lead scientist: Paul Winyard (kidney development & nephrology)

UCL is one of the UK’s leading Universitites. The UCL team comprises basic scientists investigating the developmental biology of human kidney malformations, along with a clinician looking after children with kidney problems. ICH hosts the MRC/Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Resource which supplies anonymised, ethically approved fetal tissues between 6-12 weeks gestation. They have generated a unique collection of over 10 human fetal KSPC lines, and are currently refining isolation and differentiation techniques to generate nephrons in vitro.

Relevant publications:

A. Price KL et al. 2009 Urol Res. 37: 127-132 DOI: 10.1007/s00240-009-0185-5 B. Long DA et al. 2008 Kidney Int. 74: 300-309 DOI: 10.1038/ki.2008.179 C. Price KL et al. 2007 Physiol. Genomics 28: 193-202 DOI: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00147.2006

5. Biomer Technology Ltd [SME], UK (

Lead scientist: Simon Dixon (biomaterials science)

Biomer Technology Ltd is a UK- based biomaterials SME (small to medium sized enterprise) with expertise in the design, development and commercialisation of advanced biomaterials for the medical device applications. Biomer has collaborations with leading Institutions in both the US and UK which have resulted in the development of its lead technology, the Accelerate™ stent coating. The Accelerate™ technology has recently completed First in Human Studies and entered the European market in 2010.

Relevant publications:

A.Archvadze A et al 2009 First-in-man study of AccelerateTM coated stent at "New Approaches in Coronary Artery Disease, 8th International Congress on Coronary Artery Disease, Prague. 11-14 October 2009. B.Nickson et al. 2008 2010 J. Biomater. Appl. 24: 437-452 10.1177/0885328208099338 C.Williams RL et al. 2005 Journal of Materials Science. Materials in Medicine 16:1087–1092. PMID: 16362205

6. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands (

Lead scientist: Rosalinde Masereeuw (renal physiology & pharmacology). Moved in Spring 2015 to Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Netherlands

Radboud University Nijmegen is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. The Nijmegen team has a track record in studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which compounds foreign to the body are excreted by transport proteins, with special reference to the role of these processes in drug efficacy and safety. Research is focused on transporters expressed in the kidney during physiological and pathological conditions. The role of drug transporters in renal regeneration is investigated, with an emphasis on the role of stem cells in kidney tissue repair.

Relevant publications:

A.Huls M et al. 2010 Cell Transplantation 19: 1195-1208 DOI: 10.3727/096368910X504478 B.Masereeuw R and Russel FGM 2010 Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2: 200-216 DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.02.007 C.Huls M et al. 2009 J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 328: 2-9 DOI: 10.1124/jpet.107.132225

7. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (

Lead scientist: Elena Levtchenko (renal physiology & nephrology)

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (UHL) house the Department of Paediatric Nephrology, which has a tradition of treating children with diverse renal disorders, in particular, congenital nephropathies/tubulopathies. With the laboratory of Paediatrics and Stem Cell Institute, it forms a translational team with expertise in renal physiology/pathology, podocyte biology, congenital renal disorders, renal tubular transport, renal cell culture and stem cell biology.

Relevant publications:

A.Wilmer MJ et al. 2010 Cell Tissue Res. 339: 449-457: DOI: 10.1007/s00441-009-0882-y B.Tjwa M et al. 2009 J. Clin. Invest. 119: 1008–1018. DOI:10.1172/JCI36010 C.Hoefs SJ et al. 2008 Am. J. Hum. Genet. 82: 1306–1315: DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.04.020

8. Heidelberg University, Germany (

Lead scientist: Norbert Gretz (nephrology and experimental medicine)

The Institute for Medical Technology (IMT) of the Heidelberg University and the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim is an interdisciplinary and interuniversitary research institute founded in 2008 and jointly run by both universities. The IMT is dedicated to interdisciplinary research in the field of medical technology, and to the provision of high quality education at undergraduate (BSc and MSc Programmes) and graduate (Graduate Programme) levels in natural sciences related to medicine, biotechnology, and medical informatics. IMT includes a network of university institutes, departments and work groups.

Relevant publications:

A.Schock-Kusch D et al. 2011 Kidney Int. 79: 11: 1254-1258 DOI: 10.1038/ki.2011.31 B.Corsini NS et al. 2009 Cell Stem Cell 5:178-90: DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2009.05.004 C.Schock-Kusch D et al. 2009 Nephrol Dial Transplant. 24: 2997-3001 DOI: 10.1093/ndt/gfp225

9. Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Israel (Sheba Academic Medical Centre)

Lead scientist: Benjamin Dekel (stem cell biology, kidney development & nephrology)

The Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute at the Sheba Medical Center, Israel's largest Medical Center, is a unique place where clinicians, clinical scientists and scientists interact to translate basic findings into applications of regenerative medicine and cell therapy so as to develop novel remedies for incurable diseases. Our specific aims include (i) to translate basic findings in stem cell research to applications of cell therapy and regenerative medicine, especially to cure of renal diseases by endogenous tissue progenitors; (ii) to develop novel therapeutics against cancer via targeting cancer stem cells; (iii) to develop a research environment to promote interactions between pediatric clinicians and scientists.

Relevant publications:

A.Buzhor E, at al. 2011 Tissue Eng 17(17-18):2305-19.DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2010.0595 B.Pleniceanu O et al. 2010 Stem Cells 28: 1649–1659 DOI: 10.1002/stem.486 C.Metsuyanim S et al. 2009 Plos One 4:e6709 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0006709 D. Pode-Shakked N et al. 2009 J. Cell. Mol. Med. 13: 1792-1808 DOI: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00607.x

10. Spheritech Ltd [SME], UK (

Lead scientist: Don Wellings (biomaterials science)

Spheritech is a UK based SME (small to medium sized enterprise) specializing in the manufacture of polymeric constructs for biotechnology and medicinal applications. The company has numerous academic and industrial collaborators throughout Europe, the USA and Australia. The company has developed novel technology for the incorporation of controlled pores within three dimensional macroporous scaffolds for regenerative medicine. More recently the invention of novel inexpensive biodegradable polymers complements these materials.

11. University of South Australia (UniSA/Mawson Institute)

Lead scientist: Krasimir Vasilev (biomaterials science)

The team at Mawson Institute, UniSA , Australia, consists of material scientists who have a strong focus on the design of novel biomaterials. The team has extensive expertise in surface modification and is internationally recognised for its contribution to the field of plasma polymerisation and the development of novel surface coatings for various applications, including cell culture and drug delivery devices. The equipment for generating chemical gradients, the ‘gradientiser’ is a unique tool only available at the Mawson Institute and will be a key contribution to the Network.

Relevant publications:

A. Vasilev K et al. 2010 Nano Letters 10: 202–207 DOI: 10.1021/nl903274q B.Vasilev K et al. 2010 Biomaterials 31:392-397 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.09.056 C.Vasilev K et al. 2010 Biomaterials 31:532-540 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.09.074

12. Freudenberg Forschungsdienste, Germany (

Lead scientist: Ralph Heinrich (electronic engineering)

Freudenberg Forschungsdienste KG, the R&D service center of the Freudenberg Group, develops materials, manufacturing technologies, methods and new products on commission from Group companies. Freudenberg Forschungsdienste KG has a technical collaboration with the Gretz team (Partner 8) and currently participates in the FP7 program ‘PLACE-it’ (Platform for large area conformable electronics by integration), playing a role in the supervision of appointed researchers.

13. Cyanagen, Italy (

Lead scientists: Leopoldo Della Ciana (Scientific Director) & Rossana Perciaccante (Research Leader)

Cyanagen is a small company dedicated to research and production of chemicals reagents, optical and fluorescent markers. The main focus is on the synthesis, development and production of chemiluminescent and fluorescent reagents for biological analysis, with particular reference to proteomics and genomics, as well as chemical sensors. As a result of intensive research and obtaining important patents, Cyanagen is a recognized world leader in the field of chemiluminescent Western Blot and ELISA immunoassays. Cyanagen provides technological support to clients and carries out customized R&D.

14. Andreas Kurtz at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany (Charité University Hospital, Berlin)

Lead scientist: Andreas Kurtz

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