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TRANSTEM: ERA Chair in Translational Stem Cell Biology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TRANSTEM (TRANSTEM: ERA Chair in Translational Stem Cell Biology)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-09-30

TRANSTEM addresses the problems of tissue repair and regeneration, in a variety of disease conditions. Regenerative medicine includes the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs. TRANSTEM aims at developing successfull scientific research on adult stem cells in Bulgaria and nearby regions. Stem cell and regenerative medicine research has given rise to novel therapeutic strategies that have created new hopes and possibilities for patients. The body of stem cell research developed in TRANSTEM will contribute to play a critical role in informing funders, regulators, patient organizations, health policy experts as well as physicians, clinical researchers, scientists and biomedical companies.
The main achievement of the TRANSTEM project so far (M01-M18) is the successful recruitment of the ERA Chair in Translational Stem Cell Biology – Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra. In addition, we successfully conducted interviews and selected applicants to be hired within the ERA Chair’s team and published 4 scientific papers. Further, one public database of scientific images has been funded during the project.

The main achievements of the TRANSTEM project in the second reporting period (M19-M36) are i) the successful recruitment of the ERA Chair research team, including 2 full-time postdocs, 2 part-time post-docs, 4 junior researchers; ii) a number of experimental/theoretical training; iii) implementation of structural changes: MUV was awarded the HR Excellence in Research Logo with a review on the progress of the Action Plan in June 2024; iv) complementary equipment investments; v) implementation of mobilities and international collaborations; vi) implementation of the intellectual property rights (IPR) office; vii) publication of 8 scientific papers (average impact factor =6.1).
M1-M18 - We recently proposed and published advances in the knowledge (WP4) about:
-the transcriptomic dynamics of neural stem cells (NSC) in a monkey model of ischemia and neurogenesis.
-the epigenetic mechanisms regulating stemness (NSC) and behavior in the mouse hippocampus.
-the role of senolytics on the development of liver diseases and regeneration (progenitor cells).

M19-36 - We recently proposed and published advances in the knowledge (WP4) about:
-the post-translational modifications of histone variants and their role in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from somatic cells.
-the role of ghrelin and transcription Factor ZBTB20 in hypoxic brain progenitor cells and neurons.
-the role of rejuvenating factor Growth Differentiation Factor 11 (GDF11) in the plasticity and stemness of adipose tissue.
-the role of senolytics in nervous system plasticity.
Numerous experiments are ongoing. Until the end of the project, we expect to elucidate additional mechanisms involved in the biology and therapeutic use of NSC, HSC/MSC, LSC, and iPSC.
The ERA Chair Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra presents himself and his research soon after taking the positio
Press-conference after the kick-off meeting of the project (October 2019)