Prof. Dr. Bernd Giebel
The group of Bernd Giebel focuses on two different topics. Traditionally, the group is interested in dissecting mechanisms controlling the decision of self-renewal versus differentiation of human hematopoietic stem cells. Apart of demonstrating that multipotent hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) divide asymmetrically to create two differently specified daughter cells, the group predicted a novel model for hematopoiesis according to which neutrophils and lymphocytes arise from one branch of the hematopoietic tree and basophils, eosinophils, megakaryocytes and erythrocytes from the other. In 2009, the group stepped into the fast expanding field of extracellular vesicle (EV) research, which are frequently termed exosomes or microvesicles. Apart of improving technologies for the EV preparation and characterization, the group investigates the therapeutic potential of EVs released from mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). Amongst others, in collaboration with colleagues from the University Hospital Essen, the group demonstrated in mice that MSC-EVs improve ischemic stroke outcomes in a comparable manner than their parental MSCs. Furthermore, MSC-EVs suppressed symptoms in an otherwise treatment resistant acute graft-versus-host disease patient. Currently, the group optimizes and qualifies the MSC-EV production for the clinical setting.