Renowned scientists from around the world can be invited to Berlin for short-term stays to foster in-depth scientific exchange and international collaborations in the field of 3Rs.
Interested project groups from EC3R can initiate the invitation of an international expert whose expertise will complement and advance excellent 3R research in Berlin. Part of the stay is also a lecture with discussions and individual meetings for the scientific community. The EC3R Steering Committee decides on the respective funding at its regular meetings.
Visiting Experts Prof. Dr. Michael J. Außerlechner is Professor of Tissue Engineering at the Medical University of Innsbruck and winner of the Austrian Prize for the Promotion of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments 2022/State Prize for the Promotion of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments 2022.
He is an expert in 3D-printed tissue, especially cancer models. Among other things, he established the 3D bioprinting laboratory at the University Hospital of the Medical University of Innsbruck. Among his most important contributions is his work on a bioprinted, vascularized 3D neuroblastoma model.
Michael Außerlechner was a guest of Kurreck Lab and gave a talk titled "3D bioprinted tissue equivalents to study tumor - microenvironment interaction" on June 21, 2023.
Dr. Paul Holloway (University of Oxford, England) visited the EC3R for two weeks in October 2022. This was preceded by the positive review of the application submitted by PD Dr. Philipp Mergenthaler, Dr. Harald Stachelscheid and Prof. Dr. Andreas Meisel from the project "Modelling cross-body organ dysfunction using human brain organoids to investigate neurodegenerative diseases". The visit was titled "Organ-on-a-chip model of the blood-brain barrier." During this visit, Dr. Holloway shared his knowledge, as well as techniques and tools on the organ-on-a-chip model of the glio-vascular unit (GVU), which mimics the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This model will be established in the Mergenthaler Lab. In addition, the visit increased the expertise of this EC3R project in perfusing their organoids.
The two EC3R Juniors of this project, Sarah Schmerbeck and Lina Hellwig, both PhD students in working group Mergenthaler, were highly involved in this visit. Dr. Holloway's visit allowed them to learn novel and cutting-edge organ-on-a-chip methods, complementing their stroke research.
In addition, Dr. Holloway gave a public lecture at the EC3R on microfluidic systems and specifically on the GVU/BBB model. The newly aquired knowledge by Dr. Mergenthaler's group via the EC3R guest expert will also be shared within the EC3R community, e.g., through future lab visits.