LUMC Research themes

Cells, Tissues and Organs

Cells, tissues and organs can be used as models to study disease or used themselves as therapeutics for (chronic) diseases, through for example transplantation. The Theme Cells, Tissues and Organs (CTO) covers both approaches, the ultimate aim being to resolve unmet clinical needs.

Vision and mission

Over the next 5 years, our ambition is to develop the CTO Theme to deliver new therapies Regenerative Health at LUMC. Clinician scientists interacting closely with and inspired by basic scientists will advance applications of Regenerative Medicine in tissue and organ repair. We will adapt and combine cells, including stem cells, and biomaterials for direct transfer to patients. In addition, we will use them as personalised or disease specific models to identify drugs and gene therapies for precision medicine.

Original and collaborative thinking

Creating ecosystems that facilitate original and collaborative thinking will support better grant proposals, publications, visibility and overall output on the Theme’s topics and ultimately benefit patient health. Better alignment of LUMC clinicians with basic scientists will optimise the valorisation of our research.

For all CTO Theme applications, cells, tissues and organs for transplantation and other therapeutic strategies need to be appropriately defined and their application validated before use. Other therapeutic strategies include drug and gene discovery based on known disease mechanisms or signalling pathways. Besides, regulatory and other procedures need to be correctly followed in moving to clinical trials. The LUMC already has experience in this area but sharing knowledge and expertise with other Themes for Innovation at the LUMC, such as Academic Pharma, can accelerate implementation.

“We have a strong profile in human pluripotent stem cell research, combined with complementary capabilities in cell production and functional readouts and a track record in clinical translation of cell therapies. This means that the LUMC is well-placed to deliver novel models for human disease and the next generation of hiPSC based therapeutics to patients.”- Christine Mummery

About us

Christine Mummery, Professor of Developmental Biology

Christine Mummery is Professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Center and an expert on pluripotent stem cells. She became guest professor at the University of Twente in 2015 to use stem cells in organ-on-chip models. In 2017, she led an NWO Gravity consortium to carry out this research nationally. She has also received ERC-Advanced and Proof-on-Concept grants. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science and Academia Europaea. She wrote the lay-guide Stem Cell: Scientific Facts and Fiction and is Founding Editor-in-Chief of Stem Cell Reports, the journal of the International Society of Stem Cell Research.

Ian Alwayn, Professor of Transplant Surgery

Ian Alwayn is Professor of Surgery, in particular Transplant Surgery. He is also Head of the Transplant Surgery sub-department of the LUMC and chairman of the management team of the LUMC Transplantation Center. He has received grants for his research from, among others, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (VENI), Canadian Institution of Health Research, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation and the Dutch Kidney Foundation.

Françoise Carlotti

Françoise Carlotti is Associate Professor and Head of the Islet Research lab. Her research interests focus on investigating mechanisms underlying pancreatic beta-cell adaptation and cellular plasticity, and on alternative sources of insulin-producing cells for beta-cell replacement therapy. As principal investigator (PI), she obtained research funding among others from JDRF, the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation, DON foundation, and the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes. She is a PI in the Dutch initiative RegMed XB, and in the H2020 European consortia ISLET and ESPACE.

Research collaborations and alliances

Opportunities

For Businesses

If you would like to collaborate or seek specific expertise and do not know where to start, please contact us and we will connect you.

Email: CTOtheme@lumc.nl

For PhDs andPostdocs

If you are looking for a position within the Cells, Tissues and Organs Theme or are near the end of your contract and interested in opportunities elsewhere, please contact us.

Email: CTOtheme@lumc.nl

For Students

Please contact the Cells, Tissues and Organs Theme leaders if you are looking for an internship. We generally recommend a minimum internship period of 6 months since learning about the cell culture technology required for research requires sufficient training time.

Email: CTOtheme@lumc.nl

Our vacancies

Read more about our topics and scientists

Sub-themes

Cells, tissues and organs can be used as models to study disease or used as therapeutics for (chronic) diseases, through for example, transplantation. The Theme CTO includes both approaches as its research focus, with the ultimate aim to resolve unmet clinical needs. Research within the theme is divided into three subthemes.

The subtheme Regenerative medicine is divided into Cell therapy and Gene therapy. Cell therapy has the ultimate aim to produce clinical-grade stem cell derivatives and use these to treat conditions of clinical focus within the LUMC. Gene therapy deals with the repair of genetic defects in a patient own cells and can be carried out using various approaches, including viral vectors.

Our subtheme Disease modelling is about stem cells, microphysiological systems (MPS) or Organs-on-Chip that many research groups in the LUMC use to create models for heart, kidney, brain, lung, bone, muscle, liver, eye, ear, blood vessels and skin. In many cases, genetic diseases have been captured by these models and research is underway to find gene or drug therapies.

The LUMC is a leading centre for transplantation, and in our subtheme Transplantation, we build on a long and successful history of bone marrow transplantation and strong transplant immunology expertise. Our main goals are to assess and optimise donor organ, tissue and cell quality before transplantation, to develop novel strategies of targeted intervention in donor and recipient, and to improve patient outcomes on the waitlist and post-transplant.

Our sub-themes


Regenerative Medicine
Disease modelling