ECRT Projects

The ECRT aims to facilitate particularly early career scientists to form small teams to develop their ideas into research projects. The ECRT provides the Einstein Kickbox which offers seed money to carry out initial experiments to validate the novel research ideas, and collaboration support for their team work. The ECRT also offers research and consumable grants to further develop the concept projects into fully-fledged research. 

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Previous ECRT Consumable Grants

ECRT Consumable Grants - Funding Period 2018

Decoding the aged matrix - consequences of cellular senescence for tissue patterning and stem cell invasion

Bone fractures are one of the most frequent orthopedic problems requiring medical treatment. Facing an aging population, specifically in the western world, a better understanding of how bone regeneration processes are altered with age is essential to develop novel treatment strategies satisfying the clinical need. We have recently developed a toolbox to simulate and study extracellular matrix (ECM) formation in vitro by cultivating primary human fibroblasts inside 3D macroporous collagen scaffolds. We propose that under compromised conditions such as aging, these early tissue formation processes are altered (e.g. by ECM secretion pattern, ROS level, cellular tension) with further consequences for stem- and progenitor cell migration, proliferation and differentiation.

Team:  Erik Brauer, Sophie Schreivogel, Daniela Mau, Uwe Kornak, Ansgar Petersen

Funding Scheme: Einstein Kickbox - Young Scientists & ECRT Consumable Grant

Regenerative potential of adipose tissue - Unraveling the crosstalk between adipocytes and hypertrophic scar tissue

Our project is based on observations from plastic surgery: autologous fat grafts lead to a significant reduction of scar tissue. We will attempt to identify the fat components responsible for this phenomenon, as well as the molecular pathways they work within. Therefore, we will study the interactions between myofibroblasts, a cell type already known to play a crucial role in wound healing, adipocytes and the adipocyte secretome. Since wound healing processes include changes to the extracellular matrix, we will analyze matrix remodeling alongside changes to the intracellular signaling of myofibroblasts cultured in 2D and 3D. Ideally, we would like to incorporate a pathological phenotype into our studies. To this end, a research stay in the group of Susan Gibbs, Vrije University Amsterdam, has been organized during the Kickbox period, during which we will work with fibroblasts isolated from hypertrophic scars. 

TeamKatharina Hörst, Uwe von Fritschen, Nan Ma, Susan Gibbs, Sarah Hedtrich

Funding Scheme: Einstein Kickbox - Young Scientists & ECRT Consumable Grant

Role of mechanics and tissue architecture in pancreatic cancer and post-operative complications

Team: Evi Lippens, Rosa Schmuck, Amaia Cipitria, Dag Wulsten, Daniela Garske

Funding Scheme: Einstein Kickbox - Young Scientists & ECRT Consumable Grant