ESR 14: Validation of in vitro approaches for precision based medicine.




Project Title: Validation of in vitro approaches for precision based medicine.

Objectives: Validation of disease models in medicine is an essential prerequisite to their wider use and applicability. This project aims to validate in vitro models, particularly those developed by MAAST, in animal experiments and simple cell culture experiments as an integral and crucial step in the development of in vitro models. Initially, primary cells from different reporter mice will be provided for the in vitro experiments both at AACHEN and MAAST. Furthermore, training will encompass the read-outs of in vivo models including more standard methods like histopathology, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, western blotting, mRNA analyses as well as more sophisticated methods like ultrastructural analyses using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution microscopy and in vivo imaging using two-photon microscopy. These data will not only provide validation of models, but also provide specific parameters as the basis for the in vitro modelling of patient-specific diseases, with particular focus on kidney fibrosis or the cardiovascular consequences of chronic kidney diseases. The curriculum will also involve education in working with human material and biobanking (, and direct insight into medical practice, human disease diagnostics and pathology at the Institute of Pathology in Aachen. Direct accessibility to patients diseased tissues is an essential prerequisite for effective translational research (also outside of the kidney field).

Main Supervisor: Peter Boor (UKA)

Duration: 36 months

Expected start date: 1 February 2020

Planned Secondment: MAAST (6 months). Given the close spatial proximity of Maastricht and Aachen (approx. 40 km/40min by car) as well as the close cooperation in similar projects between these partners, the ESR from both sides will have a flexible possibility and opportunity to rotate between both scientific sides and to profit from the expertise of both institutions, throughout the entire project. The ESR will particularly focus on in vivo kidney models to be compared with in vitro ones being developed by MAAST. MTTLAB (2 months) during the third year to acquire knowledge on CRO/pharma regulations on advanced models for drug screening.

For any specific requests on this project, please get in contact with Prof. Peter Boor (