Technikum graduate conducts research in Chile in the field of neuroinflammation - FHTW as collaboration partner

Christina Schuh, a graduate of the Master's degree program "Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine", is conducting research at the Universidad del Desarollo on new approaches in the treatment of neuroinflammation. The UAS Technikum Wien is an active collaboration partner of the project.

The University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien Alumni Christina Schuh (Master Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine) has been awarded a 4-year research grant in her current research institution, the Universidad del Desarrollo (Institute for Medical Research and Innovation, Centre for Regenerative Medicine), Santiago de Chile. The individual funding “FONDECYT” (Fondo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) from the Chilean science agency ANID, finances the project, which investigates new approaches for the treatment of neuroregeneration based on therapeutic extracellular vesicles.

Neuroinflammation is a pathological feature of a variety of neurological diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease) and neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and depression, but can also be triggered by external factors. Known triggers include trauma, age, air pollution, chronic alcohol abuse, high-fat diet, bacterial infection or SARS-CoV-2. The therapeutic extracellular vesicles explored in this project have shown strong anti-inflammatory effects in in vitro experiments and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, making them a promising candidate for locally reducing inflammation in the brain.

The laboratories of the "Institute for Medical Research and Innovation" at the Universidad del Desalrollo enable high-end research to be carried out in emerging topics in medicine.

The UAS Technikum Wien is an active collaboration partner in this project: Within the research focus “Tissue Engineering & Molecular Life Science Technologies” the tasks will be to identify membrane components of the vesicles that are actively involved in the therapeutic effect. The project opens opportunities for bachelor and master students to participate in the field of therapeutic vesicles within the framework of their theses. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity to further strengthen international collaborations.

The Universidad del Desarrollo is located on the outskirts of Santiago at around 1000 meters above sea level in the Chilean Andes. In 2022, the new building of the medical faculty was inaugurated, which includes for example the "Institute for Medical Research and Innovation". The laboratories count with around 2000m2, enabling high-end research to be carried out in emerging topics in medicine, including personalized medicine, antibiotic resistance, hantavirus and SARS-CoV-2, biomarkers for cancer and molecular mechanisms of addiction.

Picture of the first meeting of representatives of the Universidad del Desarrollo and Viennese research institutions (FHTW, LBI Traumatology) in 2019.
From left to right: Andreas Teuschl-Woller, Marcelo Ezquer, Giovanni Grillari, Christina Schuh