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Muskuloskelettales Centrum Würzburg


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May/June 2023

Research rotation and MD theses

MD students Severin Wallisch, Alexander Kolb are joining the group to start their experiments on the MD theses. We are also pleased to welcome Anton Straub to our team who will join us in research lab as part of his clinical research rotation.

March 2023

Delara Shahidi successfully defended her Master Thesis!

Delara defended her Master Thesis on  a 3D osteoblast-osteoclast co-culture model.

March 2023

A new MD!

Maximilian Leucht successfully defended his MD thesis on the characterization of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells from patients with coxarthrosis.

January 2023

New Review in American Journal of Physiology!

Our review “cellularity in bone marrow autografts for bone and fracture healing” with Sebastian Häusner as first author, has been accepted for publication in the Special Collection on Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineerinng in the American Journal of Physiology- Cell Physiology. Read more here: doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00482.2022

December 2022

Scientia scholarship awarded to our PhD student Jovana Ilic

We are happy to announce that our PhD student Jovana Ilic received a Scientia scholarship for young female scientists.

November 2022

4th MuSkITYR Symposium in Frankfurt!

The MuSkITYRs met in Frankfurt to discuss current scientific projects as well as future career prospects in a special mentoring session, with guests from industry and academia alike.
Our two day symposium started with presentations by our PhD students Jovana Ilic, and Sebastian Häusner with Katharina Marnet on the second day and finally a well-deserved „Best Question Award“ for Sebastian Häusner.

November 2022

New Publication alert!

Our paper titled “Enhancement of Immunosuppressive Activity of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells by Platelet-Derived Factors is Accompanied by Apoptotic Priming”, with Drenka Trivanovic as the first author was published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.

October 2022

The group was headed to a retreat in Heidelberg!

We met with the group of PD Dr. Solvig Diederichs from Heidelberg for a fun exchange of scientific ideas, where we discussed our projects and means to improve them.

October 2022

RIABONE Meeting Belgrade

After many virtual meetings, in October 2022 we finally met all partners of our (international) translational research project “RIABONE” in Belgrade. The great scientific talks once more highlighted the importance of face-to-face exchange, especially when working towards the same goal in different laboratories across the countries. With many new exciting ideas, we also enjoyed the beautiful city of Belgrade and hospitality of our hosts Prof. Dusko Spasovski and Prof. Aleksandra Jaukovic.

September 2022

Guest Prof Francois Eya‘ane is joining the group!

We are welcoming Francois, joining our group for 6 weeks as part of the DAAD Re-invitation Programme for Former Scholarship Holder.  During his stay he tested nanoformulated plant metabolites for their osteogenic potential.

September 2022

Osteologie 2022 in Baden-Baden

We had a very successful Osteology Conference this year! Our MD student Magdalena Stoeckl was awarded the best presentation award for young investigators, where she held a talk regarding her thesis with the title “Platelet-released factors stimulate mobility and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells“. We also won a prize for our poster with the title “Cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 as a tool to efficiently enrich myeloid angiogenic cells from peripheral blood”.

June 2022

New group member!

Katrin Übelmesser is joining the group for her MD thesis on immunomodulatory functions of MSC during human fracture healing.

June 2022

Guest lecture in Vienna

Marietta Herrmann was invited to the LBI Trauma to deliver a lecture with the title “Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Biology in Musculoskeletal Regeneration”.

June 2022

EACR Congress in Seville!

The European Association for Cancer Research Annual Congress was held in Seville, where one of our PhD candidates, Jovana Ilic, presented a poster with the title “Mesenchymal stromal cells achieve distinct effects on the growth of multiple myeloma cell and their resistant counterparts: significance of metabolic changes”.

May 2022

We were having leading EV researchers over!

In her role as co-chair of the DGOU MR-Net cluster for Extracellular Vesicles in stem cell research Marietta Herrmann hosted the annual meeting of the cluster, including an inspiring keynote lecture by Prof. Johannes Grillari.

May  2022

New Publication alert!

Our paper titled “Immune and stem cell compartments of acetabular and femoral bone marrow in hip osteoarthritis patients.”, with Drenka Trivanovic as the first author was published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Read more here: doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2022.05.001

May 2022

ECTS conference 2022 in Helsinki

Drenka Trivanovic, former postdoc in the group, and Marietta Herrmann attended this year`s ECTS conference, where we presented our results on bone marrow adipose tissue and hypophosphatasia. Marietta was also one of the speaker in the New Investigator Mentoring Session, talking about “How to deal with negative results”.

May 2022

New review is published!

The new publication „Präklinische Zell- und Tiermodelle zur Untersuchung der Auswirkungen des Parathormons auf den Zahnhalteapparat“ with Katharina Marnet as a first author in the journal Osteologie compares different studies on the administration of PTH and its effects on the periodontium. Read more here: doi: 10.1055/a-1830-9347

April 2022

The TERMIS EU community visits our lab!

On April, 25th we hosted a TERMIS EU virtual lab tour, where we and the other MCW members provided insights in our research.

April 2022

Christoph Koelbl successfully defended his Master Thesis!

Christoph Koelbl defended his thesis with the title “Three-dimensional co-culture of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells and multiple myeloma cells for investigation of myeloma microenvironment”. Congratulations Chris!

April 2022

Our very first PhD, Rita Pereira!

We are happy to announce that our PhD student Rita Pereira, successfully defended her thesis with the title “Modelling of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells interactions within the skeletal niche”, having published five papers during the course of her work! Well done Rita!

March 2022

1st Achilles School

We attended the 1st Achilles School “High-Throuhput Screening Technologies”  hosted by Prof. Denitsa Docheva and Prof. Manuela E. Gomes.

Februar 2022

New paper accepted in the Journal of Tissue Engineering.

We are happy to share our most recent paper! Great work by Rita Pereira and the whole team! We always knew that MSC love their natural ECM environment, here comes the proof.

Februar 2022

TERMIS award lecture

Marietta was honored to present the group`s research in the TERMIS-EU awards session webinar.

December 2021

Keynote lecture  Socratic Symposium

We were happy to contribute a keynote lecture given by Drenka Trivanovic to this year’s Socratic Symposium with the title “Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue: Identification of Progenitors, transcriptome and metabolic profile”.

November 2021

Marietta Herrmann awarded with the TERMIS-EU Robert Brown Early Career Principle Investigator Award

These were very amazing news at the end of the TERMIS meeting! Marietta`s early career achievements were honored with this precious award during the closing ceremony of the conference. This is for sure a reflection of all the great students, colleagues, collaborators and mentors along the way!

November 2021

TERMIS World Conference 2021 – back to the virtual world

Unfortunately, we had to move back to the virtual world for this year`s TERMIS meeting. Although networking was difficult this way, the conference was packed with amazing science. Our group contributed with a presentation of Rita Pereira!

November 2021

3. MuSkITYR Symposium in Göttingen!

The MuSkITYRs are a network for young translational researchers, where Marietta Herrmann acts as one of the speakers since 2019. Luckily, this year we could meet again for a face-to-face symposium. For the group this was associated with many first-time experiences. It was the first conference for Jovana Ilic, Magdalena Stöckl and Annika Schiminski as well as their first presentations in real life! Our conclusion in brief, a great job by everyone, an amazing meeting with great science and plenty networking opportunities!

October 2021

Marietta Herrmann`s habilitation wins the “AFOR Wissenschaftspreis 2021”

The cumulative habilitation of Marietta focused on the regenerative mechanisms in musculoskeletal tissues and was awarded by the Association for Orthopedic Research (AFOR Stiftung). The ceremony will take next year in February during the annual meeting of the society in Pontresina, Switzerland.

October 2021

DKOU 2021 takes place in Berlin!

Taking advantage of a still more or less stable pandemic situation, we could attend the annual DKOU conference in Berlin. Noah Volkmann presented the results of his MD thesis and did a great job at his first ever conference presentation.

September 2021

EORS Conference in Rome – finally a “real-life” conference again

This year’s EORS conference took place in the beautiful city of Rome. Next to great science, where Marietta Herrmann contributed a talk on “Platelet-released factors induce an immune regulatory signature in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells”, it was really nice to meet old and new colleagues, collaborators and friends!

September 2021

Katharina Marnet is joining the group!

Katharina will perform her PhD thesis on our DFG funded project on Primary Failure of Eruption (PFE) and investigate the molecular consequences of PTH1-receptor mutations in cells of the periodontal ligament. Read more here...

August 2021

New publication in Materials!

Our paper entitled “Modeling of the Human Bone Environment: Mechanical Stimuli GuideMesenchymal Stem Cell–ExtracellularMatrix Interactions” with Rita Pereira as first author has been accepted for publication in the special issue “Bone regeneration materials”.  Read more here: doi.org/10.3390/ma14164431


August 2021

Sofia Paulus defended her thesis!

Dentist Sofia Paulus successfully defended her MD thesis on the establishment of alkaline phosphatase deficient odontogenic cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing techniques.

Congratulations Miss Dr. med. Sofia Paulus!

August 2021

Sebastian Häusner is joining the group!

We welcome Sebastian as a new PhD student in the group. He will work on the newly funded RIABONE project.

July 2021

BMBF project kick-off

We are excited about the funding of a new collaborative project within the call WBC2019 dedicated to support research projects between Germany and Western Balkan States. The research consortium with the acronym RIABONE, coordinated by Marietta Herrmann is aiming to develop optimized bone autografts. Project partners are Prof. Torsten Blunk (Würzburg), Prof. Aleksandra Jauković, Prof. Dusko Spasovski, Prof. Petar Milosavljević (all Belgrade) and the industry partner Osartis.

July 2021

It is never too late to celebrate….

The last months have been very successful and finally we were able to meet and celebrate the acquired fundings and published papers! It was a nice evening with former and future students!

May 2021

Very successful ECTS conference

Again the Covid-19 pandemic prevented a face-to-face meeting. Still we had a very successful virtual meeting with three oral presentations. Congratulations to Drenka Trivanović for the following contributions:

“New Insights Into Cells of Human Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue”

“Acetabular and Femoral Bone Marrow in Patients with Hip Osteoarthrosis: Cellular Landscape of Immune and Stromal Compartments”

“Extramedullary erythropoiesis is activated during hematoma phase of bone healing in mice”

May 2021

New article on “Networks for Young Musculoskeletal Researchers”

This new publication in the journal Osteologie provides an overview on networking opportunities for young scientists in the musculoskeletal field. Coordinated by Marietta Herrmann the article was a joint project between members of: MuSkITYR (www.muskityr.com), Junges Forum O und U (www.jf-ou.de/startseite/) and AGA-Studenten (www.aga-online.ch/ausbildung/studenten/).  DOI 10.1055/a-1373-9297

March 2021

Virtual Osteology Conference 2021

We actively participated in this year’s Osteology conference. Marietta Herrmann co-chaired the junior research session where Sofia Paulus delivered a presentation with the title: “Establishment of an alkaline phosphatase deficient odontogenous cell line to analyze dental aspects of hypophosphatasia”. Congratulations to Sofia for her first ever conference presentation!

March 2021

New students are joining the group – we welcome Annika Schiminski, Magdalena Stöckl and Christoph Kölbl!

Annika is starting her MD thesis where she will characterize progenitor cells in bone marrow adipose tissue. The MD thesis of Magdalena will focus on survival mechanisms of MSC in inflammatory environments. Christoph will perform his Master thesis in our group and focus on the development of 3D co-culture models of MSC and Multiple Myeloma cells.

February 2021

Paper accepted!

We are very happy that our collaborative work with Gloria Belén Ramírez-Rodríguez from Spain has been accepted for publication. Congratulations to Rita Pereira for her shared first authorship! Please check out our paper "Biomimetic Mineralization Promotes Viability and Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Perfusion Bioreactor" here: doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031447

January 2021

Jana Schiffmaier is joining our group.

Jana will do her MD thesis and investigate phenotypic alterations in cell lines with mutations in the ALPL gene encoding the Tissue Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase (TNAP) that serve as a model system for the rare disease hypophosphatasia.

January 2021

Our new review article on “Extracellular Vesicles in Muskuloskeletal Pathologies and Regeneration” is out!

This new review was the result of collaborative work with other partners in a research consortium on extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their role in bone and cartilage pathologies. You will find a very comprehensive overview on EVs:


December 2020

DFG project on molecular mechanisms in PFE approved – PhD Student Wanted!

In this project will focus on unravelling molecular mechanisms of the rare disease Primary Failure of Eruption (PFE), which is characterized by incomplete tooth eruption and associated with mutations in the parathyroid hormone receptor (PTH1R). The aim of the collaborative project with the orthodontic department (Prof. Martin Eigenthaler) is to apply genome editing strategies, such as CRISPR/Cas9, to generate transgenic cell lines to investigate functional consequences of PTH1R deficiency and to test potential novel therapeutic strategies. We can`t wait to get started!

December 2020

Marietta Herrmann successfully finished her habilitation!

November 2020

Drenka Trivanović receives funding from Fritz Thyssen Stiftung!

In frame of the “boost your research” program Drenka acquired funding for her work on bone marrow adipose tissue progenitors. We are very happy for this support!

October 2020

ECTS 2020 Live Prime Time

Although it is not the same as a real face to face meeting, we were very happy to attend the virtual ECTS congress, full with brilliant science! We contributed a poster on the cellular dynamics during the hematoma phase of bone healing presented by Drenka Trivanović. Moreover, we were happy to participate in the fund raising event to support FOP (Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive) France.

August 2020

Rita Pereira receives ON/EORS Education Grant for the attendance of the virtual EORS congress!

We are happy to announce that Rita received a grant covering the registration fee for this year’s virtual conference of the European Orthopedic Research Society. Rita will contribute a poster presentation and is looking forward to an interesting meeting.

August 2020

Jovana Ilic arrived in Germany!

After months of waiting for her visa, Jovana finally could join our group and start her PhD work in the lab. Her thesis is supported by a fellowship from the Bavarian Research Alliance and will focus on interactions between MSC and multiple myeloma.Read more here

July 2020

Marietta Herrmann receives funding from the Max Buchner Forschungsstiftung!

We are very happy about the support of a collaborative research project with the Department of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM)
on “A modular fluid flow bioreactor system to investigate the role of oxygen tension in tumor invasion and metastasis".

June 2020

Kim Koschitzki defended her MD thesis!

As first student in the group, Kim successfully completed her MD thesis entitled “Evaluation of preclinical animal models in bone tissue engineering and their success in clinical translation”. Congratulations!

June 2020

New team members!

Slowly restarting our regular lab work, we are joined by new team members: Bianca Schlierf and Andrea Knorz will support the group as technical assistants, while Mert Ergin, enrolled in the Biofabrictaion Master program at University Bayreuth will perform his thesis with us.

April 2020

Marietta Herrmann takes the turn as co-chair of the Musculoskeletal Center Würzburg (MCW).

Together with Prof. Torsten Blunk (Department of Trauma-, Hand-, Plastic- and Reconstructive Surgery), Marietta is following the long-term speaker Prof. Franz Jakob as speaker of the MCW.

April 2020

Check out our new publication:

Pereira AR, Rudert M, Herrmann M. Decellularized human bone as a 3D model to study skeletal progenitor cells in a natural environment. Methods Cell Biol. 2020;157:123-141. doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2019.11.018. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

April 2020

We are happy to have contributed to this great paper:

Melms H, Herrmann M, Förstner K, Bharti R, Schneider D, Mentrup B, Rudert M, Schlagenhauf U, Jakob F, Graser S. Novel molecular cues for dental defects in hypophosphatasia. Exp Cell Res. 2020 Apr 22:112026. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.112026.

March 2020

Noah Volkmann is joining our group.

Supported by a GSLS fellowship, Noah started to work on his MD thesis on the role of extracellular vesicles in promoting the immunomodulatory functions of MSC in bone healing. Read more here

March 2020

Check out our new review article:

Herrmann M, Engelke K, Ebert R, Müller-Deubert S, Rudert M, Ziouti F, Jundt F, Felsenberg D, Jakob F. Interactions between Muscle and Bone—Where Physics Meets Biology, Biomolecules, 2020

February 2020

Sofia Paulus starts her MD thesis.

After recently finishing her degree in dentistry at University in Heidelberg, Sofia is joining our lab working on dental aspects of the rare disease hypophosphatasia. Read more here

February 2020

Finally arrived in our own lab!

Having improvised all the last years, we now finally settled in our own lab! What a relief!

December 2019

Technical advances

We just received our new flow cytometer, an Attune NxT Cytometer with 4 laser. Having our own flow cytometer also means much less commuting to other facilities!

December 2019

PhD fellowship by Bayerische Forschungsstiftung for Jovana Ilić

We are happy to announce that our application for a PhD fellowship was approved. Now we are looking forward to welcome PhD student Jovana Ilić from Belgrade, starting in March next year to work on a project entitled “Wechselspiel zwischen Seneszenz und Stammzelleigenschaften im Multiplen Myelom und im Stroma des Wirts – Implikationen für Therapie und Diagnostik” in collaboration with the ForTiTher consortium.

December 2019

1st MuSkITYR Symposium in Günzburg

Marietta Herrmann led the organization of the first symposium of the MuSkITYRs.

November 2019

Knochen, Muskeln, Gelenke – Update 2019 Berlin

MD student Janek Harder gave his first conference presentation with the title: “Comparison of cellular characteristics in bone marrow from acetabulum and proximal femur in patients with coxarthrosis”. He also won a travel fellowship!

October 2019

DKOU 2019 – Berlin

One month later, we again visited Berlin, where Drenka Trivanović contributed a talk with the title “Immune regulatory and stem cell functions of human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells exposed to hematoma factors in vitro”. We also took the chance to meet up with members of the MuSkITYR network.

September 2019

GSCN 2019 - Berlin

Drenka Trivanović and Marietta Herrmann joined the annual conference of the German Stem Cell Network in Berlin, where Drenka presented her work “Coordinated activation of mouse mesenchymal and hematopoietic progenitors in the early stage of bone healing” on a poster.

September 2019

KCOS 2019 – Seoul

Marietta Herrmann was invited as a representative of the ECTS Academy to give a lecture on “Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Orthopedic Diseases” at the annual Korean Congress Osteoporosis and Spine.

July 2019

Regeneration Research Symposium

We were delighted to participate with a keynote lecture given by Marietta Herrmann in an awesome symposium on Regeneration Research in Würzburg which was followed by the official opening of the Bernhard-Heine-Center for Locomotion Research by the Bavarian minister of science Bernd Sibler.

July 2019

Best Graphical Abstract Award

Our paper “Approaches to mimic the complexity of the skeletal mesenchymal stem/stromal cell niche in vitro” won the eCM best graphical abstract January-June 2019 award!  

27. -31.05.2019

TERMIS 2019 in Rhodes

Rita Pereira and Marietta Herrmann joined the EU-Chapter Meeting of TERMIS and Rita delivered a presentation on her work “A human bone-derived 3D scaffold for studying MSC interactions within the skeletal niche”.


ECTS 2019 in Budapest

Marietta Herrmann took part in this year`s annual meeting of the ECTS. Besides her involvement in the activities of the ECTS Academy, Marietta introduced the MuSkITYR network in the Next Generation Synergy Session and the group contributed a poster presentation.

May 2019

Exciting times for the group, new team members - new rooms

After having been guests in the laboratories of the Orthopedic Center for Musculoskeltal Research for the past 2 years (a big thank you to the group for their hospitality), we have now moved to new rooms, where we closely collaborate with the Chair for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM), also here a big thank you for the warm welcome! At the same time 3 new team members started their theses in the group. Welcome to Janek Harder (MD Student), Jasmin Batani (B.Sc. Student) and Alexandra Maag (B.Sc. Student)!

May 2019

Marietta Herrmann elected as chair of the MuSkiTYR, www.MuSkITYR.com, @MuSkITYR

One year after founding, the MuSkiTYR (MusculoSkeletal Interdisciplinary Translational Young Researchers) voted for new chair persons to take the lead in further shaping this young organization. Together with Felix Schmidt (Hamburg, co-chair), Marietta Herrmann will now take lead in running the network and organizing their acitivities.


Poster Price for the group @Osteologie 2019 in Frankfurt

At the annual Osteologie meeting we won the DVO Poster Price for our collaborative work with the AO Foundation Research Institut Davos. We are very grateful for this award and the great feedback!
Title: Evaluation of Preclinical Models for Testing of Bone Tissue Engineered Constructs - Need for Optimization
Authors: Stephan Zeiter, Kim Koschitzki, Mauro Alini, Maximilian Rudert, Marietta Herrmann


Poster Price for the group @DKOU 2018 in Berlin
MD student Maximilian Leucht (kindly supported by a student travel fellowship from DKOU) and Marietta Herrmann attended the annual DKOU meeting. As highlight of a successful meeting at the interface of science and clinics in Orthopedics & Trauma we were awarded a price for the best experimental poster! A great reward for great teamwork of the whole group!


External Audit IZKF Würzburg
Drenka Trivanović and Rita Pereira presented the research focus of the group during the external audit of the IZKF.


EUREKA! 2018
Rita Pereira did not only present her work, but was also part of the organization committee of the international symposium of the Graduate School of Life Sciences in Würzburg.


Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) Symposium
Rita Pereira joined this great symposium organized by young researchers in Girona, Spain and presented her work “Natural-derived in vitro models to study the physical-chemical dynamics of bone healing” as oral and poster presentation.


Annual Meeting of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN)
Drenka Trivanović and Marietta Herrmann attended this year’s meeting of the GSCN in Heidelberg with lots of brilliant science. Drenka presented a poster with the title “Hematoma components orchestrate immunomodulatory effects of human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells”.


Travel grant for Drenka Trivanović!
We are happy to announce that Drenka Trivanović received a travel grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds to support her training in in vivo methods at the AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland.


Our group attended this year`s IZKF Retreat at lovely Kloster Banz. Next to plenty of networking opportunities with other IZKF members, we contributed a poster entitled “Mesenchymal stromal cells in in 3D culture systems: Insights into immunomodulatory activities” presented by Drenka Trivanović.


During this year`s ECTS conference Marietta Herrmann was introduced as a new member of the ECTS Academy
The ECTS Academy has be founded as a daughter society of the ECTS. The concept follows the model of interdisciplinary Young Academies: young researchers self-organise their society to foster personal contact and networking among the most talented young scientists. To learn more about the activities of the Academy follow us on twitter @AcademyEcts.


The first abstract from our group was accepted for poster presentation at this year’s DKOU in Berlin (23.10.-26.10.2018).
Title: The bone marrow microenvironment in patients undergoing hip endoprosthesis surgery due to coxarthrosis or femoral neck necrosis
Authors: Marietta Herrmann (presenting), Boris Holzapfel, Theresa Kreuzahler, Maximilian Rudert, Drenka Trivanović


Maximilian Leucht joined our group as MD student. His thesis will focus on the bone marrow microenvironment related to degenerative diseases of the femoral neck.


Our group is in the spotlight of the recent IZKF Newsletter.