LUMC takes lead in construction of stem cell facility

Over the next few years, Leiden BioScience Park will become the site of a brand-new high-tech stem cell facility: the Netherlands Centre for the Clinical Advancement of Stem Cell Therapies (NECST). The facility will welcome researchers and start-up firms that are working to develop stem cell and gene therapy products.

EUROoC network lays the foundations for joint European organ-on-a-chip research

Het LUMC will participate in EUROoC: a European research network to promote organ-on-a-chip technology. Organ-on-a-chip systems enable the recapitulation of human organ tissues on a very small scale. 

‘Europe in danger of being out-innovated in regenerative medicine’

Europe is in danger of falling behind countries such as Japan and the US if there is not more flexibility in how new therapies are regulated, according to Ton Rabelink, professor of internal medicine and head of nephrology at the LUMC in Horizon, the EU Magazine for Research & Innovation. Read the interview. 

Scientists culture miniature pancreata as a new research platform

A team of scientists of the Hubrecht Institute and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), led by Eelco de Koning, has been successful in culturing miniature organs from human pancreatic tissue. These miniature pancreata show many characteristics of developing pancreatic tissue, and are therefore suited as a new platform for studying pancreas regeneration and the development of insulin-producing cells.

Transplantation speeds up development of cultured mini-kidney

 Researchers from Leiden and Australia transplanted a mini-kidney under the kidney capsule of a mouse and saw that it grew into a more mature mini-organ, inclusive of blood vessels. They published their results in Stem Cell Reports.

Dutch researchers lead European organs-on-chips consortium in Europe

The Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) and Dutch organ-on-chip consortium hDMT are the leaders of an EU project that will be setting up a European infrastructure for the joint development, production, and implementation of organs-to-chips by the scientific and business communities. A total of six prominent European research institutes will participate in this project.

Millions for correction of stem cells of babies without immune systems

Babies whose immune systems do not function from birth are usually given stem cell transplants. An international research team led by the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum is given 6 million euros from the European Horizon2020 programme for their research into a promising alternative: correction of the error in the DNA.

Almost 19 million euros for ‘organs-on-chips’

It may sound futuristic, but it is possible, nonetheless: creating miniature organs of patients to study how diseases develop and can be treated. This is what researchers of LUMC, Twente University (UT), UMCG, TU Delft, and the Hubrecht Institute want to achieve in the next 10 years with a Zwaartekracht subsidy of almost 19 million euros, which they recently received from science financier NWO.

New collaboration in regenerative medicine started in LUMC

The kick-off of RegMed XB, a new collaboration for regenerative medicine, takes place on Thursday 30 March at LUMC. RegMed XB has great ambitions: a cure for patients with chronic disease, instead of the treatment of symptoms. Universities, medical funds, businesses, and the government will be working together, with a starting budget of 25 million euros and a plan to increase this to 250 million euros in the next 10 years.

Large EU-subsidy to culture mini-ovary

Susana Chuva de Sousa Lopes wants to study development and maturation of the oocyte within the human ovary, to develop a artificial mini-ovary. Her proposal was rewarded with a ERC-grant of 2 million Euros for the next 5 years.

ERC Starting Grant for heart rhythm disturbances

LUMC researcher Dr Daniël Pijnappels received an European ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros. He will use this grant to investigate how the heart can detect and correct disturbances in the rythm. Read his interview by the Horizon EU Research and Innovation magazine.

LUMC offers free online course on transplantation

The LUMC is the first medical institution in the world to offer a massive online open course (MOOC) on clinical kidney and pancreas transplantation. LUMC transplant experts developed the free English-language course in collaboration with Leiden University.

Major EU subsidy for the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta in utero

The European Union makes 6.6 million euros available for research into the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta before birth. In the coming years, the treatment will be tested on 20 children with the most severe form of this ‘brittle bone disease’. Prof Dick Oepkes will be carrying out the study.

Easier creation of heart cells from the patient’s own skin cells

In the lab, Prof Christine Mummery forms heart patients’ skin cells into stem cells. These are then matured into various types of heart muscle cells in a step-by-step process. However, until recently, the yield of cells was small and limited to ventricular cells and atrium cells. In Nature Biotechnology, the researchers describe how cell production can be scaled up significantly.

Stem cell researcher receives ERC Starting Grant

Richard Davis, researcher of the Anatomy and Embryology department, receives a prestigious ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). He spends this money on the STEMCARDIORISK project, in which he studies cardiac arrhythmia with the help of stem cells. 

Stem cells offer more insight into rare sudden cardiac death

By growing stem cells of patients into heart cells, researchers have discovered how a rare syndrome can lead to sudden cardiac death. The next step is to test medication on these cells. This according to researchers, including Prof Christine Mummery and Dr Milena Bellin (Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum), in PNAS.

Stem cell injection proves beneficial after kidney transplant

Patients who receive donor kidneys seem to benefit from cells from their own bone marrow, according to researchers of the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

First transplantation of islets of Langerhans

Doctors at the LUMC were the first to transplant the islets of Langerhans, the region of the pancreas that regulates the blood sugar level. Another first in the Netherlands. This transplant helps diabetes patients who cannot regulate their blood sugar level by injecting insulin.

Herman the Bull

Herman the Bull sees the light of day. He is the first genetically modified bull in the world. (Photo by Urville Djasim)

First pancreas transplantation in the Netherlands

At Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden (now LUMC) doctors perform the first successful pancreas transplantation in the Netherlands.

First successful stem cell transplant

Another first: doctors from Leiden perform the first successful bone marrow transplant on a child in Europe. A boy suffering from a congenital defect of the immune system is given bone marrow from his sister. Van Rood determines that brother and sister have exactly the same tissue type. The transplant is a great success. From that moment on, Van Rood is also involved in bone marrow transplants.

Jon van Rood sets up Eurotransplant

Dr Jon van Rood sets up Eurotransplant, a collaboration between European transplant centres. Because the larger the network, the greater the likelihood of a match between donor and recipient. Belgium is the first to participate. After this, another seven European countries join. At first, only kidneys are exchanged, later other organs are added to the list. Since its founding, over 187,000 patients have received an organ via Eurotransplant.

First successful kidney transplantation

Leiden has another first: the first successful kidney transplantation. A mother donated a kidney to her son. In that same year, the first liver transplant also took place in Leiden, unfortunately without success. Kidneys and livers were already being transplanted in other western countries at the time. Rejection of the donor organs was a major problem. Jon van Rood discovers that kidney transplants have a higher success rate if the tissue types of the donor and recipient match.

First successful haemodialysis

Dr Kolff, born in Leiden, is the first to successfully treat a patient with haemodialysis.

First kidney transplantation

Prof Dr J.H. Zaaijer performs a kidney transplantation on his dog Piet. He moved the left kidney to the left groin and removed the right kidney. After this, the dog lived for another 6 years. In doing so, Zaaijer set an absolute record for the time.