LSFM4LIFE Partners

Establishing pancreas organoids for the therapy of T1D is an innovative process. Its accomplishment requires a critical mass of experts that is available at the European level.
Acknowledged experts from both academia and industry have multi-disciplinary expertise.

The consortium is trans-trandisciplinary and possesses the broad expertise in:

  • Clinical Therapy of Diabetes
  • Transplantation
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Three-dimensional Cell Cultures
  • Biomimetic Hydrogel Synthesis
  • GMP Production of Cellular Therapeutics
  • Advanced Light Microscopy, High-throughput Screening, High-content Imaging
  • Application of Biochemical Assays

Several consortium partners have already cooperated with each other and have long-standing common interests.

  • number 1 3D Light Microscopy
    Quantitative biology
    Project/Innovation management

  • goetheuni-logo
A major goal of the Physical Biology Group is to pursue experiments in the life sciences under close-to-natural conditions. Its members favor primary cell lines and try to avoid experiments with cultured cell lines, they favor three-dimensional cell cultures over two-dimensional cell monolayers that are cultivated on hard and flat surfaces and they try to maintain the three-dimensional context of plants, cell clusters, tissues sections and small animal embryos. In consequence, many specimens are relatively large, optically dense and require advanced methods in terms of preparation, maintenance, visualization, data handling and data analysis.

Light Sheet-based Fluorescence Microscopy
Overcoming the limitations of confocal fluorescence microscopy, we invented and developed light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) establishing it as a major tool in the modern life sciences.

A LSFM uses two independent, azimuthally arranged optical paths to excite the fluorophores in a specimen and to detect the fluorescence emission. The benefits of this tool are reduced out-of-focus blur and no photo-toxicity or photo-bleaching outside the illuminated volume.

The Goethe University is work package leader on Project and Innovation Management – WP01 and on Optimization, quality control – WP04
Scientific manager of LSFM4LIFE. Development and application of the High-Throughput Light Sheet Microscope (HT-LSFM). High-throughput and high-content screening of the human pancreas organoids.Role in LSFM4LIFE

Francesco Pampaloni
Dr. Francesco Pampaloni graduated in Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence, Italy. Awarded with a Marie-Curie Fellowship of the European Union, he moved to the University of Regensburg (Germany), where in 2002 obtained his Ph.D. with excellence. Following a postdoctoral position at the Research Center Juelich, Germany, in 2003 he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg as a post-doctoral research associate in the group of Ernst Stelzer. In 2009 he was appointed staff scientist at EMBL. Since 2010 he is staff scientist with permanent position at the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (BMLS) of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Physical Biological Group, where he leads the research focus on three-dimensional cell biology.

Phone: +49 (69) 798 42544

Dr. Francesco Pampaloni
Principal investigator

Prof. Ernst HK Stelzer
Principal investigator

Michaela Koller
Finance & Administration

Lotta Hof & Till Moreth
High throughput fluorescence imaging, assay development

Julia Tarnick, Max Brückner, Monica Dominguez, Calvin Krollman
Master students


Former team members

Marie Christine von Cosel
Fluorescence imaging

Benjamin Mayer
Data processing

  • number 2

    Stem cells and tissue regeneration
    Organoid formation

  • gurdoninstit-logo

The Gurdon Institute is part of the School of Biological Sciences in the Universitynof Cambridge, one of the leading academic institutions in the World. The University of Cambridge is dedicated to research and educational activities.

The Gurdon Institute is a world renowned leading Institution focused on promoting research in the areas of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Biology. Developmental and Stem Cell biology are concerned with how cells acquire and maintain their normal functions, and cancer is a result of cells escaping from these normal controls.

Research in the Gurdon Institute endeavours to extend our understanding of these processes through analysis of intracellular and intercellular activity at cellular and molecular level. In recognition of the achievements in Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, researchers from the institute have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine: Sir Martin John Evans (Isolation of Embryonic Stem Cells, 2007) and Professor Sir John Gurdon (Cellular Reprograming, 2012).

The Gurdon Institute, part of the School of Biological Sciences in the University of Cambridge, is work package leader on Pancreas organoids production and beta-cell differentiation – WP03
Meritxell Huch
Daisy Harrison
Chris Hindley
  • number 3

    3D in vitro microtissues for drug testing
    Functional screening of microtissues
    Standardised islet microtissues

  • insphero-logo
InSphero is a leading supplier of organotypic, biological in vitro 3D microtissues for predictive drug testing. It’s a spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the University Zurich

InSphero 3D Insight™ Microtissues enable more biologically relevant in vitro applications in efficacy and toxicology, including long-term and inflammation-mediated toxicity testing. They are more predictive, last longer and are more affordable than conventional cell-based models.

Moreover, the recently launched standardized islet microtissues (from human and rat origin) has become an attractive tool for numerous customers in the pharmaceutical industry as it satisfies the
requirements for applications in diabetes research and drug safety safety assessment, namely a high degree of standardization, readily available and quality controlled and long term in vitro performance.

InSphero has been recognised for its scientific and commercial achievements with a number of national and international awards and is also certified to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for its Quality Management System.

Insphero is performing and optimizing standard non-imaging luminescent and florescent endpoint assays for the characterization and quality control of hPOs.
Standardization of pancreatic organoid culture for expansion and differentiation. Functional assessment of pancreatic organoids and bench marking with human islet microtissues.
Dr Wolfgang Moritz is Co-founder and Head of R&D at InSphero AG with focus on early product development and applications. He has an extensive background in cell culture, tissue engineering, liver & pancreatic islet research and assay development.
Graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Zürich in 1991, he started as a doctoral fellow at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University Hospital Zürich. He performed research as a Postdoc in the diabetes area with focus on beta-cell physiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School (Prof. J. Habener). After that he became a group leader at the Department of Surgical Research focusing on research topics related to islet transplantation and liver surgery.

Phone: +41 (0)44 515 0501

Burcak Yesildag
Cell culture standardization

Aparna Neelakandhan
Functional assessment

  • number 4

    Biomimetic hydrogel development
    Protein and polymer modification
    Peptide design

  • cellendes-logo
Cellendes is a privately owned biotechnology company. It is a spinoff of the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen (NMI), where the founders developed Cellendes’ core technology.

The company specialises in the development of biomimetic hydrogel systems for three dimensional cell culture with expertise in:

  • chemical modification and purification of proteins and polymers as components for hydrogels for 3-D cell culture systems,
  • design of peptides as bio factors for controlling cellular phenotype in 3-D cell culture systems,
  • development of 3-D cell-based assays.

Furthermore, Cellendes has expertise in chemical, biochemical, as well as molecular biology assays.
Cellendes manufactures and commercializes hydrogels for 3-D cell culture since 2010. Cellendes’ hydrogel technology offers an extraordinarily high flexibility in gel composition and manipulation of physical gel properties. It comprises synthetic or chemically defined components suitable for the development of therapeutic products. Cellendes’ hydrogel technology is protected by two patents.

Cellendes is work package leader on the development of biomimetic hydrogel scafflods for the expansion of pancreatic organoids – WP05
Leading WP within Cellendes and coordination of WP with LSFM4LIFE network partners. Design of chemically defined hydrogel for optimal organoid growth and expansion.Role in LSFM4LIFE
Dr. Brigitte Angres is a cell biologist with special expertise in cell adhesion and developmental biology. She has 19 years of national and international professional experience in research and industrial product development including studies of mechanisms of cell-cell and cell-substrate adhesion of epithelial cells and the development of reagents for the life science market. In 2009 she co-founded Cellendes GmbH with Dr. Helmut Wurst and since directs application and design of Cellendes hydrogels, as well as marketing and business development.

Phone: +49 7121 1594011

Helmut Wurst, Ph.D.
Modification of hydrogel

Simon Fink
Optimise organoid culture

  • number 5

    Cellular therapies and regenerative medicine
    Industrial expertise in suppport of phase I-III clinical trials

  • pharmacell-logo
PharmaCell (PhC) is the leading Contract Manufacturing Organization for Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine in Europe. PhC operates two state-of-the-art GMP-licensed facilities located centrally in Europe, and supports Phase I to Phase III clinical trials.

Since 2006 (first GMP license granted) it has gained an extensive track record in the development and management of biomanufacturing processes in cell therapy field. Next to clinical trials manufacturing, PhC is also the manufacturer of two (out of four) EMA-approved cell therapy products
for the European market.

PhC is the only CMO worldwide to manufacture two cell therapies with approved market authorization. PhC has over the years prepared clinical material for 15+ preclinical and clinical studies (Phase I to Phase III) significantly contributing to the translation of ATMP from bench to bedside. It has also been selected for the commercial production of the first Authorized Cell-based regenerative product (ChondroCelect, by Tigenix) and the first Cell-based Cancer Vaccine in the EU (Provenge, by Dendreon).

PharmaCell translate the reseach protocol to a regulatory-compliant GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) process for the Phase I:II clinical trials – WP06
The team develops a strategy for the translation of the human pancreatic organoid production to a compliant GMP process focusing on sustainable later clinical and commercial phases.Role in the project
Nasser Sadr is manager of the Process Development and Research Department of PharmaCell. He has 10 years scientific and technical experience in ATMP, working both in academia and industry on manufacturing processes and quality control assays (development and validation). Nasser Sadr has published 12 papers on international peer reviewed journal, 1 book chapter (furthermore: 23 abstracts at international conferences, 1 Young Investigator Award, 1 First Prize at National Innovation Business Plan Competition).

Phone: 0031 438 200 036

Chiara Tamiello
Contribute to developing a strategy for the translation of the human pancreatic organoid production to a compliant GMP process
  • number 6

    Stem cell therapies
    Clinical expertise in GMP production of cellular therapies

  • policlinicomilano-logo
Fondazione IRCCS “Cà Granda” Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico has the goal to satisfy the needs of patients through the development and evaluation of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic patterns, on the basis of the knowledge stemming from basic and clinical research, as well as from biotechnological innovations (translational medicine).

A scientific approach is also used to foster the organization and management of health services, not only in the frame of the Foundation but also in the broader health care system run by the Italian Ministry of Health and the Lombardy Region Health Department.

The Unit of Cell Therapy and Cryobiology is active in both basic biomedical and applied clinical research. In 2007, the Cell Factory was certified by the Italian Drug Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco – AIFA) in compliance with European GMP regulations. Therefore, this partner leads a state-of-the-art cell culture facility equipped to conduct pre-clinical studies and to produce cell therapy products according to GMP guidelines.

Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Cell Factory Unit will be work package leader on Translation to GMP – WP06
Responsible of Workpackage 6 with the main goal of studying and evaluating how to transform all the research process of organoid production in a clinical cell product for future therapeutic purposes.Role in the project

Lorenza Lazzari
She is the R&D director of the Cell Factory, a unit dedicated to basic research and to GMP cell therapy protocols in the field of stem cells, where she coordinates and supervises all the experimental work. She is a reviewer for several international scientific journals and she is principal investigator in a number of national and international research programs and consortia related to basic and clinical research on stem cells. Her main field includes hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood, umbilical cord, adult human bone marrow, adipose tissue, peripheral blood, teeth, amniotic fluid and villi for research and clinical applications.

Phone: +39 02 5503 4053

Marta Dossena
Develop GMP-compliant human pancreas organoids for the cell-based therapy of Type 1 Diabetes

Elisa Montelatici
GMP operator

Rosaria Giordano
Qualified Person

Mariele Viganò
Quality Control Manager

Policlinico Milano

  • number 8

    Science communication
    Communication strategy and planning
    Dissemination activites

  • sparks-logo
Sparks & Co is a science communication agency specialized in European projects. Our team of experienced communicators make research accessible to all audiences and give projects the widest visibility.

Horizon 2020 research projects deserve the best communication strategy and that is why Sparks & Co have entered the LSFM4LIFE project as Communication and Dissemination partner.

Its activities range from creating a visual identity for a project, creating the right communication materials – cleverly targeted to reach the designated audiences – designing and regularly updating the project’s website, handling press relations, developing a social media strategy to best suit the project needs and measuring research outcomes impact.

Sparks & Co is the work package leader on Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation – WP08 activities for the project
Managing communication and dissemination actions to maximize project impact and handling internal communicationRole in LSFM4LIFE

caroline estephan
Ms. Caroline Estephan is Work Package leader for communication and dissemination activities, managing both scientific, technical partners and her team (designer and programmer) to provide the project the best communication strategy as well as a smooth implementation for maximum project impact.
She is educated in marketing and communication (Novancia Busines School Paris) with a strong interest in research and innovation. She has gained experience in various specialties ranging from marketing, internal communications, business development in both small start-ups or banking companies (Société Générale). She has joined Sparks & Co in 2015 to become Project Manager and is now WP leader of two Horizon 2020 projects in health research.

Phone: +33 7 68 35 00 60

Camille Cocaud
Contribute to the communication and dissemination strategy
  • number 7

    Pancreas transplantation
    Transplant immunology
    Transplant models in humanized mice

  • cambridgeuni-logo
The Department of Surgery has a strong clinical research emphasis and our overall strategy is to improve the surgical management of disease through developments in both basic and translational research. There is a major focus on applied clinical research and a key feature of the department is the close integration of University and NHS surgeons.

University surgeons, in parallel with directing programmes of research, play an important role in the development and delivery of specialist surgical services. Similarly, many NHS surgeons are, in addition to their clinical responsibilities, undertaking high quality clinical research supported through close collaboration with University colleagues.

In contrast with the trend in many other UK universities, academic surgery in Cambridge is flourishing and the department continues to expand. The principal research interests are transplantation, stem cell medicine, surgical oncology and orthopaedic surgery. In addition, clinical research of international importance is being led by NHS surgical colleagues across a range of surgical disciplines.

The University of Cambridge’s Department of Surgery is work package leader on In vivo testing – WP07
Provision of pancreas tissue from deceased human organs for generation of organoids; investigation of their in vivo functional efficacy, stability and safety ; and clinical input into market-analysis.Role in LSFM4LIFE

Kourosh Saeb-Parsy
Kourosh Saeb-Parsy is a University Lecturer and Consultant Transplant Surgeon at the University of Cambridge. His multidisciplinary laboratory research interests are focused on the function and immunogenicity of regenerative cellular therapies for diabetes and liver disease, as well as the mechanisms underlying transplant ischaemia reperfusion injury and its therapeutic amelioration. His clinical research is directed towards identification of donor and recipient factors that affect graft and patient outcomes after kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation, as well as medico-legal consideration and decision making (Game Theory) in transplantation.

Phone: +44 (0) 1223 336979

Mr Nikitas Georgakopolous
Research Assistant with contribution to all tasks