Who we are

and what we do

We are a group of researchers of the Medical University of Graz fascinated by how maternal and fetal factors drive pregnancy and placental function.
We analyse pregnancy associated factors and placental physiology in health and disease. Moreover, we have established a panel of cell and tissue culture methodology and functional assays which we combine with molecular cutting edge analyses to address our research questions in vitro.

 

 

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Bettina Amtmann

Research Nurse

I am the connection between the lab and the other departments in the house, for example delivery room, outpatientin clinic, wards, etc. Together with my colleague try my best to coordinate clinical studies and provide the lab with required biological material and information. Whenever they call we are ready ;-)

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Julia Bandres-Meriz

PhD Student

Metabolic disorders such as maternal obesity and diabetes influence placental development and have long-term consequences on the offspring.

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Natascha Berger

PhD Student

 In my PhD-thesis, I examine the role of lipid hydrolases in the regulation of placental lipid homeostasis, aiming to identify their specific function under normal and inflammatory conditions.

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Waltraud Brandl

BMA

I am a biomedical scientist and my priority is to work on research projects. Furthermore, I support Jasmin with lab organization and cell culture courses. Currently, I am working with primary cells from human placenta and I am doing experiments with melanoma cells and placenta.

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Gernot Desoye

PhD, PI

For almost 30 years my main interest has been to understand the role of the placenta in mediating or protecting the fetus from the adverse maternal environment associated with diabetes and obesity.

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Maja Gajic

PhD Student

The main focus of my PhD project is hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a potential treatment for preeclampsia (PE).  

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Tina Gorsek Sparovec

PhD Student

Placenta accreta spectrum disorders (PAS) feature abnormally invasive implantation of placenta and absence of decidua.

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Ursula Hiden

PhD, PI

My research interest is the feto-placental endothelium and how maternal metabolic derangements alter feto-placental endothelial function.

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Birgit Hirschmugl

PhD, PI

My areas of interest are metabolic disorders during pregnancies and their impact on placental transfer, metabolism and function of complex lipids such as phospholipids.

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Denise Hoch

PhD

As maternal obesity has been associated with both short- and long-term health effects for women as well as for their offspring, my PhD project focuses on maternal obesity associated stress response in early pregnancy.

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Monika Horvat

PhD Student

As a PhD student, I investigate the crosstalk between feto-placental macrophages (Hofbauer cells) and the endothelium.

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Gabriele Jäger

BMA

I am a biomedical scientist and part of the group of PI Ursula Hiden. We investigate how maternal metabolic derangements alter feto-endothelial function by using cell culture, western blot and molecular biological methods.

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Evelyn Jantscher-Krenn

PhD, PI

My research interest is focused on Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) and their novel roles in pregnancy. Fascinated by the finding that HMO are already present in the maternal and fetal circulation during pregnancy, I am interested in how these prenatal HMO are regulated and whether they impact pregnancy outcome, maternal and/or fetal health.

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Barbara Leopold

BMA

I am biomedical scientist and support the research lab team one day a week. I help people in the cell culture lab and in all fields of molecular biology. When I am not in the lab I like cycling, swimming, Yoga and everything else I can do together with my friends.

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Alejandro Majali-Martinez

PhD, PI

The maternal environment already influences placental function in early pregnancy.

Thus, my research interests focus on understanding how diabesity-associated derangements in the intrauterine milieu affect human first trimester trophoblast proliferation, apoptosis and invasion.

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Renate Michlmaier

CTA

I am a chemotechnical assistant. I am doing primary cell culture and – according to my colleagues – I am the “good spirit” of the laboratory.

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Carolin Schliefsteiner

PhD, PI

My field of research are placental macrophages and their interaction with other placental cell types.

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Monika Stubitsch

Team Assistant

As Team Assistant I support the team, help in any kind of administration, organisation and other issues. The only thing I can’t help with is science, but that’s the job of others anyways.

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Christian Wadsack

PhD, PI

As a biochemist by training my research interest focuses on understanding the contributing role of bioactive lipids on placental function to common and debilitating conditions of pregnancy e.g. gestational diabetes, obesity and preeclampsia.

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Andrea Walcher

BMA

I am a molecular cell- and developmental biologist with a lot of experience in genetics, confocal microscopy, working with the zebrafish as a model organism in diabetes research as well as doing the cell culture with human placental endothelial cells.