Siegel der Universität Heidelberg

PhD Thesis in Stem Cell Biophysics

Quantitative Model of Interactions between Hematopoietic Stem Cells and their Niche

Inst. Phys. Chem., Univ. Heidelberg (Prof. Motomu Tanaka)

Internal Medicine V, Univ. Heidelberg (Prof. Anthony Ho)

This project is an interdisciplinary challenge of a stem cell medicine group (Ho Lab) and a biophysics group (Tanaka Lab) within the framework of a new Cooperative Research Center Project (SFB 873).

The primary goal of the project is to determine the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their niche, in particular, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Planar lipid membranes displaying functional moieties (e.g. cadherin) at a precisely controlled density (nm accuracy) can be used as the MSC surface to evaluate the significance of specific molecular pairs in cell-cell interaction. The strength of cell adhesion will be quantified using the shockwave generated by a picosecond laser pulse, which is a new technical platform developed by our group.

We seek for an applicant who is motivated to participate to such an interdisciplinary project.

If you have interests, please contact:

Prof. Motomu Tanaka (

Prof. Anthony D. Ho (


M. Tanaka and E. Sackmann (2005), Polymer-Supported membranes as the Model of Cell Surfaces, Nature; 437: 656.

Gottschling S, Saffrich R, Ho AD (2007) Human Mesenchymal Stroma Cells Regulate Initial Self-Renewing Divisions of Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells by a beta1-Integrin-Dependent Mechanism. Stem Cells; 25: 798.