Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Staff

Dr Alexandra Stolzing PhD

Photo of Dr Alexandra Stolzing

Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine

Deputy Associate Dean (Enterprise)

Univeristy Genetically Modified Organisms Officer

Research Interests

  • stem cell aging & stem cell function in aging
  • interface of immunology and stem cell function
  • cellular pathology in age-related neurodegeneration & Alzheimer’s Disease
  • improving cryopreservation of cells & tissues
  • inducing pluripotency & partial reprogramming
  • improving stem cell function in vivo
  • automated systems for cell & tissue production
  • quality control assays for aged cells
  • delivery tools for cell-based therapies
Regenerative Medicine

My work covers the biology of ageing and regeneration with a particular focus on regenerative and cellular medicine. In previous studies, I have been able to demonstrate that adult stem cells are subject to aging restrictions in vivo and in vitro, calling into question a number of proposed therapies for autologous tissue engineering and drawing attention to the role of adult stem cells in age-related disability.

Human induced pluripotent stem cells
Human induced pluripotent stem cells

Cryopreservation

I have developed novel solutions of cryopreserving stem cells for later therapeutic use especially in the elderly where the toxicity of current cryoprotectants is a particular concern. A current research interest is the study of plant derived anti-freeze proteins (AFP) and their use in cryopreservation.

Mitochondrial analysis after cryporeservation
Mitochondrial analysis after cryporeservation

Exercise is Medicine

We are investigating the effect of oxidative, mechanical and other stress factors on cell health and function. We aim to investigate how exercise can present a 'healthy' form of intermittent stress that stimulates tissue stem cells. This concept of 'hormesis' has become an important strand in the biology of ageing and this work will help to elucidate the role of mesenchymal stem cells in sports-related hormesis and may help to inform current discussions regarding the role of intermittent high-effect exercise versus long-term low impact exercise, especially in the elderly.

Aging = Inflammaging

I am studying the relation between sports nutrition, and whether particular nutritional regimes or supplements aimed at reducing inflammatory and oxidative stresses should be adjusted in light of insights regarding the 'stimulus' effect that certain stressors, including exercise, can have dependent on age, training status and exercise goals.

Comet assay: DNA damage in mesemchymal stem cells
Comet assay: DNA damage in mesemchymal stem cells

Featured Publications

  • Rohani L, Johnson AA., Arnold A, Stolzing A. (2013) The aging signature: a hallmark of iPS cells? Ageing Cell
  • Naaldjik Y, Federova V, Stolzing A. (2013). Cryopreservation of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells in complex sugar based cryoprotective solutions. J. of Biotech.
  • Sethe, S, Fedorova V, Naaldjik Y, Stolzing A. (2012) Hydroxyethylstarch in cryopreservation- mechanisms, benefits and problems. Transfus Apher Sci. 2012 Apr;46(2):137-47.
  • Arnold A, Naaldijk Y, Fabian C, Wirth H, Binder H, Nikkhah G, Armstrong , Stolzing A. (2012) Virus-free generation of human pluripotent stem cells using mRNA. ISRN Cell Biology.
  • Stolzing A, Colley H, Scutt A. (2011) Effect of age and diabetes on the response of mesenchymal progenitor cells to fibrin matrices. Int J Biomater. 2011; 378034.
  • Hinze A, Stolzing A. (2011) Differentiation of mouse bone marrow derived stem cells toward microglia. BMC Cell Biology. Aug 19;12(1):35.
  • Efimenko A, Starostina E, Kalinina N, Stolzing A. (2011) Angiogenic properties of aged adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells after hypoxic conditioning. J Transl Med. Jan 18;9(1):10.
  • Stolzing A, Sellers D, Llewelyn O, Scutt A. (2010) Diabetes induced changes in rat mesenchymal stem cells. Cells, Tissues, Organs. Cells Tissues Organs 191(6):453-65.
  • Fricke S, Ackermann M, Stolzing A, Schimmelpfennig C, Hilger N, Jahns J, Hildebrandt G, Emmrich F, Ruschpler P, Pösel C, Kamprad M, Sack U. (2009) Allogeneic non-adherent bone marrow cells facilitate hematopoietic recovery but do not lead to allogeneic engraftment. PLoS One. Jul 7;4(7):e6157.
  • Stolzing A, Jones E, McGonagle D, Scutt A. (2008) Age-related changes in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells: Consequences for cell therapies. Mech. Ageing Dev. 129(3):163-73.
  • Stolzing A, Scutt A. (2006) Effect of reduced culture temperature on antioxidant defences of mesenchymal stem cells. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Jul 15;41(2):326-38.
  • Stolzing A, Sethe S, Scutt A. (2006) Stressed stem cells: Temperature response in aged mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. Aug;15(4):478-87. IF: 5.42
  • Stolzing A, Scutt A. (2006) Age-related impairment of mesenchymal progenitor cell function. Ageing Cell. 5, 213-224.
  • Stolzing A, Widmer R, Jung T, Voss P, Grune T. (2006) Degradation of glycated bovine serum albumin in microglial cells. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Mar 15;40(6):1017-1027.
  • Sethe S, Scutt A, Stolzing A. (2006) Aging of mesenchymal stem cells. Aging Research Reviews. 5, 91-116.
  • Stolzing A, Widmer R, Jung T, Grune T. (2006) Tocopherol-mediated modulation of age-related changes in microglial cells: turnover of extracellular oxidized protein material. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Jun 15;40(12):2126-35.
  • Stolzing A, Sethe S, Grune T. (2005) Chronically active - role of oxidative stress in age and neuropathology. Redox Report. 10 (4):207-13.
  • Mishto M, Bellavista E, Santoro A, Stolzing A, Ligorio C, Nacmias B, Spazzafumo L, Chiapelli M, Licastro F, Sorbi S, Pession A, Ohm T, Grune T, Franceschi C. (2005) Immunoproteasome and LMP2 polymorphism in aged and Alzheimer’s disease brains. Neurobiology of Aging. Jan;27(1):54-66.

Available Vacancies

Prospective students and postdocs are to all time encouraged to contact us as it is usually possible to apply for personal fellowships. We will have soon positions open for one PhD, one postdoc and one clinical fellow. Please contact me if you are interested and want to get information about the projects.

Support for Individual Fellowships

Informal inquiries from motivated and talented people are always welcomed. We have on a regular basis internal university schemes, in particular for PhD students, for which we may nominate high calibre applicants. Also clinical fellows are encouraged to contact us as we have a great interest in clinic related research.

Several national and international schemes are available with which I have experience (Marie Curie Actions, EMBO Fellowships, Leonardo da Vinci Programme, BMBF, DAAD, Humboldt Fellowship etc.) and will be glad to help you with the application process. Please make sure to contact me several months in advance as most applications take quite long. 

Research Projects for Undergraduate Students

Several projects are available for motivated undergraduates, including summer research projects. Please contact me to discuss possible common interests and ideas. The main goals of the research groups are improving cell therapies in the elderly, manipulating stem cells and cryopreservation biology, however also other areas might be possible.