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PACT – Platform for Advanced Cellular Therapies



PACT Summer School 2018

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

09 – 13 July 2018 in Vienna


This year’s PACT Summer School has brought together great scientists and talented students from various countries across Europe and the US. All participants took the unique opportunity to get a holistic view on the translation of the latest findings in stem cell research into the clinical practice in regenerative medicine.


Profound knowledge was passed on in lectures on stem cells and their application in regenerative orthopedics, hematopoietic stem cell therapies, EVs as novel tools in cellular therapies, different cell culture techniques and in-vitro models in biomedicine.


During the hands-on courses students learned how to set up, inoculate and run a single-use bioreactor for bioprocess engineering of mammalian cells, how to handle and evaluate cell products and to determine their hemocompatibility. They prepared and analyzed extracellular vesicles and worked on the different steps to set up an in vitro bioassay for testing the angiogenic properties of novel substances with human telomerized cells.


There was not only studying throughout the week, but also enough time for extensive discussions and talks in between the sessions and also at the welcome cocktail, a wonderful evening at a Viennese Heurigen and the farewell party on Friday.


All students highly appreciated this year’s summer school. Here are some of their remarks:


“it was a great training-huge variety”

“it was well organized by combining the practice and theory in a very comprehensive manner”

“Very informative and well-structured course material”

“groups were small and everyone could try”

“I really appreciate all the great effort from the members and the management which resulted in an amazing week”

“I really enjoyed this week and I will come again-Thank you for this great week”


Have a look at the pictures to get an impression on how this week became a lively experience for everyone.




PACT Summer School 2018

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

09 – 13 July 2018 in Vienna



PACT organizes its fourth Summer School from 09-13 July 2018 in Vienna.


This year’s summer school will focus on cell therapy for tissue regeneration and immune modulation. The program will include class lectures and hands on courses in the lab targeting different raw materials like the cryopreserved clinical grade transplantable cells and therapeutic extracellular vesicles. Furthermore we will highlight the importance of entrepreneurial thinking, which is needed to transfer an academic result to a medical application for the benefit of patients. There will also be plenty of time for fruitful discussions with the lecturers and participants and several social events for networking.



    • Lectures:


    Adult and induced pluripotent stem cell therapies (Dirk Strunk, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria)

  • Regenerative Orthopedics (Tobias Winkler, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany)
  • Extracellular Vesicles: Bench to Bedside (Bernd Giebel, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Germany)
  • Thrombotic risk of cell therapies (Katharina Schallmoser, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria)
  • Hematopoietic stem cell therapies (Michael B. Fischer, Danube University Krems, Austria)
  • Cell Culture Techniques in R&D (Renate Kunert, BOKU University, Vienna, Austria)
  • Primary cells as in vitro models in biomedicine (Regina Grillari, Evercyte GmbH, Vienna, Austria)



  • Hands-on courses:



Production of Recombinant Proteins – Bioprocessing in the Single Use Reactor

Patrick Mayrhofer, BOKU University, Vienna, Austria


Bioprocessing of mammalian cells in bioreactors ensures a controlled growth in a defined culture environment. During the summer school we set up a single-use bioreactor for monoclonal antibody production of recombinant Chinese Hamster Ovary cells grown in suspension. After calibration and installation of pH and dissolved oxygen sensors the reactor was filled with a serum-free chemically defined medium and after equilibration the reactor was inoculated with cells. On day three, samples were drawn followed by initiation of a fed-batch process.



Clinical Stem Cell Therapy – Cell Product Handling
Dirk Strunk and Martin Wolf, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria,

Tobias Winkler, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany


Traditionally cell and organ transplantation required major histocompatibility complex (MHC) testing to match donor and recipient and a peculiar regimen of immune suppression to support long-term engraftment and functional regeneration whenever autologous transplantation could not be realized. A preferred strategy in contemporary cell therapy and regenerative medicine favours off-the-shelf products that allow for immediate and, ideally, universal MHC-independent application. Highly standardized safe and reproducible protocols for cell/product cryopreservation and bedside thawing prior to transplantation are prerequisite for testing the efficiency of these novel strategies.

The training session will offer hands-on experience with clinical grade off-the-shelf cell therapy products and will mimic the delivery of cell therapeutics. Semi-automated hands-on thawing procedures and viability/quality control scenarios will be practiced using state-of-the-art controlled thawing devices.



Rotational Thrombelastometry (ROTEM) of Therapeutic Cells
Katharina Schallmoser and Michaela Öller, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria


Human stromal cells derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord and white adipose tissue as well as endothelial progenitor cells will be tested for their pro-coagulant activity in an in vitro coagulation assay (rotational thrombelastometry, ROTEM) to determine hemocompatibility. Frozen samples will be thawed, counted and exact cell numbers will be analyzed in plasma or citrated whole blood. Coagulation parameters will be analyzed and compared. Previous flow cytometry analyses of tissue factor expression will be presented and discussed with respect to the results of ROTEM.



EV Preparation and Evaluation
Bernd Giebel and Verena Börger, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Germany


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) may be new tools in stem cell therapy as they seem to be responsible for therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) in many cases. During the practical part, we will isolate EVs from supernatants of a cell line expressing  the CD63-eGFP fusion protein. Isolation will be done by PEG-precipitation and ultracentrifugation and distribution of the fusion protein will be evaluated in cells and EV preparations. Furthermore size distribution of EVs will be analysed by Nano tracking analysis (NTA).



Site Visit of a Transplant Center
Michael B. Fischer, Danube University Krems, Austria


a.) Clinic of Transfusion Medicine and Blood Group Serology,

b.) Stem Cell Transplant Unit – (‚KMT Station‘)


Medical University of Vienna – AKH Station 21 I/J



Telomerized Cells for the Estabishment of Relevant Potency Assays
Regina Grillari, Evercyte GmbH, Vienna, Austria


Human telomerized cells will be used to set up an in vitro bioassay for testing the angiogenic properties of novel substances or cell culture supernatants.

Therefore, the cells will be induced to differentiate on Matrigel matrix and form neoangiogenic webs. Additionally, we will establish 3D spheroid cultures, embed these spheroids into a collagen matrix followed by treatment with drugs or cell culture supernatants.

The extent of neoangiogenic web as well as sprout formation will be evaluated by microscopy.



Updated time schedule 


School credits: 2 ECTS

Please note: If you intend to receive an official report for this course, you have to co-registrate at the BOKU until 30 April 2018.


Fee: 250 €

The fee includes tuition, and social events during the course. Accommodation and meals must be organized individually.


Course prerequisites:

Qualified master students as well as MScs, PhD/doctoral students and human or veterinarian medical doctors are invited to apply. We accept the application of postdocs.



Please complete the Application Form and send it to office@pact.ac.at.


Application deadline: 18 May 2018

Applications will undergo a selection procedure and applicants will be notified on or before the 28 May 2018 about their resulting admission to the Summer School.


The fee has to be transferred until 11 June 2018. Your registration will be confirmed as soon as we receive the payment.


Organizers: Dirk Strunk, Michael B. Fischer


Course language: English



University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)

Muthgasse 11, 1190 Vienna, Austria


Supported by:

Hochschulraumstrukturmittel Project: „Development of Further Synergies Between Medical Biotechnology, Molecular Cell Biology and Cellular Therapies“ with financial contribution from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences,Vienna, the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna and the Institute of Science and Technology, Austria.



If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at office@pact.ac.at.


Recap EACTS – PACT Joint Symposium

„Regenerative Medicine: Taking the Science to the Patient“

30th November and 1st December 2017

Vienna, Austria


By the time you read this, we trust that you have returned safe and well to your work place with a motivation and determination to continue your work at least a little, in some aspect, inspired by our joint symposium.


The aim of scientific work in the field of regenerative medicine is to develop devices or novel cell based therapies and derived products that will serve to treat or cure disease-ridden patients. Indeed, to augment and exchange knowledge between groundbreaking fundamental research, the “clinic” and the health agencies that finally approve novel medical devices and novel drug therapies to society. With this in mind, EACTS and PACT joined forces to organize a meeting that brought together basic scientist, clinicians, regulatory affairs and service providers to discuss outlook and progress in regenerative medicine.


Especially in the cardiothoracic field which was the focus of this year’s symposium the “cell centric vision” is under heavy discussion after potential cell based therapies in myocardial infarction have not lived up to the expectations hypothesized by preclinical research. However, novel scientific developments like secretory products derived from cells with regenerative and/or cytoprotective capabilities can now be seen on the horizon of scientific endeavour.


At the Symposium, the excellent quality of the chairs, their session keynotes and speakers with your enthusiasm as participants contributed greatly to make this symposium not only successful but an exhilarating experience. At this point, we would like to thank our Sponsors again very much indeed, since without their support and loyalty such a Symposium would simply not occur. It was also very gratifying to note that so much of the “audience” was students to whom the future of our knowledge belongs and who can continue to develop their skills for patient benefit.


Undoubtedly, cell based therapies will come to the benefit of patients or indeed, cell derived “soups” will develop into “cocktails” or regimes for treatments that will contribute to relieve human and animal disease or suffering.


Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the Book of Abstracts that is available now and the Video Recordings of highlights of this Symposium that will be available by end of January 2018.


“What appears as the impossible is more likely to happen the more often it is attempted” let us continue to work together in “Taking the Science to the Patient”.


Michael Comer, Hendrik Jan Ankersmit, Beatrix Mayer-Reinprecht


We cordially welcome our new Institute Member

Center for Translational Medicine (CTM)

International Clinical Research Center 

St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno


St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno
International Clinical Research Center
Pekařská 53
656 91 Brno
Czech Republic



The Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) is a highly interdisciplinary research platform in the International Clinical Research Center (FNUSA-ICRC), a European Union-funded project of the St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (Czech Republic). The funds so far collected from EU were mostly used to build its own state-of-the-art translational medical research premises. The research center, currently hosts young promising researchers and students from all over the world (9 nationalities represented) and aims at unveiling the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of the diseases of aging. For this purpose, CTM adopts original and interdisciplinary approaches based on the use of smart materials, microfluidics systems, bioreactors, mechanically-assisted devices and multi-faceted molecular and cellular biology skills to investigate the molecular basis of complex diseases.  more


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