MERLIN at EU-MSC2 Meeting, Leiden

MERLIN researchers attended the EU-MSC2 meeting in Leiden, 07 – 08 Sept 2015. The meeting brought together researchers from a number of EU-funded projects pursuing MSC research.
Other projects represented included Stellar, RETHRIM, REACH, VISICORT, ADIPOA-2, REDDSTAR, SCIENCE and NEPHSTROM.
The meeting included interactive panel discussions about key challenges faced when developing MSC therapies, including scientific obstacles, regulatory and ethical issues, technological hurdles and commercialisation barriers. Opportunities for future collaborations and hamonisation of MSC research in Europe were also discussed.

Prof. Willem Fibbe welcomes participants
Coordinator Prof. Phil Newsome introduces MERLIN


Interview with Prof. Viola of UNIPD

Prof. Antonella Viola has been interviewed by Italian broadcaster TG1, following her return to Padova. In this interview, she talks about a research project investigating the correlation among inflammation and cancer. In Padova, Prof. Viola leads a group of eight researchers working on different projects with the aim of designing novel personalized therapy against inflammation-related diseases. The role of her team in the MERLIN project is to investigate the mechanism of action of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) in dampening liver inflammation.


AV Interview TG1

EMC talk about their work on the MERLIN project


MERLIN partners Erasmus MC are studying the interaction between stem cells and the immune system and in their laboratory they are trying to improve the quality of the stem cells.

Check out this video, where you can learn more about the EMC team, their lab, and their work on the MERLIN project.



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BioInVision exhibited MERLIN work at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2015 meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, 24 – 27 June. 

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EU MSC2 2015: Contributing to MSC Knowledge-Sharing, Research & Development

Our sister project REDDSTAR and Leiden University Medical Center are co-organizing EU MSC2 2015, a meeting in Leiden, NL on September 7th and 8th to bring together nine EU-funded, mesenchymal stromal cell-focussed consortia. Projects include: REDDSTAR, REACH, RETHRIM, Stellar, MERLIN, Nephstrom, SCIENCE, VISICORT and Adipoa-2. This two day, interactive meeting will be held at the Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden.

The objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Enhance knowledge-sharing between EU research groups working in the mesenchymal stromal cell biology domain
  • Engage with European Commission Project Officers and other stakeholders from International Society of Cellular Therapy, stem cell ethicists and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • Assemble trans-disciplinary research groups working across the global health spectrum but with a common focus of mesenchymal stromal cell biology
  • Bring up-and-coming researchers together for networking purposes, and to explore future consortium building and international funding application opportunities


Expected impacts and outcomes:

  • Provide opportunities to develop new mesenchymal stromal cell networks
  • Disseminate the findings and challenges between MSC-focussed consortia
  • Improve the communication potential of research, outcomes and the value of the research
  • Explore potential for new commercial technologies
  • Collectively enhance the quality and impact of planned clinical trials

These EU projects are:

  • Boosting human capital: 20-30 positions created
  • Improving the quality of life for European citizens
  • Progressing the clinical translation of MSC research and developments


For more information, please visit EU MSC2 2015 and register via Eventbrite.

For queries:

Danielle Nicholson, Orbsen Therapeutics, NUI Galway and Brigitte Wieles, Project Manager LUMC

New related publications on MSCs from MERLIN partners in EMC

Two new related publications from EMC are available here. The publications look at whether mesenchymal stromal cells are immune cells, and how mesenchymal stem cells immune cells in different ways.

A Closer Look at Stem Cells Website Live

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has launched a new website to help patients and their families make informed decisions about stem cell treatments, clinics and their health. The site includes extensive information on clinical trials and how science becomes medicine.
You can visit the site here:


Open Forum Meeting – Liver Disease Research, Oxford 29 April 2015

The hepatology team at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford are hosting an Open Forum for patients, carers, medical professionals on the latest developments in liver research on Wednesday 29 April.

More information is available on the PSC Support page.


MERLIN partner Orbsen Therapeutics Nominated for Spin-Out Company Impact Award


Congratulations to Dr. Elliman and his team at Orbsen Therapeutics for their nomination for Spin-Out Company Impact Award, an annual Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Award.

“We are honoured to be nominated for KTI Spin-out Company of the Year. It recognises the huge efforts made by our own research team and our network of research partners to move Orbcel to the clinic so efficiently. Also, we are grateful to NUI Galway for their support over the years. The TTO have been instrumental in our progress to this point and we continue to enjoy working with them.” – Dr. Elliman

You can read more here.