Roberta Angioni, University of Padua presents MERLIN at the Pediatric Research Institute meeting

Roberta Angioni of the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Padua presented MERLIN’s objectives and results during  an invited talk entitled “Mesenchymal stem cells and their extracellular vesicles in the control of pathological angiogenesis” at the Pediatric Research Institute (IRP) meeting held April 7, 2018, at the Villa Pace Park Hotel, Preganziol in Treviso, Italy. Roberta Angioni is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof Antonella Viola at the University of Padua.

Read about the University of Padua’s role within MERLIN here.


Merlin Newsletter Winter 2017 – 2018

The Merlin Newsletter for Winter 2017 – 2018 has just been issued! This is the second edition of our newsletter and includes the following sections:

  • Refresher Course – a reminder of the project’s key aims and objectives
  • Forging Ahead – a brief update on recent progress
  • Read All About it – details of some of our recent publications
  • Out and About – recent presentations made and events attended by the team.
  • Merlin Materials – helpful resources you can use to find out more about the Project
  • Meet the Team – the partners behind the project

You can access the Newsletter here.

S. de Witte, Erasmus MC presents MERLIN findings in 2017

S. de Witte of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam took to the road in 2017 to present MERLIN results at five conferences in Belgium, The Netherlands and Spain:

· Erasmus MC, Science days of the Department of Internal Medicine, Antwerp

· BOOT conference, Dutch Transplantation Society, Groningen
Presentation 1: Ageing of bone marrow and umbilical cord-derived MSC during culture expansion
Presentation 2: In vivo tracking of live and dead mesenchymal stromal cells

· MOLMED day, Erasmus MC molecular medicine, Rotterdam

· European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT), Barcelona
Presentation 1: Impact of culture expansion and inflammatory cytokine challenge on DNA methylation profiles in MSC
Presentation 2: Tracking and fate of umbilical cord-derived MSC after intravenous infusion in mice (presented by F. Luk)

· European Hematology Association (EHA), EHA-SWG Scientific Meeting on Shaping the Future of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Therapy, Amsterdam
Presentation: Immunomodulation by therapeutic mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) is triggered through phagocytosis of MSC by monocytic cells

After six conference talks and poster presentations, she remarked, ”It was nice to connect with the experts in the field”.

3D Rendering from MSC Bio-distribution studies with BioInVision’s CryoViz cryo-imaging system

MERLIN is developing stem cell-based therapies that specifically target the inflammatory components of liver disease. Our partners BioInVision have developed a cryo-imaging system for 3D, microscopic imaging – the CryoViz instrument. CryoViz enables you to do cellular and molecular imaging where you get colour anatomy and exactly-registered multi-spectral molecular fluorescence.

Check out our video, which shows 3D rendering from MSC Bio-distribution studies of a murine model using the CryoViz cryo-imaging system.



Prof. Antonella Viola publishes review on Mesenchymal stem cells: myths and reality

The group of Prof. Antonella Viola from University of Padua has recently published a review titled “Mesenchymal stem cells: myths and reality” in “Swiss Medical Weekly”, the official scientific publication of the Swiss Society of General Internal Medicine, the Swiss Society of Infectiology and the Swiss Society of Rheumatology. In this review, they identified what in their opinion remain the main open questions on MSC biology, attempting to distinguish the facts from the myths concerning endogenous and therapeutic MSC.

Read more

University of Birmingham talk about their work on the MERLIN project

MERLIN coordinating partner University of Birmingham (UoB) is a centre of excellence for stem cell therapy and home to the MRC Centre of Immune Regulation. The University also has an unrivaled programme of human liver research, run through the Centre for Liver Research.

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

Report on EU MSC2 2015 meeting – Shaping the future of MSC Therapy

MERLIN researchers participated in the EU-MSC2 meeting in Leiden on the 7th and 8th of September 2015

The two-day meeting brought together researchers from nine EU-funded projects pursuing MSC research. In addition to REDDSTAR, other projects represented at the meeting included ADIPOA-2REDDSTAR, VISICORT, Stellar, RETHRIM, REACH, MERLIN,SCIENCE and NEPHSTROM. After a welcome from Henri Lenferink, Mayor of Leiden, European Commission Project Officer Dr. Charles Kessler highlighted the EU’s continued support to regenerative medicine research, and a Fundamental MSC Biology lecture was delivered by Prof. Dr. Yufang Shi from the Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai, China. Following on, the nine EU-funded projects were presented.



On the second day of the meeting, interactive panel discussions about key challenges faced when developing MSC therapies, including scientific obstacles, regulatory and ethical issues, technological hurdles and commercialisation barriers ensued. Opportunities for future collaborations and the harmonisation of MSC research in Europe were discussed.

A report of the EU MSC2 meeting is available here.


EuroStemCell factsheets and exhibition

EuroStemCell recently came up with a new way to get the most out of a public event – they turned their fact sheets into an exhibition.

From the content of the fact sheets with their quality, trustworthy and double-checked information, they created colourful posters about stem cells, stem cell research and diseases. And it worked! People really liked the posters, liked the inviting atmosphere and started conversations.

Why not read more about the EuroStemCell exhibition and download their factsheets.

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.