Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Differentiation of urothelial cells

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.03.00  Medical sciences  Neurobiology   
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
B000  Biomedical sciences   

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  23503  Sanja Čabraja    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
2.  34354  PhD Urška Dragin Jerman  Oncology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  61 
3.  15873  PhD Mateja Erdani Kreft  Neurobiology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  410 
4.  23916  PhD Andreja Erman  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  118 
5.  25484  PhD Mirjam Fröhlich  Biotechnology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  55 
6.  25780  PhD Samo Hudoklin  Neurobiology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  109 
7.  31308  Marinka Jeriha    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
8.  17889  Nada Pavlica Dubarič    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
9.  28393  PhD Nataša Resnik  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  88 
10.  11654  PhD Rok Romih  Neurobiology  Head  2014 - 2017  248 
11.  33137  PhD Matej Skočaj  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  107 
12.  33067  PhD Tomaž Smrkolj  Stomatology  Researcher  2015 - 2017  142 
13.  17885  Linda Štrus    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
14.  16275  PhD Bojan Tršinar  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Researcher  2014  173 
15.  08279  PhD Peter Veranič  Neurobiology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  359 
16.  32009  PhD Tanja Višnjar  Human reproduction  Researcher  2014 - 2017  45 
17.  20343  PhD Daša Zupančič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  89 
18.  19588  Sabina Železnik    Technical associate  2014 - 2017 
19.  39124  PhD Taja Železnik Ramuta  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2017  104 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,446 
The research programme P3-0108 Differentiation of urothelial cells runs continuously from 1999. In the last granting period (2009-2013), we have shown how reorganisation of cell compartments of biosynthetic and degradation pathways, of the cytoskeleton and of cell junctions establish terminal differentiation of urothelial cells. This is reflected in the formation of urothelial plaques, which comprise 16-nm uroplakin intramembrane particles, and of blood-urine permeability barrier. We have described processes of urothelial regeneration and alternative differentiation, the later resulting in carcinogenesis. We have developed protocols for preparation of urothelial substitutes, a method for targeting of transformed urothelial cells with nanoparticles and a method for selective desquamation of infected urothelial cells. The quality of our work is shown by publications in scientific journals with high impact factors, by citations, by successful mentorships, by expressed interest of clinics and pharmaceutical industry for collaboration and also in excellence in teaching. During the next grant period, we will continue to study cell and molecular biology and diseases of urothelium. The research will be focused on interrelated topics: (1.) development of experimental urothelial models that enable studies of differentiation, regeneration and carcinogenesis as well as the effects of various substances; (2.) vesicular traffic in normal and pathologically altered urothelium; (3.) cell junction formation between normal and cancer cells and their influence on urothelial regeneration and differentiation; (4.) tissue engineering of urothelium; and (5.) selective targeting and desquamation of altered urothelial cells. Synergistic effects of the proposed programme will be achieved through extensive collaborations with complementary groups in Slovenia and abroad. We will continue developing research methods, with special emphasis on electron microscopy. Results of our work will be valuable contributions to important issues in cell biology. Results will lead to a better understanding of urothelial function, and have implications on a number of urological problems including tumours, cystitis and urinary tract infections. In the view of these problems, a part of our studies is clinically oriented, such as in vitro development of urothelial grafts for transplantation, selective targeting of cancer cells and treatment with chitosan. Since the members of our group are involved in teaching, the up-to-date knowledge in cell biology will be conveyed to students.
Significance for science
Our scientific work fit into the broad spectrum of currently important areas of cell biology, such as differentiation, vesicular traffic and cell junctions. In the area of urothelial biology we are well recognised group in the world, as demonstrated in citations of our published work, invited talks and continuous cooperation with world leading groups (Tung-Tien Sun, University of New York, USA, Matthew Mulvey, University of Utah, USA and Jennifer Southgate, University of York, Great Britain). We study immunotherapies for the treatment of urinary bladder tumours within a bilateral project with Federal Republic of Brazil. Investigations of human urinary bladder tumours (cooperation with Department of Urology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana) enable translation of basic cell biology knowledge to better understanding of urothelium-related diseases. Developments of new experimental models of urothelial differentiation, regeneration and diseases mean innovative approach to studies of differentiation, regeneration and carcinogenesis as well as to studies of therapeutics’ action. The development of urothelial substitutes is important contribution to the tissue engineering progress. Urothelial (and urinary bladder) grafts could improve treatment of many urologic disorders. Work in the field of nanomedicine (selective targeting of nanoparticles, chitosan) will combine basic knowledge and clinical praxis.
Significance for the country
1. The Institute of Cell Biology runs projects for pharmaceutical company (Lek d.o.o.) 2. Members of the programme group run courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students. They are authors of university textbooks and other study materials. 3. Members of the programme group are mentors to undergraduate and postgraduate students. 4. Members of the programme group appear in public media with discussions and as propagators of science. 5. Members of the programme group hold a patent. 6. We promote Slovenia with invited talks at international congresses and at foreign universities. 7. With our research, we want to achieve practical and applicable goals based on basic knowledge. 8. Young researchers are always involved in our work. Young researchers, who had successfully finished their postgraduate studies, were employed either as teaching staff at University of Ljubljana or as researchers.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, 2016, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, 2016, final report
Views history