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Liver Regeneration and Cancer

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Molecular Aspects of Liver Cancer & Regeneration

Liver resection is considered the only curative treatment option for several neoplastic entities of the liver. Despite substantial improvements in surgical techniques and peri-operative care, post-operative failure of liver regeneration and concomitant liver dysfunction remain an important concern after partial hepatectomy. In hepatobiliary surgery, this is of major clinical relevance as patient outcome correlates with the potential of the remnant liver to regenerate. In particular, postoperative liver failure represents a frequently fatal postoperative complication with very limited therapeutic options. In this context, it is of crucial importance to understand the complex process of liver regeneration. Indeed, the potential of the liver to regenerate after resection is unique and orchestrated by a combination of highly redundant effector molecules, as blockage of a single molecule only delays but does not stop the process.. It is known that a variety of bioactive molecules are involved in liver regeneration. In the past decades, essential insights in mechanisms of hepatic regeneration have been unraveled and several mediators of these mechanisms have been explored in detail. Furthermore, thrombocytes have been found to play a crucial role, not only during the initiation period, but throughout all phases of liver regeneration. In this context, hepatobiliary surgery struggles with two major obstacles: i) to identify patients at risk of postoperative liver dysfunction and concomitant major, potentially lethal, complications prior to surgery; ii) to identify patients with highly aggressive disease, that will not benefit from liver resection due to rapid recurrence of the tumor. In both cases surgery should be omitted as there is no benefit for these patients. However, to date no reliable marker is available to predict patient outcome and postoperative tumor relapse.

Main research objectives of the group:

a)    Molecular mechanisms of liver regeneration and potential treatment targets:

–    Identification of central regulators and processes involved in the initiation of liver regeneration.
–    Characterization of regulatory mechanisms and thereby identification of novel therapeutic targets to support the regenerative capacity after liver resection as well as to improve our understanding of the pathophysiological processes involved in liver regeneration.

b)    Predictive and prognostic markers for liver regeneration and primary and secondary liver cancer:

–    Identification of clinical and experimental markers of liver regeneration which reflect the prognosis of regenerative capability and therefore the postoperative outcome after liver surgery, to ultimately tailor surgical strategy to each individual patient and thereby avoid potentially fatal complications.
–    Quantification of tumor aggressiveness using clinical and experimental markers to predict early disease recurrence, to spare unnecessary surgery in patients that will not benefit from tumor resection.

c)    Cancer development:

–    Identification of the role of platelets and immune cells and their interaction during the development of liver cancer and progression.

A translational research lab aiming to improve patients care
Patrick Starlinger

Patrick Starlinger

Principle Investigator and Founder

Patrick is a consultant surgeon at the Medical University of Vienna with a prime interest in liver and colorectal cancer surgery. He further is a physician scientist and PI of TELLVienna focusing on translational research with a clear reference to improving patients care.

David Pereyra

David Pereyra

MD PhD Student
Jennifer Fuxsteiner

Jennifer Fuxsteiner

MD Student

Jennifer is focusing on primary cell isolation and specialised on human hepatocytes. Jennifer joined the team in September of 2017. Currently she is doing research on the molecular mechanism of pathways affecting liver regeneration. She is interested in establishing new primary cell lines and different culture models.

Jan Phlipp Jonas

Jan Phlipp Jonas

PhD Student

Philipp is a surgical resident with a specific interest in liver pathophysiology. His main field of research currently focuses on metabolomics in liver regeneration and cancer.

Benedikt Rumpf

Benedikt Rumpf

MD Student

Fascinated by the prospect of combining general surgery and research, Benedikt joined the Team in october of 2017. His field of work includes maintenance of broad data and isolating DNA. Currently, his research lays focus on transplant surgery.

Markus Ammann

Markus Ammann

PhD Student
Christoph Köditz

Christoph Köditz

MD Student
Georg Györi

Georg Györi

Research Associate

Georg is a consultant surgeon at the Medical University of Vienna surgical department. After completion of his fellowship training in HPB and Liver-Transplant Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich in 2016, his clinical focus is primarily on liver transplantation. Main research interests are pre- and perioperative risk assessment as well as connecting liver transplant research to existing translational projects at the TELL Vienna.

Gregor Ortmayr

Gregor Ortmayr

MD Student
Jonas Santol

Jonas Santol

MD Student

Jonas is a medical student with a focus on visceral surgery since his first year of university. He is interested in translational liver research, especially in partial hepatectomy mouse models and translational research. Jonas’s current expertise lies in systematic biobanking, partial hepatectomy in mice and database care.

Sofya Gabbassova

Sofya Gabbassova

MD Student
Sina Najarnia

Sina Najarnia

MD Student

Sina joined the lab during his first year of medical school in 2018. He is interested in molecular signaling pathways involved in liver regeneration, and the role that liver progenitor cells play in this process. His prime expertise till now lies in systematic biobanking and immunfluorescense based imaging.

Maria Prettenhofer

Technician

Philipp Krüger

MD Student

Our newest data on miRs in HB surgery are out now

Friends and Collaborators

Research explodes with team and dies with narcissism
Christine Borstjan

Christine Borstjan

Collaborator
Alice Assinger

Alice Assinger

Collaborator
Thomas Grünberger

Thomas Grünberger

Collaborator
Hubert Hackl

Hubert Hackl

Collaborator
Matthias Hackl

Matthias Hackl

Collaborator and Industrial Partner
Johannes Starlinger

Johannes Starlinger

Medical Informatics, App Development
Guido Beldi

Guido Beldi

Collaborator

NEWS

1st Place for JPJ

Congrats to Jan Philipp Jonas to making the first place of the young surgeons awards at the this years annual meeting of the Austrian Society of Surgery

Young Surgeons Award

The jury of the the Young Surgeons Award from the Austrian Society of Surgery could not be given to only one presenter. Proud to see the TELLVienna group beeing awarded this honor.

Running for MOMO

Using our strength as a group to do something aside from research. For the Vienna city marathon we decided to run for a viennese organization that supports home care for children with cancer. With the Read more…

Metabolomics and Liver Regeneration

Philipp just presented our first explorative data on systematic metabolomic analyses of patients samples at the German surgical congress – exciting new findings to better understand the process of liver regeneration in humans

Lab Retreat

Great to see 12 young people discussing and elaborating new ideas. After an exciting winter hike we spend 3 days of brainstorming and learning from each other – truly inspiring + great new ideas

Poster Award

David Pereyra received the best poster award at this years 11th EFR (european federation for colorectal cancer) congress with our work on Osteopontin and its association with disease recurrence after liver resection. TELLvienna congratulates to Read more…

ASO -Author Reflection

Ever found it puzzling that a patient with more than 12 months of neoadjuvant chemotherapy flies trough postoperative recovery after major liver resection without any signs of chemotherapy associated steatohepatitis (CASH) on histology, while some Read more…

Micro RNAs in HB surgery

Remember your last patient developing liver failure after liver resection? Proofs of our recent work on miRNAs in liver surgery are out now demonstrating that miRNAs are sensitive markers for preoperative liver function and predict Read more…

Non-invasive CASH assessment

Ever found it puzzling that a patient with more than 12 months of neoadjuvant chemotherapy flies trough postoperative recovery after major liver resection without any signs of chemotherapy associated steatohepatitis (CASH) on histology, while some Read more…

Get in Touch

Questions to our research as well as interest in collaboration don't hesitate to contact us

Find us at the lab

Translational and Experimental Liver Laboratory - TELLVIENNA

Medical University of Vienna
A-1090 Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20
Anna Spiegel Forschungsgebaeude, 25.05.31

Austria

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Assoc. Prof. Patrick Starlinger, MD, PhD

Tel: 0043-1-40400-56210, 0043-1-40400-73526

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