Darius Widera

PI / Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Reading, UK
ERASMUS and Study Abroad Coordinator, School of Pharmacy, Reading, UK
Visiting Professor, Stavropol State Medical University, Russian Federation
External Examiner, MRes Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Programme, University of Newcastle, UK

University of Reading Staff Page: https://www.reading.ac.uk/pharmacy/about/staff/d-widera.aspx
ResearcherID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/J-4237-2012
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1686-130X
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.de/citations?user=xPxpC2kAAAAJ
Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Darius_Widera
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dariuswidera
Publons: https://publons.com/author/441900/darius-widera#profile
E-mail: d.widera[at]reading.ac.uk

h-Factor: 20, 1788 citations (Google Scholar, 09/03/2018)
i10 index: 32

Education and Training

09/2017 Fellowship of The Higher Education Academy (UK)

09/2016 Associate Fellowship of The Higher Education Academy (UK)

11/2012 Habilitation (German full professorial qualification) and “venia legendi” for Cell Biology at the University of Bielefeld, Faculty of Biology, Germany

Habilitation-Thesis: “Alternative sources of adult stem cells for neuronal regeneration and the role of NF-kB in endogenous neural stem cells and neurons”

07/2007 Dr. rer. nat. (PhD) in Neurobiochemistry at the Institute for Neurobiochemistry (Kaltschmidt Lab), Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. Grade: summa cum laude (with distinction)

PhD-Thesis: “Novel Role of NF-kB in neural signal transduction”

11/2004 Diploma in Biochemistry (Dipl. Biochem., MSc equiv) at the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany

Diploma Thesis at the Institute for Neurobiochemistry: “MCP-1 induces migration of adult neural stem cells”

10/2002 Intermediate diploma (BSc equiv) in Biology at the University Cologne, Germany

Positions and Employment

02/2017-to date: External Examiner, Master of Research in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle

02/2015-to date: Principal Investigator / Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Assistant Professor equiv, permanent), School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

05/2015-to date: Visting Professor at the Stavropol State Medical University

03/2013-31/01/2015: Adjunct Professor (Privatdozent) and Senior Research Fellow (Akademischer Oberrat), Department of Cell Biology University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany

Main research topics: TLR4-mediated signaling in neural stem cells, cellular de-differentiation/reprogramming of Schwann cells; isolation, characterization, differentiation and transplantation of adult human and murine neural and neural crest-derived stem cells in animal models, development of novel high- / super-resolution microscopy methods for biological applications

10/2007-03/2013 Research Associate (Postdoc), University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany, Department of Cell Biology (Kaltschmidt Lab)

Main research topics: isolation and characterization of adult neural and human neural crest-derived stem cells (periodontium, hard and soft palate, respiratory mucosa); the role of NF-kB in the nervous system, cellular reprogramming

12/2006-10/2007 Research Scientist (Postdoc), Molthera GmbH, Witten, Germany, Research & Development

Main research area: adult periodontal neural crest-derived stem cells; microarray analysis of oral and periodontal microflora in patient samples

2004-2007 Graduate Student, Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, Institute for Neurobiochemistry (Kaltschmidt Lab)

Research focus: human periodontal stem cells, the role of NF-kB in adult neural stem cells, application of human periodontal stem cells in critical size defect rat model of complex regeneration

2002-2004 Working student, Miltenyi Biotec, Research & Development (Assenmacher Lab, Hupert Lab, Piechaczek Lab), Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

Main research area: isolation and trans-differentiation of adult hematopoietic stem cells, software validation for the CliniMACS system

Honors, Grants and Awards

2017 Research Travel Grant of the University of Reading

2017 Grant (PhD Studentship), Universiti Sains Malaysia, "Anti-Senescence Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles"

2016 Grant (PhD Studentship), British Heart Foundation, "Impact of Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated Signalling in the Modulation of Platelet Activation, Thrombosis and Haemostasis"

2016 Research Travel Grant of the University of Reading

2015 Research Travel Grant of the University of Reading

2015 Visiting Professorship at the Stavropol State Medical University, Russian Federation

2014 Official personal invitation of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to chair the session Neuroscience/Medicine and to act as a member of the Organizing committee of the 9th Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposium 2016 in China

2014 Offer of a Lecturer position in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Reading, United Kingdom, accepted

2014 Shortlisted and invited for interviews for a Lecturership (permanent Assistant Professorship) in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, United Kingdom (ranking: primo loco)

2014 Shortlisted and invited for interviews for the Professorship “Neuroregeneration” (W2), Medical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf , Germany, (ranking: secundo loco)

2014 Grant of the DFG (German Research Foundation) for the project “Mechanisms of neural TLR4-signaling”

2013 Selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (as one of five outstanding German stem cell scientists) as participant to the 7th Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposium (section Stem Cells and Reprogramming) in Kunming, China, 20-23.03.2014

2013 Grant of the University of Bielefeld (FiF/Förderung Innovativer Forschung) for the project: "Investigation of the ligand-induced oligomerization of TLR4 in neural stem cells and neural cell lines"

2011 Grant of the University of Bielefeld (FiF/Förderung Innovativer Forschung) for the project: "The role of Schwann cells as novel, multipotent neural crest-derived stem cell population"

2009 Grant of the University of Bielefeld (FiF/Förderung Innovativer Forschung) for the project: "adult neural crest-derived stem cells"

2007 Award of the Rotary Foundation for the contribution to adult stem cell research

2006 Grant of the Besthorn Foundation for the project "mathematical modeling of neural stem cell proliferation"

2005 Travel grant of the Stem Cell Spring School Regenerative Medicine, University of Rostock, Germany

Professional Activities and Memberships

Invited talks

3D Cell Culture Systems for Clinically Compliant Expansion of Stem Cells and Isolation of Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
Linked in Regeneration Lecture Series organized by the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies
1st March 2018, Charité,  Berlin, Germany

Going 3D: Expansion, Differentiation and of migration of Adult Human Stem Cells in 3D Cell Culture Systems 
Seminar Series of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge
9th February 2018, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine
3rd National Congress on Regenerative Medicine
15-18th November 2017, Moscow, Russia

3D cultivation of adult human stem cells in natural and synthetic scaffolds
3rd Annual Visions for 3D Cell Culture Seminar
13th October 2017, UPM Biocore House, Helsinki, Finland

Stem Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles: a Novel Inflammation-targeted Approach to Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders 
Seminar `Clinical and Pre-Clinical Methods for the Study of Neurodegenerative Disorders”, Instituto per la Sicurezza Sociale, Dipartimento Ospedaliero
18th September 2017, Republic San Marino

A Novel Cell-based Screening System for Investigation of Neuroinflammation
Recent Developments in Pharmaceutical Analysis 2017 (RDPA)
20-23rd September 2017, Rimini, Italy

Regenerative Properties of Extracellular Vesicles Released by Human Neural Crest-derived Stem Cells 
6th MTERMS and 2nd Malaysian Stem Cell Meeting
18th November 2016, Penang, Malaysia

Adult Human Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells Contribute to Brain Regeneration through Engraftment and Differentiation & Secretion of Anti-inflammatory Extracellular Vesicles
Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine Seminar Series, Keele University
4th November 2016, Keele, United Kingdom

Inflammatory Licencing Increases Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Potential of Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
UoRM Research Seminar Series

16th October 2016, Johor Bahru, EduCity@Iskandar, Malaysia

Osteogenic Potential of Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells (online talk)
Bilateral workshop on Regenerative Medicine
14th October 2016, Tomsk, Russian Federation

Going 3D: animal-serum free cultivation method for adult human neural crest-derived stem cells
2nd Annual Visions for 3D Cell Culture Seminar
6th October 2016, UPM Biocore House, Helsinki, Finland

Adult Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells
Seminar Series of the Department of Bioelectronics
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne
Campus Georges Charpak - Provence
6th September 2016, Gardanne, France

Biased Signalling via TLR4 in Neural Cells
Single Molecule Biophysics Seminar
July 11th 2016, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt aM , Germany

Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells and their Impact on Endogenous Regeneration
Seminar Series Stem Cell Research, Institute for Transfusion Medicine
June 30th 2016, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Regenerative Potential of Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Porton Down
April 6th 2016, Salisbury, United Kingdom 

At the Border of Multipotency: Adult Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells
Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science Seminar Series
March 16th 2016, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom

Therapeutic Potential of Human Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells
Clinical Applications of Stem Cells Meeting
February 24th 2016, Singapore

Cellular Alchemy: Converting Adult Human Stem Cells into Nerve Cells
UoRM Research Seminar Series
February 22nd 2016, Johor Bahru, EduCity@Iskandar, Malaysia

Efficacy of human stem cells to treat acute nerve injury and neurodegeneration
CONFERÊNCIA FAPESC PROEVENTOS
September 22nd, 2015, Florianópolis, Brazil

Neural crest-­derived stem cells as a promising tool in regenerative neurology (Keynote talk)
Newton Researcher Links Workshop “Understanding and Advancing Therapies for CNS Disorders”
September 18th, 2015, Florianópolis, Brazil

Advanced Stem Cell Technologies
Workshop at the Stavropol State Medical University
May 15th 2015, Stavropol, Russian Federation

Neural Crest Derived Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine (Keynote talk)
2nd International Symposium “Age of Regenerative Medicine”
May 14th, 2015, Stavropol, Russian Federation

Inflammatory Programming of Adult Stem Cells
Molecular and Cellular Medicine Research Seminars of the School of Biological Sciences
April 1st, 2015, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Human Neural Crest-Derived Stem Cells as an Alternative for Regenerative Medicine (online talk)
1st Symposium of International Concilium Medicum “Age of Regenerative Medicine”
November 11th, 2014, Stavropol, Russian Federation

Plasticity of Adult Schwann Cells Reprogrammed Towards Multipotent Neural Crest Stem Cell Phenotype (flash talk)
7th Sino-German Frontiers of Science Symposium organised by the Humboldt Foundation and The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Section Stem Cells and Reprogramming
March 21st, 2014, Kunming, China

Highly efficient neuronal differentiation of human inferior turbinate stem cells
Annual Conference of the GMB study group “Molecular Neurobiology”
September 15th, 2012, Bochum, Germany

Isolation and cultivation of human neural crest-derived stem cells for cell-based therapies
Biotechnica Convention, Life Science Spotlight, October 12th, 2011, Hannover, Germany

The role of NF-kappaB in adult neural and neural crest stem cells
3rd Molecular Cell Dynamics Meeting, May 6th, 2009, Münster, Germany

Human periodontium-derived neural crest stem cells: chance or risk?
4th International Meeting of the Stem Cell Network North Rhine Westphalia
October 9th, 2007, Düsseldorf, Germany

Inflammation and adult neural stem cells
Stem Cell Spring Meeting, University of Rostock
June 3rd, 2005. Rostock, Germany