Dr Daniela Loessner

PhD
Reader in Bioengineering and Cancer
Group Leader
Research Focus

My research interests are to apply tissue-engineered technologies to study the role of the microenvironment in modulating cancer progression and therapy response. I develop 3D models that mimic the human disease and use this to develop novel therapies.

Key Publications

Functionalization, preparation and use of cell-laden gelatin methacryloyl-based hydrogels as modular tissue culture platforms. Nature Protocols (2016) 11(4): 727-746. PMID: 26985572

Gelatine methacrylamide-based hydrogels: an alternative 3D cancer cell culture system. Acta Biomaterialia (2014) 10(6): 2551-2562. PMID: 24590158

Engineered microenvironments provide new insights into ovarian and prostate cancer progression and drug responses. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (2014) 79-80: 193-213. PMID: 24969478

Bioengineered 3D platform to explore cell-ECM interactions and drug resistance of ovarian cancer cells. Biomaterials (2010) 31(32): 8494-8506. PMID: 20709389

Major Funding
  • 2019-2021- Neuroblastoma UK, Modelling neuroblastoma - immune cell interactions in a tissue-engineered 3D platform, £117,000
  • 2019-2022- MRC iCASE co-funded by the Barts Charity, Exploring the role of the adenosine axis in the tumour microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, £108,000
Other Activities

Member of

  • The Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS)
  • The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)
Research

My research interests are to understand the role of the extracellular and cellular microenvironment in modulating cancer progression and therapy response applying tissue-engineered technologies.

I am developing bioengineered 3-D platforms that will enable us to:

  • Recreate the tumour microenvironment
  • Dissect the complex cellular communications, taking place within tumour spheroids and between tumour spheroids and their extracellular microenvironment
  • Molecularly profile the tumour microenvironment and identify novel targets that can be pursued therapeutically
  • Preclinically screen new therapeutics or combination therapies to inform clinical trials
Major Funding
  • 2019-2021- Neuroblastoma UK, Modelling neuroblastoma - immune cell interactions in a tissue-engineered 3D platform, £117,000
  • 2019-2022- MRC iCASE co-funded by the Barts Charity, Exploring the role of the adenosine axis in the tumour microenvironment of pancreatic cancer, £108,000
  • 2019- IMPETUS Fund, Ex vivo modelling of pancreatic cancer recapitulates in vivo extracellular matrix signatures and drug responses, £12,000
  • 2019-2020- Theme 5 Pump-priming Award, Targeting the TME - basic biology to therapeutic innovation in biotherapy, £10,000
  • 2017-2018- Theme 5 Pump-priming Award, Targeting the TME – basic biology to therapeutic innovation in biotherapy, £7,000
Recent Publications

A humanized bone microenvironment uncovers HIF2 alpha as a latent marker for osteosarcoma Wagner F, Holzapfel BM, Martine LC et al. Acta Biomaterialia (2019) 89(7) 372-381

A 3D tumor microenvironment regulates cell proliferation, peritoneal growth and expression patterns Loessner D, Rockstroh A, Shokoohmand A et al. Biomaterials (2019) 190-191(7) 63-75

Cell recovery of hydrogel-encapsulated cells for molecular analysis Peerani E, Candido JB, Loessner D (2019) 2054(7) 3-21

Humanization of the prostate microenvironment reduces homing of PC3 prostate cancer cells to human tissue-engineered bone McGovern JA, Shafiee A, Wagner F et al. Cancers (2018) 10(7)

SpheroidSim—Preliminary evaluation of a new computational tool to predict the influence of cell cycle time and phase fraction on spheroid growth Little JP, Pettet GJ, Hutmacher DW et al. Biotechnology Progress (2018) 34(7) 1335-1343

Kallikrein-related peptidases 4, 5, 6 and 7 regulate tumour-associated factors in serous ovarian cancer Wang P, Magdolen V, Seidl C et al. British Journal of Cancer (2018) 119(7) 823-831

Kallikrein-related peptidases represent attractive therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer. Loessner D, Goettig P, Preis S et al. Expert Opin Ther Targets (2018) 22(1) 745-763
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30114962

Humanization of bone and bone marrow in an orthotopic site reveals new potential therapeutic targets in osteosarcoma Wagner F, Holzapfel BM, McGovern JA et al. Biomaterials (2018) 171(7) 230-246

A Method for Prostate and Breast Cancer Cell Spheroid Cultures Using Gelatin Methacryloyl-Based Hydrogels. Meinert C, Theodoropoulos C, Klein TJ et al. Methods Mol Biol (2018) 1786(1) 175-194
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29786793

A humanised tissue-engineered bone model allows species-specific breast cancer-related bone metastasis in vivo Quent VMC, Taubenberger AV, Reichert JC et al. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (2018) 12(7) 494-504

For additional publications, please click here
Team

Postdoctoral Research Assistants
Dr Juliana Candido 

PhD Students
Eleonora Peerani, David Osuna de la Pena, Elena Tomas Bort

Research Assistant
Shreya Sharma

Biography

I joined the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation in March 2017. Until February 2017, I was leading the interdisciplinary 3-D Cancer Models Team at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in Brisbane, Australia.

I received my PhD from the Faculty of Chemistry, Technical University of Munich, Germany, and undertook my postdoctoral research training at Queensland University of Technology, EPFL and University of Chicago.

Upcoming Events
  1. Thursday Seminar Series – Dr Benjamin Werner

    November 21 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
  2. Miltenyi Biotec Exhibition – Friday 22nd November 2019

    November 22 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
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