Heike Walles, Ph.D.

I studied biology at the JLU-Giessen. Immediately after the diploma thesis at the MPI for Biochemistry in Martinsried/Munich I started the PhD thesis in the area of applied biomedical research at the LMU Munich and the MPI. Thereafter I moved for my first PostDoc position as group leader to the newly founded Leibniz Institute for Artificial Organs (LEBAO) at the MH Hannover. Since then, my scientific focus is Tissue Engineering. Under the guidance of Prof. Haverich I started a junior professorship at the LEBAO with the focus on the development of pre-vascularized scaffolds (BioVaSc) for biomedical application. To ensure the translation of tissue-engineered products, I moved from Hannover to the Fraunhofer Institute IGB, headed by Prof. Dr. Brunner a specialist in Biotechnology and process development.

Here we developed relevant technologies for standardized, semi-automated (GMP) production of complex human tissue models and autologous implants based on the BioVaSc-TERM®- platform technology. Based on these new methods and technical products, I received a grant  from the Bavarian state to build up the Translational Center “Regenerative Therapies in oncology and musculoskeletal diseases” (TLC-RT) in Wuerzburg combined with a W3 position for Tissue Engineering (TERM), at the LMU Wuerzburg.

We established interdisciplinary teams at TLC-RT and TERM. The teams  reflects all necessary disciplines as biologists, pharmacists, engineers, and clinical staff, and is successfully funded by internal and external grants, acquired on a competitive basis. The core competence of the team is based on human cell biology and the cultivation of these cells on a vascularized scaffold (BioVaSc-TERM®) in specific bioreactors. The TLC-RT has been evaluated in January 2019 as an excellent interdisciplinary team, focusing on applied research. Based on this excellent evaluation the  TLC-RT  will at consolidating as a Fraunhofer Unit and improving current technologies in the field of regenerative medicine under the guidance of PD Dr. Marco Metzger.

Since 2019 I´m a professor at the university OvGU Magdeburg to establish with colleagues a center for medical engineering.