Principal Investigator

Associate Professor

Mariaceleste Aragona

Associate Professor Mariaceleste Aragona aims to understand how tissues are formed, maintained in shape and cope with stresses. This knowledge is fundamental to develop treatments that use stem cells to rebuild organs.

Associate Professor
Mariaceleste Aragona
Location: UCPH, Denmark

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Biomechanics – for example the stretching and relaxation of our organs – enable many vital functions. Associate Professor Mariaceleste Aragona and her team investigate organs that are naturally subjected to different mechanical stimuli such as the skin and the bladder. The skin is constantly mechanically stimulated – stretched or relaxed – when we use our muscles. The bladder uses mechanics – stretching and relaxation – to control the storage and release of urine. Associate Professor Aragona aims to understand how different cell types are organized to cope with these different types of mechanical stimuli, with the ultimate goal of developing replacement organs.

Associate Professor Aragona leads the tissue architecture group at reNEW’s Copenhagen node. She has contributed to landmark studies in the field of cell mechanotransduction – how cells sense mechanical stimuli and convert these into biochemical signals – and stem cell biology. Associate Professor Aragona has been awarded a Novo Nordisk Foundation Project Grant and an Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) project grant.

Associate Professor Aragona holds a PhD in biomedicine from the University of Padova, Italy. She was then a postdoc scientist at this university, as well as at l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium where she was awarded the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique and the Human Frontiers Science Program fellowships.

reNEW researchers have a strong track record of scientific excellence in stem cell biology

They have performed pioneering work in stem cell research spanning different tissue and cell types, different technological advances and different stages of applied research. This provides an unprecedented international opportunity to utilise the combined wealth of knowledge, complementary skills sets and clinical experience across reNEW to push stem cell discoveries toward translational outcomes.