Growth and Development Unit

Fundamentals of skeletal muscle plasticity and cell-based production of
animal protein

Myogenic stem cells or satellite cells (SC) play an essential role in the processes of muscle fiber formation and muscle hypertrophy.

Their functional properties (adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, bioenergetics) determine the growth and regeneration potential of the muscle and its adaptability. In addition, during critical development phases, SC functionality can be changed permanently by intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Therefore, we aim at the identification and characterization of myogenic stem cell populations and causal regulatory mechanisms determining their formation, maturation and functionality in postnatal muscle development. Based on our knowledge, we use biotechnological methods to reproduce the natural processes of muscle development, in particular the proliferation of progenitor cells and their differentiation into muscle fibers.

The main research topics of our unit are:  

  • Molecular and metabolic control of early-postnatal myogenic processes in farm animals (pigs, chickens)
  • Modulation of growth behavior and differentiation
  • Basics of the production of protein for human nutrition from animal stem cells (project "IBÖM-07 CELLZERO Meat", funded by the BMBF, support code: 031B1259A).

The knowledge gained contributes to a better understanding of fundamental processes of skeletal muscle development and plasticity, which ultimately determine muscle health and, in livestock, carcass and meat quality. In addition, we are looking for alternative and environmentally friendly ways to produce high-quality animal protein, free of genetic engineering and antibiotics, as a component of global food security.



M.Sc. Pablo Leonardo Rado
Institute of Muscle Biology and Growth
+49 38208 68-851 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-851
Dr. rer. nat. Katja Stange
Institute of Muscle Biology and Growth
+49 38208 68-854 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-854
M.Sc. Tessa Wolter
Institute of Muscle Biology and Growth
+49 38208 68-887 | E-Mail
E-Mail +49 38208 68-887