NIBR
POSTDOCTORAL PROGRAM

male4Caroline Gubser Keller, PhD
Chemical Biology & Therapeutics
Basel, Switzerland


Pressure ulcers represent one of the most challenging clinical problems faced by patients who are elderly, neurologically impaired, chronically hospitalized, or have spinal cord injuries (SCI). Pressure ulcers can be life-threatening at end-stage as a potential source of overwhelming sepsis. Patients with SCI and associated co-morbidities are among the highest risk populations for developing pressure ulcers, with an incidence between 25–66%. These patients are in dire need for effective wound therapy, since there is no treatment option available for pressure ulcers except surgical interventions that require skin transplantation from an unaffected body location following debridement of the wound region.

The molecular mechanisms underlying impaired wound healing are still not understood. Most of the current insights are derived from cellular and animal models with limited clinical relevance. We propose a multidisciplinary approach to investigate wound pathophysiological mechanisms for the development of therapeutic options for pressure ulcers in patients with SCI, combining clinical, molecular and computational biology expertise. In collaboration with Dr. Markus Béchir at the Swiss Paraplegic Center (SPC) in Nottwil, Switzerland, we will use cutting-edge molecular profiling and analytical approaches with insight at the single cell level on clinical samples to gain a deep understanding of the molecular events underlying impaired wound healing in patients with SCI. Key findings will be followed up and validated in vivo and in vitro using primary/patient material and in close collaboration with other groups, including wet-lab scientists.

Selected Publications

Exploring glucocorticoid receptor agonists mechanism of action through mass cytometry and radial visualizations.
Abraham Y, Gerrits B, Ludwig MG, Rebhan M, Gubser Keller C.
Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2017 Jan;92(1):42-56

Identification of small molecules which induce skeletal muscle differentiation in embryonic stem cells via activation of the Wnt and inhibition of Smad2/3 and Sonic Hedgehog pathways.
Lee H, Haller C, Manneville C, Doll T, Fruh I, Keller CG, Richards SM, Ibig-Rehm Y, Patoor M, Goette M, Bouchez LC, Mueller M.
Stem Cells. 2016 Feb;34(2):299-310.

SMN2 splice modulators enhance U1-pre-mRNA association and rescue SMA mice. 
Palacino J, Swalley SE, Song C, Cheung AK, Shu L, Zhang X, Van Hoosear M, Shin Y, Chin DN, Keller CG, Beibel M, Renaud NA, Smith TM, Salcius M, Shi X, Hild M, Servais R, Jain M, Deng L, Bullock C, McLellan M, Schuierer S, Murphy L, Blommers MJ, Blaustein C, Berenshteyn F, Lacoste A, Thomas JR, Roma G, Michaud GA, Tseng BS, Porter JA, Myer VE, Tallarico JA, Hamann LG, Curtis D, Fishman MC, Dietrich WF, Dales NA, Sivasankaran R.
Nat Chem Biol. 2015 Jul;11(7):511-7.

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