Daniela Ulrich, MD, PhD:

Stem cells, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 14, A-8036 Graz;
phone: +43-316-385 81437, fax: +43-316-385 14197,  e-mail
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Inflammation, immune response, macrophages, adhesion, mesenchymal stem cells, tissue regeneration, placenta

Research interest:

Placenta accreta is defined as a pathologic attachment of the placenta to the uterus. There is little doubt that the worldwide caesarean delivery epidemic has led to an increased incidence of abnormally adherent and invasive placentation, so called morbidly adherent placenta (MAP). To date it is not clear which pathomechanisms are the underlying cause for the pathological placental invasion. Only few reports have been published regarding basic histological and immunological parameters in MAP (15). The aim is to find a correlation of histological, immunological and endometrial stem cell properties in MAP.


Fig. 1: reproduced from Miller et al., 2015 (6).


  1. Endler M, Saltvedt S, Papadogiannakis N: Macroscopic and histological characteristics of retained placenta: A prospectively collected case-control study. Placenta, 2016; 41:​39–44.
  2. Ernst LM, Linn RL, Minturn L, Miller ES: Placental Pathologic Associations With Morbidly Adherent Placenta: Potential Insights Into Pathogenesis. Pediatr Dev Pathol, 2017; 20(5):​387–393.
  3. G&oumolzükara I, Özgür T, Dolapçioglu K, Güngören A, Karapinar OS: YKL-40 expression in abnormal invasive placenta cases. J Perinat Med, 2017; 45(5):​571–575.
  4. Linn RL, Miller ES, Lim G, Ernst LM: Adherent basal plate myometrial fibers in the delivered placenta as a risk factor for development of subsequent placenta accreta. Placenta, 2015; 36(12):​1419–1424.
  5. Timor-Tritsch IE, Monteagudo A, Cali G, Palacios-Jaraquemada JM, Maymon R, Arslan AA, Patil N, Popiolek D, Mittal KR: Cesarean scar pregnancy and early placenta accreta share common histology. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol, 2014; 43(4):​383–395.
  6. Miller ES, Linn RL, Ernst LM: Does the presence of placental basal plate myometrial fibres increase the risk of subsequent morbidly adherent placenta: a case-control study. BJOG, 2016; 123(13):​2140–2145.

Collaborations within the DP-iDP:

  • B. Huppertz will teach the students in the histology of placentas.
  • U. Panzenböck will supervise the studies addressing immunology.
  • U. Hiden will supervise the studies addressing trophoblast characterization.
  • G. Desoye will provide materials and lab space for the tissue culture work.
  • C. Wadsack will provide expertise in the area of cell isolation laboratory techniques.

Collaborating research groups where PhD students could perform their research stay abroad:

  • C. E. Gargett (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) is an expert in eMSC and will help with the immunoprofiling of MSC in vitro.
  • V. Letouzey (Medical University Nimes, France) is clinician with specialization in material development and testing. He will train students to perform biomechanical tests of the tissue explants.

Industrial partners:

A.M.I. Agency for Medical Innovations GmbH, Feldkirch, Austria

Know-how and infrastructure of the research group:

Studies are routinely carried out both in the laboratory and in the clinical setting. The clinical research group comprises four consultants and three diploma students and has a long lasting experience in the design and conduction of prospective clinical studies. The basic science research group consists of one doctoral student and is in collaboration with G. Desoye and C. Wadsack. Various techniques are being used for a detailed analysis of MSC. All the required equipment is available at the institute, including animal and cell culture facilities, flow cytometry, real-time PCR systems, fluorescence plate reader, tissue processing and fluorescence microscopy, and a microscopy system to study cell-to-cell interaction.

Scientific concepts and techniques that students will learn in this laboratory:

DP-iDP students will be trained in stem cell culture laboratory skills. Students will learn how to isolate MSC, extract them from the tissue and characterize them using various techniques. The acquired methodologies will comprise flow cytometry, cell differentiation, cell labeling, western blot, and various types of microscopy.