Dr Georg A. Feichtinger

Dr Georg A. Feichtinger

Profile

I studied molecular biology at the University of Vienna with the majority of my education obtained from the Vienna Biocentre. My doctoral degree (Dr. Rer. Nat.) was awarded in 2013 by the University of Vienna for the thesis 'Non-viral transient gene therapy for bone regeneration', which focussed on non-viral transient gene therapy for bone regeneration with special emphasis on the use of ultrasound for minimally-invasive gene delivery (Sonoporation) and was partially funded by the Eurostars project E!5650 UGen. I received my master's degree (Mag. Rer. Nat.) in molecular biology from the University of Vienna in 2008 with distinction for the thesis 'In vitro characterization of inducible gene therapy systems for osteoinduction', graduating with specialisation in Molecular Medicine, Microbiology/Immunology and Cell biology.

I was leading the molecular biology laboratory at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology in Vienna from 2008-13 and was involved in numerous interdisciplinary research projects in trauma and intensive care as well as regenerative medicine research as evidenced by my publication record. I trained and supervised students within the scope of practical courses, bachelor and master theses and assisted international visiting students with their projects and was appointed Visiting Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum, Vienna. 

I joined the University of Leeds through a competitive Wellcome Trust ISSF Junior Investigator Development Fellowship in 2013 and was awarded a tenure-track University Academic Fellowship (UAF) in 2016 at the Department of Oral Biology within the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering theme. Since 2016 I am also active as a visiting lecturer at University College London (UCL) for the Applied Medical Sciences (AMS) programme.

My expertise in somatic, non-viral in vivo gene therapy is evidenced by several scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, a book chapter and I regularly present my research findings at relevant national and international conferences and actively engage in national and international collaboration with academic and industrial partners. Furthermore, I am regularly reviewing for international leading journals such as Nature Protocols, Journal of Controlled Release, European Cells and Materials (eCM), Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology and the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. I am an active member of the International Review Panel for European Cells and Materials journal.

Responsibilities

  • School of Dentistry Research and Innovation Committee - Academic ECR Representative
  • School of Dentistry Internationalisation Committee - Academic ECR Representative
  • Co-Module Lead - Introduction to Biomedical Sciences

Research interests

My primary research interest is the development of innovative regenerative medicine approaches for musculoskeletal tissue engineering with the potential for future translation to provide true functional replacement as ideal outcome.

The foundation of the approaches I investigate is the idea that modern, innovative therapeutics should provide minimally-invasive, biomimetic signalling cues at the site of implantation to augment and complement the endogenous regenerative capacity of the host. Such complex, instructive morphogenic cues to trigger the tissue-specific differentiation of local cells present in the defect environment can be delivered in vivo in a controlled manner by local, transient somatic gene therapy.

I, therefore, investigate novel platform technologies for safe, non-viral transient gene delivery (gene-activated matrix biomaterials, nanoparticles and minimally invasive physical gene transfer methods) with emphasis on spatiotemporal control of the expression of multiple therapeutic genes as biomimetic, morphogenic gradients inspired by endogenous development and signalling for the generation of complex tissues and tissue interfaces.

Furthermore, I am the co-inventor on a granted European Patent for Ultrasound-mediated gene delivery (EP2674172B1), covering the development of the novel approach of matrix-assisted sonoporation (MASTM) for spatiotemporal control of non-viral gene delivery to therapeutic cells within biomaterials.

I actively collaborate through an interdisciplinary approach with multiple international research groups from the UK (University of Ulster, UCL and University of York), Ireland (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RSCI Dublin), Italy (Italian Institute of Technology IIT, Genova), Austria (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology, LBI Vienna) and Denmark (Centre for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen). 

Current group members

  • Matthew Sullivan (CDT TERM PhD student)
  • Daniel White (CDT TERM PhD student)
  • Imaan Khalid (INSPIRE UG Researcher, Dental Surgery MChD/BChD year 5 student)
  • Yui Yin Ko (INSPIRE UG Researcher, Dental Surgery MChD/BChD year 5 student)

Cross-Faculty collaborations

Qualifications

  • Dr. rer. nat. Molecular Biology (PhD)
  • Mag. rer. nat. Molecular Biology (MSc)

Professional memberships

  • Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS)
  • British Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (BSGCT)

Student education

I teach several basic science lectures and practicals on the Dental Surgery MChD/BChD, Oral Science BSc programme at the School of Dentistry, University of Leeds and act as personal tutor for students within this programme.

Furthermore, I am actively involved in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (CDT TERM), supervising PhD students, delivering lectures and assessing assignments.

Additionally, I deliver guest lectures at the School of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Leeds and I am a visiting lecturer at University College London (UCL) since 2016.  

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://production2.leeds.ac.uk/phd">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
Projects
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/224-advanced-injectable-biomaterials-for-targeted-gene-delivery-in-periodontal-regeneration-and-antimicrobial-therapy">Advanced injectable biomaterials for targeted gene delivery in periodontal regeneration and antimicrobial therapy</a></li> <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/223-atomic-force-microscopy-studies-of-the-molecular-mechanisms-of-nested-genes-related-to-tooth-formation">Atomic force microscopy studies of the molecular mechanisms of nested genes related to tooth formation</a></li>