Principal Investigator


Full Professor of


  Research Topics • 1. Clinical Anatomy
• 2. Tertiary Education
• 3. Cell Biology
• 4. Morphology
  Subtopics • 3. Immunology, Bone Biology, Stem Cells
• 4. Light and Electron Microscopy

Questions addressed

There are 3 main research areas covered by the group of Prof Filgueira, namely clinical anatomy, tertiary education and cell biology.
In clinical anatomy research, projects are developed and performed in collaboration with clinicians. For example, in 2012/13 a collaboration with Dr Karl Grob, Kantonal Hospital St. Gallen, Switzerland, investigates the regional anatomy, blood and nerve supply, as well as tendinous layers of the quadriceps muscle. This research generates new anatomical knowledge that can be applied to minimal invasive surgery of the hip joints and the femur.
In tertiary education research, one recent project investigated the feasibility and reliability of self and peer evaluation, as well as peer teaching and scientific writing in an advanced science course in collaboration with Dr Jan Meyer, The University of Western Australia. Another project is done in collaboration with Mohamed Al Mushaiqri (PhD candidate), Lecturer in Department of Human and Clinical Anatomy, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. This project investigates anatomy teaching to medical students in the Gulf Region.
In cell biology, various sub-topics are covered, including cellular immunology, bone biology and stem cells.
For many years, the key focus in immunology has been antigen uptake, processing and presentation by dendritic cells, macrophages, and more recently, microglia. Various protocols have been established to generate those cells in vitro from human blood-derived precursors. Functional, molecular and morphological methods are applied. To date, the influence of various metal ions (Al, Cr, Co, Pb, Ti, Va, Ti) on these cells, and corresponding inflammation and immune modulation, are investigated. In addition, pathogen-host immune cell interactions are studied, focussing on cytotoxic mechanisms.
In bone biology research, differentiation, activation and function of osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells) and their interaction with osteoblast (bone forming cells) is the main focus. A human in vitro model has been established and various scientific questions have been addressed, including the influence of metal ions, derived from biocorosion of orthopaedic metal implants, on osteoclast activation and bone resorption, which is seen in patients with loosening of joint replacements.
In stem cell research, the focus has been on human stem cells, derived from various tissues, blood and breastmilk. Phenotype, genetic and epigenetic make-up, and their differentiation potential of the stem cells has been of major interest. New projects will explore preclinical applications for these cells, with the intention to develop future cell replacement therapies, e.g. pancreatic islets.

  Keywords • Antigen Processing
• Breastmilk Stem Cells
• Clinical Anatomy
• Dendritic Cells
• Inflammation
• Live Cell Imaging
• Mesenchymal Stem Cells
• Osteoblasts
• Osteoclasts
• Tertiary Education
  Contact Email address luis.filgueira [at] unifr.ch  
  Personal site Anatomy > Group Filgueira  


University of Fribourg  •  Faculty of science  •  Department of Medicine  •  Ch. du Musée 8  •  CH-1700 Fribourg
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