Tissue Architecture and Organogenesis

Interview with Meritxell Huch in CARTHA

© www.carthamagazine.com

Meritxell Huch, Lise Meitner MPI-CBG research group leader and one of the first recipients of the Lise Meitner Excellence Program from the Max Planck Society, talked to Frankfurt-based artist Alex Thake about her research in organoid cultures, their application for tissue regeneration and carcinogenesis – the formation of cancer, where normal cells are transformed into cancer cells –, and the possibility of personalized medicine.

The interview was conducted for the current issue of CARTHA, a curated platform that focuses on sharing different forms of critical thinking regarding architecture and society. Its editorial activity was initiated 2014 in Basel. It is made by an international group of practicing architects and designers, who teamed-up to create an independent, periodical, non-profit publishing platform not bounded by geographical nor ideological borders.

Teaser of the interview:

Language being a technology in and of itself, Dr. Huch’s use of figurative speech disrupts standard conceptions of taxonomy and gains agency as a determinant of practical dissemination. As late capital and globalisation have ostensibly undergone reification from analogical virus to reality, ex vivo tissue development conceives Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “BWO’s” as metaphor to flesh. The description proposes a touchable condition, a surreal horizon of shifting bodies and migratory organs.

What is your specific study and application in the field of tissue regeneration and carcinogenesis?

In a nutshell it is how tissues develop, how they are maintained during adulthood and how our tissues repair – how they regenerate, basically. We try to understand that at a mechanistic level and to understand that is realising the liver as a model organ because of its huge regenerative capacity.
You can chop up to 70% of the liver and it will regrow from the remaining tissue that is there; very much like when you amputate the limb of a salamander it will regrow, so the liver is the only organ that can do it proficiently in increments. [...]

Published with the kind permission from www.carthamagazine.com.

Read the full interview here.