Welcome to the Thymus Dynamics Group, “Victor Babeș” University of
Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania.

About Us

Our group was formed in april 2012 from scientists with a background in molecular/cellular biology, mathematics and computer science that shared a common interest in molecular, cellular and computational aspects of thymocyte dynamics in the normal and diabetic thymus. The molecular and cellular biologists of the group study the thymocyte dynamics and role of the eicosanoid mediators in the interactions between thymocyte and the stromal components of the thymus. Occasionally, it investigates the dynamics of fatty acids and lipid mediators in other systems (stem cells for instance). With the mathematical part of the team we try to build mathematical models of the thymus based on experimental data, that aim at explaining the complex dynamics of thymocytes during thymus involution and regeneration, the interactions between thymocytes and stromal cells of the thymus and the dynamics of eicosanoid mediators between thymocytes and the stromal compartment of the thymus. We are currently funded by the Executive Unit for Funding the Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI) of the Government of Romania, project code PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0571, funding contracts no. 349/07-05-2012 and 352/27-09-2012.

Thymus is the organ which generates mature T-cells that populate the peripheral tissues. Based on the expression of CD4 and CD8 the mouse thymocytes can be divided into four major subpopulations: CD4-CD8- double-negative, CD4+CD8+ double-positive, CD4+ and CD8+ single-positive. From a mathematical standpoint, these populations could be contained into separate compartments, with a unidirectional flow of thymocytes among them (conveyor-belt type of models). We model the thymocyte development in the pre-natal and post-natal thymus, by using experimental data on thymocyte proliferation, death and transfer for each subpopulation. The interactions between the developing or dying thymocytes with the stromal component of the thymus will also be added to the models, since many of the current mathematical models of the thymus pay little attention to the role of thymic stromal compartment in thymocyte dynamics. We also want to model the perturbation of thymocyte homeostasis in pathological situations like diabetes, which is known to affect thymus output and causes immunological alterations on a systemic scale.

Team Members

Our group comprises the following part-time or full-time members, with their role in the project:

Dr. Felix Aurel Mic, project leader, molecular and cellular biology
Professor Dr. Daniela Zaharie, mathematics and computer modeling
Postdoc Mic Ani Aurora, molecular and cellular biology
Postdoc Alexandra Teodora Gruia, molecular and cellular biology
Ioan Anechitei, animal technician

Dr. Felix Aurel Mic, group leader, graduated from “Victor Babes” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania, as medical doctor, in 1995. I worked then as graduate student at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Debrecen Medical University, Hungary, between january 1997 – july 1998 and as a postdoc at the former Burnham Institute (now Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute), La Jolla, CA, USA, between november 1999 – may 2003.
A brief CV can be found here.
Read my Google Scholar profile.

Recent publications

- Daniela Zaharie, Radu D. Moleriu, Felix A Mic. Modeling the development of the post-natal mouse thymus in the absence of bone marrow progenitors. Scientific Reports, 2016 Nov 8;6:36159. doi: 10.1038/srep36159, available here.

- Maria Suciu, Alexandra T Gruia, Dragos V Nica, Seyed MR Azghadi, Ani A Mic, Felix A Mic. Data on expression of lipoxygenases-5 and -12 in the normal and acetaminophen-damaged liver. Data in Brief, 2016 Mar 31;7:1199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2016.03.079, available here.

- Seyed Mohammad Reza Azghadi, Maria Suciu, Alexandra Teodora Gruia, Lucian Barbu-Tudoran, Mirabela Iustina Cristea, Ani Aurora Mic, Danina Muntean, Dragos Vasile Nica, Felix Aurel Mic. Mesenchymal stromal cells support the viability and differentiation of thymocytes through direct contact in autologous co-cultures. Histochem Cell Biol., 2016, doi: 10.1007/s00418-016-1430-y. Available here.

- Gruia AT, Suciu M, Barbu-Tudoran L, Azghadi SM, Cristea MI, Nica DV, Vaduva A, Muntean D, Mic AA, Mic FA. Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Differentiating to Adipocytes Accumulate Autophagic Vesicles Instead of Functional Lipid Droplets. J Cell Physiol. Volume 231, Issue 4, pages 863–875, April 2016, doi: 10.1002/jcp.25177. Available here.

- Suciu M, Gruia AT, Nica DV, Azghadi SM, Mic AA, Mic FA. Acetaminophen-induced liver injury: Implications for temporal homeostasis of lipid metabolism and eicosanoid signaling pathway. Chem Biol Interact. 2015 Oct 30;242:335-344. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.10.019. Available here.

- Ani A. Mic, Alexandra T. Gruia, Maria Suciu, Seyed Mohammad Reza Azghadi, Felix A. Mic. Diabetes impairs thymocyte proliferation and causes thymocyte apoptosis with subsequent thymus involution in mouse. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology. Vol. XIX, Issue 3, 2015, 21-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2015.10.019. Available here.

- Radu Dumitru Moleriu, Daniela Zaharie, Lavinia Cristina Moatar-Moleriu, Alexandra Teodora Gruia, Ani Aurora Mic, Felix Aurel Mic. Insights into the mechanisms of thymus involution and regeneration by modeling the glucocorticoid-induced perturbation of thymocyte populations dynamics. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2014 May 7;348:80-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.01.020. Available here.

- Lavinia Moatar-Moleriu, Viorel Negru, Daniela Zaharie. Evolutionary Estimation of Parameters in Computational Models of Thymocyte Dynamics. Chapter in the book Large-Scale Scientific Computing, 9th International Conference, LSSC 2013, Sozopol, Bulgaria, June 3-7, 2013. Revised Selected Papers, Editors:Ivan Lirkov, Svetozar Margenov, Jerzy Waśniewski, ISBN: 978-3-662-43879-4 (Print) 978-3-662-43880-0 (Online), Volume 8353 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 272-280, Date: 26 June 2014. Available here.

- Lavinia Moleriu, Radu Moleriu and Daniela Zaharie. Stability analysis and its impact on the parameters estimation for a logistic growth model. Analele Universitatii de Vest din Timisoara, seria Matematica - Informatica,  vol. 51, No. 2, (2013), 57– 71. DOI: 10.2478/awutm-2013-0016. Available here.

- Daniela Zaharie, Lavinia Moatar-Moleriu, Viorel Negru. Particularities of evolutionary parameter estimation in multi-stage compartmental models of thymocyte dynamics. Proceeding of the fifteenth annual conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO '13, Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 06 - 10, 2013. Available here.

- Barbu-Tudoran L, Gavriliuc OI, Paunescu V, Mic FA. Accumulation of tissue macrophages and depletion of resident macrophages in the diabetic thymus in response to hyperglycemia-induced thymocyte apoptosis. J Diabetes Complications. 2013 Mar-Apr;27(2):114-22. Available here.

- Bojin FM, Gruia AT, Cristea MI, Ordodi VL, Paunescu V, Mic FA. Adipocytes differentiated in vitro from rat mesenchymal stem cells lack essential free fatty acids compared to adult adipocytes. Stem Cells Dev. 2012 Mar 1;21(4):507-12. Available here.

- Gruia AT, Barbu-Tudoran L, Mic AA, Ordodi VL, Paunescu V, Mic FA. Arachidonic acid accumulates in the stromal macrophages during thymus involution in diabetes. Histochem Cell Biol. 2011 Jul;136(1): 79-92. Available here.

More publications...

Scientific reports

Activity/scientific reports for the annual stages of the project are available below:







Dr. Felix Aurel Mic
„Victor Babeș” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara
Department of Functional Sciences
2 Eftimie Murgu Square
300041, Timisoara, Romania
Tel/fax: 0040-0356-433211
e-mail: mafelix@umft.ro