Stem cell decision making – University of Copenhagen

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Stem cell decision making

Stem cells are un-differentiated cells with the potential to differentiate into any specialized cell of an organism.

There does not yet exist a complete understanding of how biological, chemical and physical factors act in concerto to determine the destiny of a stem cell. The novel StemPhys center joins forces of stem cell biologists from DanStem and theoretical and experimental physics from the Niels Bohr Institute with the goal of significantly progressing our quantitative understanding of stem cell commitment.

StemPhys combines unique stem cell lines with expertise in modelling, bio-imaging, and mechanical manipulation of living matter. One goal is to control the differentiation of stem cells and produce long-living functional cells.

Our research on pancreatic progenitors, with the capacity to generate beta cells producing insulin, could produce new prospects for stem-cell based treatment of diabetes, and our work on liver progenitors could enhance drug development by providing hepatocytes for drug screening. Long-term goals include the development of methods to possibly reverse differentiation of stem cells.

StemPhys is a Danish National Research Foundation Center of Excellence.

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