The Institute Stem cell science is providing a stream of new knowledge about how our bodies are made and maintained. This research brings the promise that better understanding of stem cells will lead to future medical applications. Treatments may come through several routes:
Research Themes Pluripotency Pluripotent stem cells can be derived from early embryos, produced by epigenetic conversion of germ cells, or created by transcription factor mediated reprogramming of somatic cells. Our fundamental investigations are directed at the molecular foundations of pluripotency, mechanisms of lineage-specific differentiation and comparitive analyses between rodent and human.
Human stem cells grown in
the laboratory can be used to produce experimental models of diseased tissues and to test therapeutic drugs.
Some diseases, including
forms of cancer, involve abnormal behaviour of stem cells. As we learn how to control stem cells it may become possible to correct these faults.
Stem cells could be used to
renew damaged tissues and replace missing cells in certain disorders.
Learning how to prevent a
Theme Leader: Principal Investigators: Affiliate Investigators: Associate Investigators:
Haematopoiesis Haematopoiesis represents the best studied adult mammalian stem cell system and provides paradigms for the mechanisms whereby normal stem cells are subverted to form malignancies. The goal of this theme is to delineate the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating normal and malignant haematopoiesis. A particular focus is our use of complimentary approaches in human and murine systems.
decline in numbers and activity of stem cells may help to maintain health during ageing.
Cambridge University has invested in recruiting high quality investigators in mammalian stem cell research at both senior and junior levels. There are now 25 mainstream stem cell laboratories comprising some 300 group memberes including postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. Leading research scientists, technology specialists and doctors work side by side to create a world-leading centre of excellence in stem cell biology and medicine. The Institute also provides high level training for young researchers from around the world and collaborates with bioindustry.
Surani Hendrich, Nichols, Silva, Smith, Vallier, Wutz, Chalut Martinez-Arias Bertone, Bradley, Hemberger, Liu, Reik, Rugg-Gunn, Skarnes
Theme Leader: Principal Investigators: Affiliate Investigators:
Green Gottgens, Huntly, Ottersbach, Warren Ghevaert
Neural Concepts regarding cell replacement and regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) have undergone a radical shift in recent years. This is due in part to the discoveries of continuous neurogenic activity in distinct anatomical regions and of a robust propensity for replacement of oligodendrocytes that myelinate CNS axons. Nevertheless, the loss of neurons remains a major clinical challenge prompting a renewed effort in translational science aimed at prevention as well as replacement. Neuronal loss can occur as a result of (i) inherent defects, (ii) inflammation and (iii) loss of trophic support provided by myelinating cells. In this theme we bring stem cell biology to bear all three causes in an integrated programme of basic and translational research. Theme Leader: Principal Investigators: Affiliate Investigators: Associate Investigators:
Franklin Barker, Karadottir, Kotter, Livesey, Pluchino Ferguson-Smith, Martin Jones, Stingl, Winton 2