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Stem Cells


Admission requirements

  • This course requires discipline and a solid knowledge of the basics of molecular and cell biology (Molecular Biology of the Cell. Fifth Edition. Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter. Garland Science Publishers, 2007; ISBN 978-0-8153-4106-2).

  • Relevant documentation/literature can be obtained from the organizers three months prior to the start of the course.


Period: This course will not be taught in 2010-11, but in 2011-2012. The description below is indicative for the course contents but may be updated by May/June 2011.

This four-week course focuses on human somatic stem cells (hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells) and mouse and human pluripotent stem cells (embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells). In particular their fundamental aspects and potential in medicine will be discussed.
The course comprises:

  • seminars by experts in the field

  • interactive dialogues with these experts

  • forum discussions where each student is expected to prepare questions and bring up issues

  • culture and differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells

  • self study of key/state-of-the-art publications on the biology and applications of stem cells, and a written exam.

Research competences:

  • Defining relevant research questions from stem cell literature and/or lectures;

  • Gaining insight into the interplay between basic and applied research;

  • Getting acquainted with the combination/integration of multidisciplinary research in molecular medicine.

Professional competences:
Identifying, formulating and solving problems, critical reading, creative thinking, motivation, commitment, developing a (broad) view, integrating large amounts of information.

Course objectives

  • Acquiring a solid basic knowledge about somatic (i.e. multipotent) and pluripotent (e.g. embryonic) stem cells;

  • Evaluating the potential of stem cells in (regenerative) medicine;

  • Getting acquainted with the culture and differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Mode of instruction

Seminars, practicals, interactive lectures, expert meetings, participation in symposium, self study assignments.

Assessment method

Written exam, student behaviour (motivation, participation in panel and expert discussions, scientific input).