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Who are we?

The Bochum Stem Cell Group is an informal network of scientists who share a common interest in basic research relating to stem cells and potential applications in biology, biotechnology and regenerative medicine.

Stem cells are characterized by the capacity of self-renewal and the potential to generate various types of progeny. A truly totipotent stem cell can give rise to a complete organism. This is obviously the case for a fertilized egg cell, but has also been observed for cells derived from early stage embryos, the so-called embryonic stem (ES-) cells. Organ-based stem cells are pluripotent and generate a more or less restricted progeny.

As consequence of scientific progress in reproduction research, it is now possible to study mammalian embryonic stem cells in the test tube and in various animal models. In 2006, the laboratory of Prof. S. Yamanaka in Japan demonstrated that differentiated cells of mammals can be reprogrammed with a limited number of factors to acquire the properties of ES-cells. Thereby, the possibility emerges to create individual ES-cell lines that could be used for various purposes.

These astounding discoveries have generated a considerable excitement in the life science community and stem cell research constitutes currently a global, exponentially growing field of science. Current investigations aim both at basic mechanisms of stem cell maintenance and differentiation and manifold applications in the fields of biotechnology and medicine. In fact, stem cells are considered a promising source of cell replacement. Stem cell research therefore represents a pivotal key discipline of regenerative medicine.

In order to support stem cell research at Ruhr-University, the Bochum Stem Cell Group has the mission to enhance interactive collaborative exchanges on the campus and to encourage joint scientific projects. The expected gain of synergy will lead to collaborations that may define projects for joint funding.

The Bochum Stem Cell Group is a member of the Stem Cell Network NRW.

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