Stem Cells: From Lab to Health Care

September 16th 2013


The use of stem cells in biomedical research and medicine is very promising, yet also controversial. This subject is therefore often discussed in the media. With the fast-paced development of stem cell biology, it is difficult to have an informed discussion about the realistic expectations we can have from this field. In this edition of Science Cafe Wageningen, two experts on stem cell biology will share their views on the use and application of stem cells in biomedical research and regenerative medicine. We hope to trigger an interesting discussion about the present and realistic future of stem cell therapies.

Niels Geijsen conducted his PhD research at the University of Utrecht where he studied cytokine signaling in the hematopoietic system. He did his post-doctoral training at the MIT/ Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he demonstrated that germ cells, the precursor cells of egg and sperm, can be generated in the lab from embryonic stem cells. He was offered an Assistant Professor position at Harvard University and established a lab studying induced pluropotent stem cells. These stem cells can in theory produce all sorts of cells, just like embryonic stem cells. Recently Niels Geijsen returned to Utrecht where he is currently Professor in Regenerative Medicine. His research lab is located at the Hubrecht Institute and focuses on the application of pluripotent stem cells in the development of novel therapies against human disease.

Jan de Boer conducted his PhD in cell biology and genetics at the Erasmus Univeristy of Rotterdam studying premature aging in mouse, followed by post -doctoral research at the laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. He then started working at Isotis, a company focussing on tissue engineering where he worked on bone tissue engineering. In 2003 he became associate professor at the University of Twente at the department of Tissue Regeneration. The research conducted in his group focuses on molecular and cellular engineering of bone tissue. Next to this, he is participating in a post graduate educational program on regenerative medicine and as an entrepreneur in regenerative medicine. The discipline of regenerative medicine investigates how the body’s natural ability to repair damaged tissues and organs can be stimulated or imitated to functionally recover.

Live music was performed by MADLOT


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