ISSCR Launches Syllabus and Learning Guide to Teach Stem Cell Biology

  • 23 November, 2020
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Core Concepts in Stem Cell Biology: Syllabus and Learning Guide incorporates key learning objectives and annotated foundational papers to assist educators

Skokie, IL – What defines a stem cell? How many types of stem cells are there? How can stem cells be used to understand and treat diseases? To answer those questions and many more, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has designed a dynamic syllabus and learning guide geared towards teaching undergraduates and medical students the fundamentals of stem cell biology.

“Stem cell research and regenerative medicine is a rapidly advancing field,” ISSCR President Christine Mummery, PhD, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, said. “The ISSCR is delighted to introduce this global education resource that can be adapted to many types of university and medical school courses that teach fundamental concepts in stem cell biology.”

Educators can use the material to teach an entire stem cell biology course or integrate any of the eight core concepts into an existing class. The course syllabus also explores how stem cells are being translated for clinical application and the related ethical questions. Complete with learning objectives, annotated foundational papers, and a bibliography, this resource is available to the scientific community at

“The first time I started putting together a syllabus to teach stem cell biology, I realized that there was a lack of resource available to help create a syllabus and identify key topics and materials,” said Esteban Mazzoni, PhD, New York University, USA, who is Chair of the ISSCR Education Committee that led this initiative. “The syllabus and learning guide were developed to correct that absence of educator resources. It is important that we provide accurate, scientifically-vetted information and resources regarding stem cell biology and clinical treatments to better inform students.”

By the end of the course, students will have a basic understanding of stem cell biology and be able to build upon this in upper-level courses. Because the syllabus and learning guide is anchored by peer-reviewed primary literature, the material can be used to develop higher-level skills necessary for thinking like a scientist. Classic experiments can be used for conceptual knowledge or further dissected to understand hypothesis generation, experimental design logic, result interpretation, and discussion.

Learn more and access the Core Concepts in Stem Cell Biology: Syllabus and Learning Guide.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research ( 

With nearly 4,000 members from more than 60 countries, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the Society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.