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Module 1: Introduction to Stem Cell Biology

Introduction and Learning Objectives: 

The first module, “Introduction to Stem Cell Biology,” will provide students with the building blocks necessary for understanding, examining, and dissecting the dynamic field of stem cell research. This course will delve into the basic research that uncovers the molecular mechanisms and cell biology of stem cell properties and functions as well as translational research and applications of stem cell science to human health. This first module will cover the fundamentals of stem cell biology necessary for progressing to more advanced core concepts. 

At the conclusion of this module, students should be able to:

  • define what characterizes a stem cell;
  • list and compare different types of stem cells;
  • describe the stem cell niche and its role on stem cell regulation;
  • explain stem cell differentiation in vivo and in vitro;
  • summarize different types of pluripotent stem cells and how they are induced;
  • analyze key experiments that define pluripotency;
  • design future experiments based on a data figure from a scientific paper.

Core Concepts

1. What defines a stem cell? 
2. Types of stem cells 
3. Stem cells in vivo
4. Stem cells in vitro

This module is part of the ISSCR's Core Concepts in Stem Cell Biology: Syllabus and Learning Guide. To access the experiments, theories, and primary and secondary literature that support each of these concepts, download the complete resource by using the form on the right-hand side of this webpage.

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Education Committee

Esteban Orlando Mazzoni, PhD (Chair)
New York University, USA

William J. Anderson, PhD
Harvard University, USA

Sina Bartfeld, PhD
University of Wuerzburg, Germany

Anna Couturier
EuroStemCell and University of Edinburgh, UK

Yvanka de Soysa, PhD
Boston Children's Hospital, USA

Robin Scott Hawley, PhD
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, USA

Ping Hu, PhD
Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Yuin Han Jonathan Loh, PhD
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore

Lolitika Mandal, PhD
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India

Zubin Master, PhD
Mayo Clinic, USA

Alysson Renato Muotri, PhD
University of California, San Diego, USA

Jose Maria Polo, PhD
Monash University, Australia

Julie Perlin, PhD
International Society for Stem Cell Research, USA