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Module 6: Leveraging Tools to Study Stem Cell Biology

Introduction and Learning Objectives: 

Module 6 reviews the cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to interrogate stem cells to further their experimental use and clinical potential. Students are presented with genetic and cellular tools that enhance cell differentiation strategies. This module will explore different mechanisms for gene editing and cell engineering and discuss chimeric embryo models and their uses. Finally, the module stresses the promise of omics technologies, single-cell assays, and bioinformatics tools that elevate the use and analysis of stem cell-based platforms for the clinical setting and fundamental discoveries. After      this module, students will be equipped to analyze stem cells experimentally and better understand how they can be used to further understand basic biology or enhance regenerative medicine. 

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

  • Compare different methods of genome engineering;
  • Synthesize omics technologies and how they help to dissect cellular heterogeneity;
  • Appreciate the power and limitations of computational methods in analyzing omics data;
  • Explain animal chimerism and define its importance as a model system;
  • Couple genetic and cellular technologies to solve experimental queries;
  • Weigh the justification of genetic modifications in different experimental settings;
  • Use these tools to revamp classic developmental biology experiments and design new testable hypotheses.

Core Concepts

  1. Editing the stem cell genome
  2. In vivo tools in stem cell biology
  3. Computational tools to dissect stem cell heterogeneity
  4. In vitro cultures of adult stem cells to analyze the differentiation capacity

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