Rediscovering pluripotency: from teratocarcinomas to embryonic stem cells

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Start date: October 10, 2011
End date: October 12, 2011
Venue: National Museum Cardiff
Location: Cardiff
Topics: This conference will cover all major aspects of pluripotency, from teratocarcinomas to embryonic stem cells
 

 

 

Summary

Human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells have caught the public and scientific imagination over the past 12 years because of the potential they offer in areas such as regenerative medicine, drug discovery, toxicology and disease modelling.  All of these potential applications depend upon a thorough understanding of the basic biology of these fascinating cells.  However that understanding has been built upon studies carried out over the past 60 years, focused first on embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells, the stem cells of teratocarcinomas, in the laboratory mouse.  These studies led to the derivation of mouse ES cells in 1981, and also to studies of human EC cells during the 1970’s and 1980’s, which eventually culminated in the derivation of human ES cells in 1998 and iPS cells in 2007.  As in all areas of science, the jigsaw puzzle has been pieced together slowly over many years, maybe leaving behind ideas and concepts that could not be pursued at the time but might have relevance to our understanding of these pluripotent stem cell systems today.  The purpose of this meeting will be to bring together a number of researchers who have made key contributions over the past half century, to revisit and review ideas that supported development of the area in the past and to assess whether they have relevance for current studies.

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