20909 Stem Cells: From Basic Research to Medical Applications 1

Credits: 3 advanced seminar credits in Life Sciences

Prerequisites: 36 credits in the Sciences, including General Biology I, General Biology II, Cell Structure and Function (single-semester format or year-long format) and Genetics.2 Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Required: Immunology

The course is based on a reader edited by Eitan Fibach and Joel Klemes.

Stem cells, in contrast to other cells in our bodies, such as skin or muscle cells, are able to differentiate and develop into various cell types and tissues. Stem cell research contributes to our understanding of basic biological processes, and to future, far-reaching clinical applications. In many laboratories around the world, efforts are invested in understanding the biology of these cells, which requires a combined knowledge of various disciplines, such as biology of reproduction, developmental biology, cellular and molecular biology, endocrinology, hematology and immunology. The course provides the student with basic knowledge about stem cells, as well as the clinical applications that may be possible as a result of basic research being performed on such cells. In addition, the course introduces the student to ethical issues relating to research in the field and its medical implementation.

Students are required to submit assignments and write and present a seminar paper at the end of the course. Suggested seminar paper topics: Stem cells in the hematopoietic system; Malignant stem cells; Stem cells and aging; Clinical applications of stem cells.

1There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.

Students who took Differentiation of Blood Cells (20513) may not take this course.

2or the previous version of the course, From Mendelism to Genetic Engineering.