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DanStem Newsletter April 2015

DanStem Quarterly Newsletter, April 2015

The Danish Stem Cell Center of excellence, DanStem, was established as an initiative of The Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Stem Cell Day 2015

Friday, April 10th, 2015, a group of 16 scientists from DanStem, together with a science communication specialist from the University of Edinburgh, have interacted with over 160 Danish high school students at Christianshavn Gymnasium for a full day of outreach activities. 
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Visit: Wellcome Trust Board UK

The Wellcome Trust Board and the Dean visiting DanStem's labs

On February 03, 2015 guests from the Wellcome Trust Board have visited DanStem together with representatives from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The delegation went on a short guided tour through DanStem and were introduced to our work by senior and junior researchers. The visit concluded with a Q&A session.

Recent selected publications 

In a recent study, scientists at DanStem revealed that a gene whose mutation can lead to kidney dysplasia in humans may also cause diabetes. In mice, its mutation results in the formation of renal and pancreatic cysts, as well as a reduction in beta cells, which may later in life lead to diabetes.
PhD student Laurence Lemaire and a team of researchers led by Professor Anne Grapin-Botton from DanStem and scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), found that mice lacking the Bicc1 gene develop cysts in the kidney and pancreas. In addition, they make less insulin-producing beta cells. The results have just been published in the scientific journal Development and may eventually lead to better prenatal counseling and screening for diabetes in patients with kidney dysplasia.

Scientists at DanStem, have captured thousands of progenitor cells of the pancreas on video. The cells have been filmed, making decisions to either divide and expand the organ or to specialize into the endocrine cells that regulate our blood sugar levels.
In a joint collaboration between DanStem and the University of CambridgeProfessor Anne Grapin- Botton and a team of researchers including Assistant Professor Yung Hae Kim reveals that stem cells 'behave as people in a society', making individual choices but with enough interactions to bring them to their end-goal. The results could eventually lead to a better control over the production of insulin-producing endocrine cells for diabetes therapy. The paper is published in the scientific journal PLOS Biology.

Rasmussen, Kasper D., Guangshuai Jia, Jens V. Johansen, Marianne T. Pedersen, Nicolas Rapin, Frederik O. Bagger, Bo T. Porse, Olivier A. Bernard, Jesper Christensen & Kristian Helin (2015). Loss of TET2 in hematopoietic cells leads to DNA hypermethylation of active enhancers and induction of leukemogenesis. Genes and Development, doi:10.1101/gad.260174.115 (epub ahead of print).
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PhD graduation

Katie Anderson from the Brickman Lab has passed her thesis defence on March 13, 2015 and receieved the PhD degree. 
Thesis title: 'A Conserved Mode of Endoderm Induction acts to Promote Context-Dependent Embryonic and Extra-embryonic Lineage Specification' 
Examiners: Alfonso Martinez Arias from the Department of Genetics at the University of Camebridge and Nicholas Hastie from the University of Ediburgh. 

At Katie's reception: together with her examiners and her supervisor

Dissemination and public engagement

  • DanStem joined as a partner in EuroStemCell - EU Horizon 2020. 

The project has been successful in securing continued funding under the European Commission's Horizon 2020 funding programme. EuroStemCell, launched in March 2010, unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research labs in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about stem cell research. Read more

  • Professor Anne Grapin-Botton introduced development, with a direct hands-on experience, to high school students at Prins Henrik Gymnasium

On February 2nd 2015, a class of 14-year-old students at the Prince Henrik high school in Frederiksberg, had a direct hands-on experience of research in the field of stem cells and development.

Prof. Grapin-Botton together with gymnasium students

The initiative, enabled the students to observe how chick embryos develop. DanStem/University of Copenhagen professor Anne Grapin-Botton introduced the concept of model organisms. 

This experience illustrated the theme of "Sexual reproduction and diversity" they had in their curriculum. 
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  • Visit: BioMed students from Aarhus University 

On Tuesday, April 22, 2015 DanStem was visited by 27 Biomedicine Bachelor and Master Students from Aarhus University. During their visit the students were introduced to the challenges of cutting-edge stem cell research. They toured our laboratories in small groups and had the chance to meet our principal investigators for a closer look on the individual research groups, and a discussion of future career perspectives.

Associate prof. Elke Ober presenting the zebrafish to a group of students from Aarhus

  • ISSCR Member Spotlight on DanStem professor Joshua Brickman
An interview with DanStem's professor Joshua Brickman is published on the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) website.

In this interview, Joshua Brickman shares his current research focus and what led him to become a scientist. He is also talks about living in Copenhagen, and reveals information his peers will be surprise to read. 
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  • Two articles on the BioZoom magazine

Two stories about DanStem have been published on the BioZoom magazine. One about the center in general by professors Palle Serup, Joshua Brickman and Henrik Semb, and the other about Stem cell-derived beta cells to treat diabetes, by Professor Anne Grapin Botton.

One article tells the story of The Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem), since it has been established in late 2011, at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. It describes the following center's mission and aims. Read the story HERE 

The second story is about Stem cells' potential to affect future treatments for diabetes. Endowed with an ability to give rise to any cell type in our body, the challenge resides in coaxing these cells in the right direction, to differentiate them into functional beta cells. After 10 years of development of methods that recapitulate each step the cells normally execute in the body before they become beta cells, major progress on the last step has been achieved in 2014. Read more about this story HERE

Copenhagen Stem Cell, Developmental & Differentiation Club (CSCDDC)

Prof Josh Brickman and associate prof Betta Ferretti, the stem cell club initiators and organizers

The Stem Cell Club was initiated and organized by DanStem professors Joshua Brickman and Betta Ferretti. Each meeting of the Club features three speakers and is followed by refreshments and an opportunity to discuss the topics of the evening. The first meeting was held on March 31, 2015 and the plan is to have 4 meeting a year. The next club meeting is scheduled on August 11, 2015. 

DanStem Flow Cytometry Manager - selected ISAC Emerging Leader

Gelo Victoriano Dela Cruz, DanStem flow Cytometry Core Facility Manager was selected as 2015-2019 Shared Resource Lab (SRL) Emerging Leader. The ISAC SRL Leadership Development program is designed to enhance and develop the next generation of emerging leaders in SRL (Shared Resource Lab) operations, who will also help further the field of cytometry.
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Mark your calendar: StemPhys opening symposium, June 15-16, 2015

StemPhys is a unique and interdisciplinary initiative, joining forces of physics and stem cell biology with the goal of significantly advancing our knowledge of stem cell commitment and controlling the differentiation process. Three of the core scientists are stem cell biologists from DanStem, and three are physicists, from the Niels Bohr Institute. The new center's opening symposium is planned on June 15-16, 2015, The Historical Auditorium A, Blegdamsvej 17. You can visit the StemPhys website via this LINK



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Sendt d. 28 April 2015