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DanStem Newsletter July 2015

StemPhys - Interdisciplinary Center for Stem Cell Decision-Making

The Danish National Research Foundation Center for Stem Cell Decision- Making, Stemphys, commenced with a two-day scientific symposium on June 15-16, 2015. A number of international speakers presented different angles to the Center’s research goals that ranged from systems biology to organ formation and regenerative medicine. During the symposium, Stemphys scientists also gave a first glimpse of the work that is currently starting up at the Center. 

StemPhys opening symposium at the historical auditorium, Niels Bohr inst.

The aim of the Center is to significantly advance our knowledge of stem cell commitment and differentiation through the advancement of quantitative stem cell research with expertise in modeling, bio-imaging, and mechanical manipulation of living matter. The programme of the opening symposium can be found here. Please find more information about the Center at https://stemphys.nbi.ku.dk/

Visit from Wellcome Trust Science Funding Division

On June 3, 2015, DanStem hosted a visit of two guests from The Wellcome Trust. The guests explored ideas for the development of new center policies and portfolios in the UK, specifically in the field of stem cell research. In addition to hearing about the research conducted at DanStem, the guests were introduced to the organization of The Novo Nordisk Centers, the NNF Center Cluster and the University of Copenhagen, through talks and discussions by by Dagnia Looms from The Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Dean of the Faculty for Health and Medical Sciences, Ulla Wewer, among others.


Pre-seed grant for translational project 

Assistant Professor Jacqueline Ameri, working with Professor Henrik Semb, received 2.5 Million DKK from Novo Seeds, as a Pre-seed grant for her translational project “Diacure -Developing methods for expandable production of human pluripotent stem cell-derived insulin-producing beta cells for cell therapy in diabetes.” 

Grants recieved from the Danish Council for Independent Research

Three principal investigators from DanStem received funding for research projects from the Danish Council for Independent Research, Medical Sciences (DFF) in June 2015.

Elisabetta Ferretti, Associate Professor, received DKK 2,584,852 for the project: Pbx pioneer factors promote signal specificity in mesodermal differentiation.

Bo Torben Porse, Professor, received DKK 2,592,000 for the project: Delineating the function of a novel transcription factor crucial for B-cell development.

Kristian Helin, Professor, received DKK 2,592,000 for the project: Understanding the mechanisms by which PRC2 maintains transcriptional patterns in normal and cancer cells.

New clues into how stem cells get their identity 

Postdoc Nina Funa and Assistant Prof. Karen Schachter together with Professor Henrik Semb, identified a mechanism that explains how some stem cells choose to become a given cell type: the cells combine specific sets of proteins at precise positions along the DNA. When these particular groups of proteins are combined, the gates are opened so that certain groups of genes can now be used, driving the cells towards a new identity. The work has just been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell
To read more about this publication please follow the LINK

Illustrated by Woranop Sukparangsi.

Published this quarter

Read more about DanStem publications HERE

ISSCR’s Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden -  Media Panel

DanStem Director, Professor Henrik Semb participated at a media panel on 26 June, 2015. The panel was hosted by The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), showcasing exciting new work. This is the largest international interdisciplinary forum dedicated to stem cell science. 


PhD Graduations

Woranop Sukparangsi, has defended his PhD Thesis on May 6, 2015. 
Thesis title: 'The Evolution and Functional Plasticity of Vertebrate Class V POU Proteins in Pluripotency'

Woranop with his supervisor and examiners at the reception

Supervisor: Joshua Brickman 
Examiners: Sylvie MazanLa Station biologique de Roscoff, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France, and Richard MeehanMRC Human Genetics Unit MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, UK

Laurence Lemaire, has defended her PhD Thesis in École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Thesis title: 'Bicaudal C1 promotes pancreatic NEUROG3+ endocrine progenitor differentiation and ductal morphogenesis'.

Laurence with her supervisor Professor Anne Grapin Botton

Supervisor: Anne Grapin-Botton 

MoMed Summer School - Third prize to Maya Friis Kjærgaard's presentation

Maya Friis Kjærgaard, a PhD student from the Semb lab has won an award as the 3rd best speaker for her presentation at the MoMed summer school 2015, Pharmakon Conference Centre in Hillerød.
Maya gave an enthusiastic 15 minute talk about her research project, which is about: iPSC disease modeling of monogenic forms of diabetes.

Career Opportunities & Funding for Young Scientists

A monthly event series co-organized with the SUND departments BMI and ICMM

DanStem is pleased about the opportunity to join a networking, career and fundraising event series for young scientists. We are co-organizing the events for third-year PhD students and postdocs together with the Biomedical Department and the Department for Cellular and Molecular Medicine at SUND. In the monthly meetings, young scientists can hear talks and ask questions on different topics that are especially relevant in their career phase. Meetings cover, for example, ‘how to get a job in industry?’, ‘how to get prepared for teaching?’, speech and presentation techniques, and funding possibilities.

Call for Applicants - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF)

DanStem invites postdoctoral researchers, who meet the requirements of the Horizon 2020 MSCA-IF Programme, to develop research proposals, aimed at carrying out a full time project for a period of 24 months at The Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem), University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Application poster
To read more about this initiative and to apply, please click HERE

DanStem PhD course 2015

The DanStem PhD course for 2015 is on 'Signalling in Embryonic Development and Stem Cells', organized by Professor Palle Serup and Asociate Professor Elke Ober. The course will take place at Danstem on November 9-13, 2015. The registration deadline is September 30, 2015. See more information HERE.

DanStem Day in the Czech Republic

Postdoctoral researcher Michaela Rothová from the Danish Stem Cell Center, DanStem, the Brickman lab, organized an outreach activity to introduce stem cells to motivated high school students at Gymnasium Jeronýmova Liberec in the Czech Republic, where Michaela studied 15 years ago.

Each student then had a chance to experience the excitement of microscopy and observe samples of mouse and human embryonic stem cells next to induced pluripotent cells. To highlight the complexity of our research, the students were also exploring mouse and fish embryos of various stages.

Newspaper article 

Mutations in the TET2 gene play a role in leukemia. The Danish newspaper, Politiken, published an article on May 15, 2015, regarding the paper of Rasmussen et al, 2015, Genes Dev that was published jointly by the Helin and Porse groups. The team of researchers published new insights into biochemical reactions that are involved in the development of all types of blood cancer in humans, including leukemia. With the new knowledge, it can become easier to develop drugs and test existing drugs against blood cancer.  https://danstem.ku.dk/images-new-website/politiken_helin_14-05-2015.pdf

Mark your calendars

The Stem Cell Club will meet again on August 11, 2015, 16:45, at Panum, Faculty club. To find out more about the speakers and titles of the talks, please click HERE.
All are welcome; registration is not needed. 

Farewell and good luck

Danstem Head of Administration Maj Britt Aronstein, is leaving DanStem after working for the center since its establishment in 2011. 

Maj Britt  accepted a position as the Head of Administration at the Department for Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Copenhagen University, (ICMM). Maj Britt was the very first person working at DanStem. She took on the challenge of administrating the recruitment of almost 100 people, most of them from abroad. At the same time she coordinated the move-in and start-up of research, facilities and laboratories. 

We congratulate Maj Britt for her new position and wish her all the best for the future.

To reply to this email, please write to naomi.dayan@sund.ku.dk


Sendt d. 29 July 2015