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DanStem Newsletter March 2016

DanStem's Statistics for 2015

DanStem currently consists of 129 employees, 98 of these are scientists and/or students. 57% of the employees are females and 43%males. DanStem is internationally oriented with a majority of 61% international employees. DanStem staff represent more than 25 nationalities. 

Please click on the image to enlarge. 

Recruiting Junior Group Leaders  

In order to expand our research themes and create a synergistic team, we are now in the process of recruiting three junior group leaders in the fields of Pancreatic Cancer, Stem Cell Biology and Bioengineering. 

The Scientific Advisory Board visited DanStem

The Scientific Advisory Board members (SAB), came to visit DanStem for two days on February 4-5, 2016. The SAB visits DanStem every second year with the purpose to give feedback and advice on the scientific and organizational progress of the Center. The overall comments were good; the SAB members were content with the progress DanStem have made in the recent years. 

From the left: Jannet Rossant, Kai Simons, Margaret Buckingham and Dominique Bonnet


Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Lineage Commitment in Myeloid Progenitors

In a new paper, published in Cell, Volume 163, Issue 7, 17 December 2015, Pages 1663–1677, Professor Bo Porse, and PhD student Felicia Bratt Lauridsen in a collaborative headed by the group of Ido Amit at the Weizmann Institute in Tel Aviv, have used single-cell transcriptomic analysis to demonstrate an unexpected behavior of myeloid progenitors of the bone marrow. 

The hematopoietic system gives rise to all the mature cells of our blood stream and is organized with in a hierarchical manner with the hematopoietic stem and progenitor populations at the apex. Normally, these populations are defined using surface markers combined with functional assays; however these definitions are not necessarily directly linked with in vivo differentiation potential or gene regulatory mechanisms of these cells. You can read more HERE

How does the pancreas make branches?

DanStem and StemPhys Professor Anne Grapin-Botton and PhD student Svend Dahl-Jensen, together with Professor Kim Sneppen, The Center for Models of Life at the Niels Bohr Institute, and their research teams made headway in answering the question of how the pancreas forms a branching tree by combining their expertise of stem cell biotechnology and computer simulations. 

This is an important step showing that computer modelling is a useful tool to understand the basic rules cells follow when they form the pancreas, the organ that contains the insulin-producing beta cells that are eliminated in patients with type I diabetes.

Read more HERE

Click on the right image to see the movie of a computer simulated organoid. 

Recent publications 

Grapin-Botton group (2016). Short-range growth inhibitory signals from the epithelium can drive non-stereotypic branching in the pancreas. Physical Biology, 13(1):016007, doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/13/1/016007.

Helin group (2016). DNMT3AR882H mutant and Tet2 inactivation cooperate in the deregulation of DNA methylation control to induce lymphoid malignancies in mice. Leukemia, doi:10.1038/leu.2016.29.

Brickman group (2016). Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells into Ventral Foregut Precursors. Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology, 36:1G.3.1-1G.3.12. doi: 10.1002/9780470151808.sc01g03s36

Kassem group (2016). Dasatinib and Doxorubicin Treatment of Sarcoma Initiating Cells: A Possible New Treatment Strategy. Stem Cells International, 20168, doi:10.1155/2016/9601493.

Helin group (2016). A novel oncogenic BTK isoform is overexpressed in colon cancers and required for RAS-mediated transformation. Oncogene, doi:10.1038/onc.2015.504.

Kassem group (2016). CD146/MCAM defines functionality of human bone marrow stromal stem cell populations. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 7(1), 4, doi:10.1186/s13287-015-0266-z.

Kassem group (2015). Normal hematopoiesis and lack of β-catenin activation in osteoblasts of patients and mice harboring Lrp5 gain-of-function mutations. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research, doi:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.11.037.

Ferretti group (2015). Pbx Regulates Patterning of the Cerebral Cortex in Progenitors and Postmitotic Neurons. Neuron, 88(6), 1192-1207, doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.045.

Petersen group (2016). Raising an Antibody Specific to Breast Cancer Subpopulations Using Phage Display on Tissue Sections. Cancer Genomics Proteomics, 13(1), 21-30.

Porse group. Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Lineage Commitment in Myeloid Progenitors. Cell, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.013. (epub ahead of print: November 25, 2015).

Serup group (2015) Research resource: A dual proteomic approach identifies regulated islet proteins during beta cell mass expansion in vivo. Molecular Endocrinology, me.2015-1208, doi: 10.1210/me.2015-1208.

Ober group (2015). Vegfc Regulates Bipotential Precursor Division and Prox1 Expression to Promote Lymphatic Identity in Zebrafish. Cell Reports, 13(9), 1828-1841, doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.10.055.

Lundbeckfonden Biomedical Grant awarded to Joshua Brickman

Professor Joshua Brickman received a large biomedical grant of DKK 8 Million from Lundbeckfonden. Professor Brickman’s group is interested in dynamic mechanisms by which different cell types, present in both early embryos and Embryonic Stem Cell culture undergo fate decisions or transitions. As part of this work, the Brickman lab is already involved in a number of whole genome transcription factor studies designed to elucidate de novo networks involved in tripping these switches. In this new ambitious study the scientists will focus on how the interactions between cells are tied into the information in these networks. This work includes a new collaboration with the NNF Centre for Protein Research.

Professor Palle Serup in an interview to DR1

On January 6th, 2016, DanStem Professor Serup gave an interview to the Danish radio channel DR1, Videnskabens Verden, (Science World programme). 

In the interview Palle Serup talks about how cells communicate with each other as they develop in the embryo and how researchers study this communication with the purpose of recreating it in culture dishes to direct stem cells to form adult cell types that are useful for transplantation.

You can listen to broadcast via the following LINK, (The stem cells part is from approx. 19:30 to 41:00 min). 

Stem cell therapies and diabetes

People with Type 1 diabetes could one day see the faulty cells in their pancreas either restored to health or replaced with new ones thanks to new research that could improve the lives of millions of people around Europe. 

The EU-funded HumEn project, led by Professor Semb, has been unpicking the mechanisms that lead pluripotent stem cells to become pancreatic beta cells and how to scale up this process. ‘For the up-scaling we are focusing on two stages of pancreatic differentiation known as definitive endoderm and pancreatic endoderm progenitors,’ said Prof. Semb. You can read the full story HERE

DanStem Seminar series 2016

The DanStem Seminar Series focuses on topics within stem cell and developmental biology. It features internationally renowned scientists and is organized and coordinated by DanStem's Professor Anne Grapin-Botton, DanStem

Seminars generally take place on Wednesdays, starting at 12:00 at The Panum Institute, The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, Seminar room, (Map). You can find the seminar schedule for 2016 HERE

All are welcome, registration is not needed. 

Professor Brickman - appointed Deputy Chair for MRC Board

Professor Joshua Brickman from DanStem is appointed a Deputy Chair for the MRC, Molecular & Cellular Medicine Board. The position will start on April 1st, 2016 and will last for three years. 
Joshua will replace Professor Ian Tomlinson, Professor of molecular and population genetics, Nuffield Dept Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford. MRC is a publicly funded government agency responsible for coordinating and funding medical research in the United Kingdom. The MRC aims to support excellent discovery science across the spectrum of biomedical research and strengthen partnerships to accelerate the pace of improvements in health and wealth.

Outreach event at Frederiksberg Gymnasium

On February 2nd, 2016, assistant professor Mette Jørgensen and PhD student Svend Dahl-Jensen held an outreach event dedicated to stem cell research. They introduced DanStem, and gave a personal overview of what made them choose the path of researchers, specialized in stem cells. The introduction was followed by an interactive presentation of stem cells, where do they come from, what is their potential in general and in treating diabetes in particular.  Click on the photo to read the full story. 

The DanStem annual Stem Cell Day will be held on May 3, 2016, Nørre Gymnasium. Approximately twenty scientists are planned to participate in this event, addressing their research to over 100 high school students. 


During 2015 DanStem's scientists were involved in teaching six different courses and supervised eight MSc projects. Additionally, together with the SUND departments BMI and ICMM DanStem offered workshop on didactic training for PhD students, postdocs and young faculty. Young scientists, who did not have the opportunity to teach on undergraduate level in 2015 were encouraged to participate in the “Stem Cell Day” outreach event for 160 high school students at Christianshavns Gymnasium, read more...
See our Strategy for Education HERE

The Copenhagen BioScience PhD programme

The Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programmeis a new initiative that offers talented students the opportunity to launch their careers in the Novo Nordisk Foundation research center cluster. Sixteen students will be recruited annually through the programme. More than 300 candidates have applied, of which  third choose DanStem as their preferred center. 32 top students will be invited for interviews, to take place in Denmark in April 2016. 

The Stem Cell Niche conference 

The 'Niche' Conference is hosted by DanStem with the aim of providing a synergetic and open environment for presentations of the latest basic research in stem cell and developmental biology and to stimulate exchange of ideas by providing ample time for both formal and informal discussions.

Please klick on the image to visit the conference website.

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


Sendt d. 23 March 2016