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Stem cells possess the ability to develop into many types of specialized cells. Therefore, they are viewed as promising tools for the treatment of hitherto incurable diseases or the replacement of defective organs in regenerative medicine.

‚ÄčIn order to enable future breakthroughs in therapeutic concepts, basic knowledge about the nature, function and differentiation capacity of stem cells needs to be gathered.

The research foci of the NRP 63 are organised according to basic concepts, with a main emphasis on understanding the mechanisms involved. Topics covered in this programme are:

  • Stem cells and organ development
  • Defining stemness, cell plasticity and stem cell niches
  • Role of stem cells in repair and regeneration
  • Comparison and functional analysis of normal and abnormal stem cells
  • Legal and ethical research on stem cells and regenerative medicine

Projects supported by the programme, although focusing on basic mechanisms, need to be embedded into a perspective of future application for prevention or therapy of diseases. The derivation of hESC will not be covered by this programme.

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