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GS04 1072   Principles of Stem Cell Biology

Davis, Brian. Two semester hour. Spring, annually. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

Stem cells, be they embryonic or somatic, play crucial roles in the development and functional maintenance of individual organ systems and complete organisms. As has already been well demonstrated for the blood-forming system through bone marrow transplantation, stem cells can be utilized clinically for treatment of genetic or acquired diseases. The next couple of decades will undoubtedly provide many more successful clinical applications of stem cells in regenerative medicine. Stem cells may also play critical roles themselves in the initiation and maintenance of certain diseases, such as cancer. This course will provide a present-day understanding of the precise definition, molecular characterization, and biological function of stem cells. Our focus will primarily be on fundamental issues regarding stem cells, and less on their wide range of potential future applications. Completion of this course will adequately prepare students to both identify and understand fundamental issues in current stem cell research, as well as to contribute themselves to advancing this field through research.