The North West Embryonic Stem Cell Centre


beta-III tubulin (tujI) immunostaining, plated feeder-free hues7 EBs (ECTODERM MARKER #1)

The research programme of the NWESCC will encompass the following aims:

  • Developing methods for growing IVF donated human embryos and making new human embryonic stem cell lines, including:
    • using new biotechnology
    • state of the art cGMP embryo culture for highest embryo quality
    • developing new embryo screening technology (gene microarrays and metabolic fingerprinting)
  • Establishing conditions for deriving new clinically-suitable human embryonic stem cell lines:
    • developing cGMP derivation and culture techniques for hESc free of animal cells and proteins, so they are fit for patient use
    • developing standardised, reproducible methods
  • Making sure new stem cell lines have appropriate characteristics:
    • detailed ESc marker and karyotypic / genomic characterisation
    • assessment of potential for generating cells from all 3 germ layers
  • Understanding how stem cells behave and how they can turn in to cells from any part of the body:
    • dissection of self renewal / pluripotency associated signaling pathways
    • investigating the role of novel genes in maintaining the stem cell lines
    • investigation of the role of the extracellular matrix in the maintenance of stemness and early commitment
  • Directing differentiation to particular cell types under conditions suitable for therapy
    • for example chondrocytes which make cartilage for osteoarthritis or sports injury
  • Generating ES cells for drug testing