Stem cells, even recently considered to be an exotic and uncertain technology, have become an essential component of the contemporary life sciences research toolbox, a cornerstone of basic, clinical, and translational research at every major research University. CDB has been the home for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research since the UM center was established with funds from the EBS and the NIH (P20 GM069985). Since that time the center moved to the BSRB and was re-configured as the Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Lab.
Research in this field has identified core transcription factors involved in both maintaining pluripotency and in malignant transformation, paving the way for the study of cancer stem cells and creating a new field of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) research. Cutting edge research in this field is now focused on understanding early human development and generating pluripotent stem cell lines from patient cells carrying known genetic diseases. These lines will allow us to study diseases exhibiting complex traits of uncharacterized genetic origin, those for which there is no established pathology, cell or animal model, with the additional goals of understanding disease progression and identifying novel druggable targets.