October 2010 - Third Call for European Stem Cell Group
Final open call for EuroSyStem research network
The European Stem Cell Group was founded in 2009 to bring together basic stem cell researchers from across Europe and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
17 APIs were selected in the 2009 open call and 16 more were aded in the first 2010 call. Now, we are looking for up to 8 more researchers to join the group.
The Group aims to create opportunities for new collaborations and training and as such, applications from emerging investigators (with fewer than 5 years experience as independent group leaders) and researchers in new EU member states are especially welcome, subject to standards of scientific excellence.
As our aim is to create a wide-ranging network, applications from researchers in existing EuroSyStem partner institutions will only be considered if places remain after all external candidates have been assessed.
Download the full membership information.
The deadline for applications has now passed and the call is closed.

June 2010 - Peer-Review Dispute Continues
New Scientist analyses peer-review performance amid continuing accusations of bias
New Scientist have published the results of a study of the peer-review process, following accusations of bias and closed-mindedness from leading stem cell scientists, including EuroSyStem Coordinator, Professor Austin Smith.
Complaining in particular that "unreasonable or obstructive reviews" and reliance on a limited group of reviewers led to the publication of truly original research being delayed or prevented, Professor Smith organised the writing of a letter of protest, which was signed by a group of key stem cell researchers and sent to leading journals. The letter called for a more transparent system, such as that pioneered by the EMBO Journal, but with few leading publications taking up the challenge, New Scientist magazine set out to conduct a statistical analysis and establish if any bias truly existed.
You can read the results of the study, as well as details of the methods used, at the New Scientist website: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627643.700-paper-trail-inside-the-stem-cell-wars.html

Nov 2009 - EuroSyStem and ESTOOLS connect European schools
EuroSyStem is running the UK end of a two-day stem cell event that will connect schools in the UK and

Bulgaria. The event is part of TELESCOPE, a pan-European educational programme created by the EU-funded research project ESTOOLS. On 16th November, students from Liberton High School in Edinburgh will take part in a day of talks, quizzes and discussions on stem cell biology. Around 40 students aged 16–17 will be introduced to the basic concepts of stem cell research, potential applications and some of the ethical issues.
On the following day, some of the Edinburgh students will meet a class from Sofia, Bulgaria via video link-up. The students will debate their views on a series of ethical questions around stem cell research. This is an exciting opportunity for young people in both countries to deepen their own understanding, and experience how cultural backgrounds can affect opinions.
Read more about TELESCOPE at http://www.estools.eu/estools/discovery/TELESCOPE

December 2010 - Job Vacancy (Edinburgh)
Communications, Public Enagagement & Outreach Manager for EuroSyStem and OptiStem
Focus: EuroSyStem and OptiStem have highly active training and public outreach programmes based at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh. These activities encompass proactive collation and dissemination of information on stem cell research and regenerative medicine and related ethical and societal topics, development of science communication tools, presentation of science to audiences ranging from the lay public to scientists, clinicians and politicians, as well as internal and open training events.
Post Details: The possibility exists to develop a PhD thesis from this work, as a part time student registered with Dr Sarah Parry, Dept Sociology, University of Edinburgh.
Deadline for applications: 29th December 2010.
For more information and online application details, click here

May 2010 - EuroStemCell connects public with stem cell research
Ambitious, 4-year project aims to unite researchers and help European citizens to engage with stem cell research.
An ambitious 4-year project launched in March 2010 unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research laboratories in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about their science.
The new EuroStemCell project, awarded programme, aims to provide a much-needed multilingual source of clear and accessible information on stem cell research. But it goes further than simply imparting information. The project hopes to empower Europe’s citizens.
Click here for full details

February 2010 - Concerns over scientific publishing hit the news
EuroSyStem Coordinator Austin Smith has spoken out on the UK's BBC news
The UK's BBC Radio 4 prime time news programme, "Today", has highlighted concerns about the scientific peer review process. In a piece broadcast on Tuesday 2nd February 2010 EuroSyStem Coordinator Austin Smith and UK scientist Robin Lovell-Badge described how they believe high-quality science is going unpublished, while weaker research takes its place in leading scientific journals. They raised concerns that journals are relying heavily on a very small number of experts to make their editorial decisions. This report follows a recent open letter to the leading scientific journals, in which a group of top stem cell scientists called for more transparency in the peer review process.
To listen to the BBC news item visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8492000/8492662.stm
Read the full news story on the EuroStemCell website

Copyright © University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.

June 2009 - Stem cells in the gut: an animated film

A visually stunning short animation of how stem cells work in the gut
Hans Clevers' lab has produced a short animated film to illustrate how stem cells work in the gut. The

visually stunning film helps scientists explain this important area of research to the informed

non-specialist. No commentary is included, so the presenting scientist is free to provide an explanation

appropriate to the audience. The film acts as an extremely valuable visual tool that enhances and clarifies verbal explanations.
The film covers:

  • The clonal conveyor belt of the intestinal crypt - constant regeneration of the gut lining by cycling stem cells every 5 days throughout your lifetime ensures the gut remains healthy
  • Apoptosis (programmed cell death) at the tips of the villi - we lose grams of tissue every day in this way, which needs to be constantly replaced by the stem cells buried in the crypts
  • Adenoma (benign tumour) formation - driven by mutational activation of the Wnt signalling pathway in intestinal stem cells

You can download the complete 3.5-minute film or a set of shorter clips, each covering a single concept from within film.
Download the full animation
Download short concept clips

August 2010 - Major Breakthrough by EuroSyStem Researchers
EuroSyStem researchers successfully reprogramme thymus cells as skin stem cells
Research published on 19th August 2010 in Nature magazine marks a major step on the road to reprogramming one cell type to another without genetic modification, thus raising the prospect of regenerating organs, an EC press release announces. This research was carried out in the laboratories of Professor Yann Barrandon (EPFL) and Dr Clare Blackburn (MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine) under the EC-funded projects EuroSyStem, EuroStemCell and OptiStem.
Read the whole press release here or read the article in Nature magazine here.

November 2010 - Transparency in Peer-Review
Bernd Pulverer reflects on peer review transparency at The EMBO Journal.
Bernd Pulverer, chief editor of The EMBO Journal, reflected on two years of the Journal's policy of transparent peer review in an article for the November 4th issue of Nature (468, 29-31). Pulverer considers the policy to have been a complete success. Not only do the process files published alongside each article provide accountability, but the articles which are most read are those which generate excitement in editors and reviewers.
The EMBO Journal's policy was held up as a model for a reformed peer review process by the 14 senior scientists, including 6 members of the EuroSyStem Project, who criticised the existing peer review process in an open letter to senior editors of peer-reviewed journals in the field of stem cell biology in June 2009.

May 2011 - Nick Barker interviewed for Proteintech blog
API Nick Barker talks about his work and EuroSyStem for the Proteintech Group blog
The Proteintech Group interviewed Dr Nick Barker this month for their company blog. In the interview, Nick - an Associate PI with the EuroSyStem Project - talks about his work and the benefits of his association with the EuroSyStem Consortium.

November 2011 - PI joins EMBO Young Investigator Programme
EuroSyStem's Dr Sophie Jarriault is among the 22 European scientists chosen to join the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.
Now in its eleventh year, the EMBO Young Investigator Programme is a prestigious network of young researchers who combine active contributions in the field of life science with world class potential. Membership of the group brings both direct and indirect advantages, including a €45,000 grant over three years, funding for conference attendance and access to EMBL core facilities.
This year, 22 scientists were chosen from 164 applicants. One of the successful applicants was Sophie Jarriault, group leader at IGBMC Centre Européen de Recherche en Biologie et Médecine who joined EuroSyStem as a PI as part of the Innovative Project Awards in 2009.

July 2009 - Switching on the power of stem cells
Cambridge scientists reveal how the protein Nanog gives stem cells their unique abilities
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research at the University of Cambridge have

pinpointed the role of the protein Nanog in a complex process that gives stem cells pluripotency: the ability to

produce all the different cell types of the body. Their research, published today in the journal Cell, was funded

in part by EuroSyStem and is an important step forward in the drive for a better understanding of how stem

cells work. Dr Jose Silva, who led the Cambridge research with his colleague Dr Jennifer Nichols, says: 'It was clear that Nanog was important, but we wanted to know how it works. Our research shows that this unique protein flips the last switch in a multi-step process that gives cells the very powerful property of pluripotency.'
Read a full press release on EuroStemCell.org
Publication details: Silva et al, Nanog is the Gateway to the Pluripotent Ground State, Cell (2009), doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.039

May 2010 - European Stem Cell Group - 2010 Call for Members
EuroSyStem launches second open call for applications to join the European Stem Cell Group.
The new European Stem Cell Group aims to bring together basic stem cell researchers from across Europe, and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Group members will become Associate Principal Investigators (APIs) of EuroSyStem and will have access to a whole host of EuroSyStem resources including:

  • Annual closed meeting
  • Exchange of ideas with other experts
  • Work groups for pre-publication discussion
  • Bursary scheme for exchanges visits
  • Specialist data management and analysis tools
  • Training courses

The deadline for applications has now passed.
 17 APIs were selected in the 2009 open call, and up to 24 more places will be made available in this call. The group aims to be self-sustaining  by the end of EuroSyStem in 2012.
 Download the full membership information

Sept 2009 - Gordon conference report - Stem Cells & Cancer: Molecular mechanisms controlling normal and cancer stem cells
Michel Brouard reports on the 2009 second Gordon Conference on Stem cells and Cancer.
The 2009 second Gordon Conference on Stem cells and Cancer was held in Les Diablerets, Switzerland on

13th - 18th September. Michel Brouard of Yann Barrandon's lab at EPFL in Switzerland, was awarded a EuroSyStem

bursary to attend the conference.  Michel has written a short report on the science discussed at the meeting, and

quotes: "this exciting conference highlighted how integrating novel basic science data on normal and cancer SCs

could pave the way to clinical trials and direct future therapeutic approaches".

June 2010 - Leipzig makes software tools available
Software tools for analysing gene expression data and molecular interactions released by EuroSyStem Partner



http://webqtl.org and


October 2010 - New members of the European Stem Cell Group
16 new members have been recruited to join the European Stem Cell Group and become API's of EuroSyStem.
In September 2009, 16 scientists from across Europe created the new European Stem Cell Group and become Associate Principal Investigators of the EuroSyStem Project. The aim of this group is to bring together basic stem cell researchers from across Europe, and to encourage wide-ranging collaboration.
Between April and July 2010, EuroSyStem ran a 2nd call for additional members to join the group. We received 95 applications and a panel of 7 senior members of EuroSyStem were involved in shortlisting the applications. All 30 EuroSyStem PI's were then given the opportunity to comment on the final selection and ratify the selection decisions.
Should you require more information about the selection process, you can download a list of the criteria.
View the full list of new Associate Principal Investigators

April 2009 - European Stem Cell Group founded
EuroSyStem calls for Associate PIs to join the new European Stem Cell Group
The new European Stem Cell Group aims to bring together basic stem cell researchers from across Europe, and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Group members will become Associate Principal Investigators (APIs) of EuroSyStem and will have access to a whole host of EuroSyStem resources:

  • Annual closed meeting
  • Exchange of ideas with other experts
  • Work groups for pre-publication discussion
  • Bursary scheme for exchanges visits
  • Specialist data management and analysis tools
  • Training courses

The 2009 call for members is now closed
20 membership places are available in 2009 by open call, and 20 more will be made available from 2010. The group aims to be self-sustaining  by the end of EuroSyStem in 2012.
Download the full membership information

Sept 2009 - European Stem Cell Group founded: Members will become EuroSyStem Associate PIs
17 scientists from 10 countries join the new European Stem Cell Group
EuroSyStem has founded the European Stem Cell Group. The aim of this new Group is to bring together basic stem cell researchers from across Europe, and to encourage wide-ranging collaboration. As a key benefit of joining the Group, members will also become Associate Principal Investigators of EuroSyStem.
Between February and May 2009, we ran an open competitive call for European Stem Cell Group members. We received 84 applications for membership, from researchers in 11 countries. A panel of four senior members of EuroSyStem shortlisted applicants. All EuroSyStem Principal Investigators were asked to check and ratify the selection decisions. Should you require more information about the selection process, you can download a list of the criteria here.
Selected members
Download a full list of selected members

February 2012 - PI's publication featured on publication cover
A recent publication from the lab of Professor Ingo Roeder has made it onto the cover of the new Experimental Hematology (www.exphem.org). 'On the symmetry of siblings: automated single-cell tracking to quantify the behavior of hematopoietic stem cells in a biomimetic setup' is featured on the February issue cover.

Jan 2010 - Austin Smith awarded Louis-Jeantet prize for Medicine
Every year, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine distinguishes leading-edge researchers who are active in the European

Council member countries. The prize aims to foster scientific
excellence and to encourage the continuation of innovative research projects with high added value and of more or less

immediate practical significance in the treatment of disease.
The 2010 Prize has been awarded to EuroSyStem’s Project coordinator Austin Smith, and to the French cardiologist Michel Haissaguerre. Professor Smith was awarded the prize for his seminal contribution to understanding the mechanisms governing the renewal or differentiation of stem cells, a vital stage in the development of cell treatments.
 More information about the prize: http://www.jeantet.ch/e/prize/prize.php

April 2011 - Italy's Next Generation of Stem Cell Biologists
An ambitious event by Italian biologists and EuroStemCell promote stem cell science
On 18th March 2011 an extraordinary large-scale schools event took place in four Italian cities simultaneously. Over 2,200 school students and 100 teachers from 55 high schools took a journey into the world of stem celli research. The ambitious event was coordinated by Italian group UniStem and took place at the Universities of Milan, Torino, Rome and Florence, with EuroStemCell making a key contribution to the programme in Milan.
All four universities combined film and lectures to introduce the students to key concepts in stem cell science during the morning. But each University also gave the programme its own distinctive flavour by adding unique creative activities. Video link-ups gave students at the different locations a window into each other’s discussions.
Read the full story at http://www.eurostemcell.org/story/italys-next-generation-stem-cell-biologists

April 2010 - New PIs to join EuroSyStem
Successful Innovative Project Awards applicants will join EuroSyStem as PIs.
The five successful candidates for the IPA open call for emergent stem cell researchers have been announced. These five will join the EuroSyStem Project as PIs. A short introduction follows, but you can get to know them better at the annual meeting, where they will each give a short presentation on their work.

  • Andreas Beyer - Biotechnologisches Zentrum, TU Dresden

Andreas Beyer graduated with a PhD in systems science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. He did post-doctoral work with Thomas Wilhelm in Jena, Germany and with Trey Ideker (UCSD). Since 2007 he is heading the research group 'Cellular Networks & Systems Biology' at the Biotechnology Center in Dresden, Germany, focusing on computational systems biology and statistical genetics.

  • Sophie Jarriault - Centre Européen de Recherché en Biologie et Médecine, Groupement d’Intérêt Economique

Sophie Jarriault did her PhD on the transduction of the Notch signal in mammals in Alain Israël laboratory at the Pasteur Institute, Paris. She realised her postdoc with Iva Greenwald, at Columbia University NYC, on vulva organogenesis in C. elegans. She recently started her own laboratory at the IGBMC, Strasbourg, France. She is interested in the mechanisms that control cellular potential in vivo.

  • Keisuke Kaji - Institute for Stem Cell Research, University of Edinburgh

Keisuke Kaji obtained a PhD degree in Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, and joined Dr Brian Hendrich’s lab in the Institute for Stem Cell Research (ISCR), University of Edinburgh, UK, in 2003. In January 2008, he started his own group in ISCR. The group currently focuses on the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming using the piggyback reprogramming system.

  • Emma Rawlins - Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge

Emma Rawlins studies stem cells in the mammalian lung. Her group is particularly interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms which control lung epithelial stem cell fate decisions. She has generated multiple genetically altered mouse strains to facilitate lung stem cell analysis in vivo.

  • Timm Schroeder - Helmholtz Centre, Muenchen

Timm Schroeder is an expert in the field of embryonic and adult haematopoiesis. He is interested in the molecular control of stem and progenitor cell fate decisions. Dr. Schroeder has pioneered the development of novel bioimaging approaches for the continuous long term  analysis of stem cell systems at the single cell level

April 2011 - EuroSyStem Paper Singled Out
The Journal of Cell Science focuses on a paper from the Austin Smith lab
The forthcoming paper 'Interplay between fibroblast growth factor and bone morphogenetic protein controls self-renewal, dormancy and differentiation of rat neural stem cells', produced by the Austin Smith lab as part of the EuroSyStem Project, has been selected for inclusion in the journal's 'In this Issue' section.
You can now read the article and the 'In this Issue' commentary online.


October 2011 - Cambridge Stem Cells United
New Cambridge initiative to unite fundamental and translational stem cell research
Cambridge University has reported on an initiative, led by scientists including EuroSyStem Coordinator Professor Austin Smith, to create a new Stem Cell Institute to bring together fundamental and translational stem cell research.
Professor Smith explains: "Cambridge is one of the few places in the world that has a critical mass in both basic stem cell science and medical translation... Collaboration has always happened in Cambridge, but pulling people together will capitalise fully on the rich opportunities. SCI will provide a unified organisation and a strategic direction for stem cell research that starts from basic science but sets clinical delivery and interaction with bioindustry firmly in its sights." You can read the complete article online.

Oct 2009 - EMBO conference report published by EuroSyStem PIs
A report on the Cambridge 2009 EMBO conference by Ingo Roeder and Freddy Radtke
The EuroSyStem Project successfully ran the 2nd EMBO Conference in the series 'Advances in Stem Cell Research: Stem cells, systems and synthetic biology' in Cambridge, UK (15-17th June 2009). As a result, two of the speakers Ingo Roeder and Freddy Radtke have had a report published in Development.
Read the full report as published in Development, at http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/136/21/3525
Download a PDF of the review

February 2010 - Italian stem cell scientists challenge goverment
EuroSyStem scientist Elena Cattaneo challenges Italian government - the story continues
In the summer of 2009, three Italian stem celli scientists unsuccessfully challenged their government in the courts over its decision to exclude human embryonic stem cell research from a ministerial funding call for projects on stem cell biology. In correspondence published in Nature on 10th February 2010, the scientists argue that their case is both politically and culturally significant. They believe that 'the exclusion of research that is legal and scientifically important amounts to an abuse of power.'
Read the full article in Nature at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7282/full/463729c.html

June 2009 - The X factors of stem cells
Ian Chambers and Simon Tomlinson review the transcription factor and pluripotency story so far
Transcription factors are key proteins in cell identity. A whole network of these proteins is involved in giving embryonic stem (ES) cells pluripotency – the ability to generate all the cell lineages of the body. The three transcription factors Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog are central to pluripotency, but recent studies suggest that additional proteins join forces with this triumvirate to bring about the ES cell state. 
In a review published in the journal Development, Ian Chambers and Simon Tomlinson look at the experiments that have informed current understanding of the biological function of Oct 4, Sox2 and Nanog. They discuss the proteins that interact with, or regulate the behaviour of these molecules, and take a look at the differing experimental and analytical techniques used to identify such connections. The review also highlights the questions that remain unanswered.
Publication details: Ian Chambers and Simon R. Tomlinson, The transcriptional foundation of pluripotency, Development (2009), doi: 10.1242/dev.024398

Feb 2009 - Scientists fight for academic freedom
EuroSyStem scientist Elena Cattaneo challenges Italian government
The Italian government has excluded human embryonic stem cells from a recent 8-million-Euro funding opportunity for stem cell biologists. Elena Cattaneo and two other Italian scientists are challenging this decision in court. Their initial appeal was rejected and they are now taking the case to the State Council.
The call was made public in February 2009. The text was initially prepared by a committee of stem cell scientists appointed by the government, and this committee's version included research on stem cells from all legal sources. However, when the 8-million-Euro funding call was made public, a sentence had been introduced that explicitly excluded research on human embryonic stem cells.
Research on embryonic stem cells is legal in Italy. The three Italian scientists opposing the funding exclusion say it violates their constitutional rights and puts academic freedom at risk. Austin Smith from EuroSyStem and Peter Andrews of ESTOOLS have stated their support for the scientists' action against this exclusion.
Read more about this action and how you can support it

October 2011 - Lay Report on EuroSyStem Progress
EuroStemCell release report on EuroSyStem for the general public
The EuroStemCell project has released a lay report on EuroSyStem on their project summary webpages. The report is drawn from the public version of EuroSyStem's second period review and aims to inform the general (non-scientific) public of the aims and expectations of EuroSyStem.
The EuroStemCell project, launched in March 2010, unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research labs in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about our science.

October 2010 - Austin Smith on Camera
EuroSyStem Coordinator on film for the Louis-Jeantet Prize
EuroSyStem's Project Coordinator, Austin Smith, was officially presented with the prestigious Louis-Jeantet Prize for

Medicine 2010 at an award ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland on 12th October 2010. A short film featuring Austin Smith

and members of his lab is available on the Louis-Jeantet Foundation website at http://www.jeantet.ch/e/prize/laureats_2010.php. The film explores the research work of the Smith lab and it's value for society, as well as the personal motivations that drive Professor Smith in his work. More information about the prize: http://www.jeantet.ch/e/prize/prize.php

April 2011 - European Court of Justice patenting case
Stem cell scientists have raised serious concerns about the impact of a possible ban on patents for techniques using human embryonic stem cells.

Last month, the advocate-general of the European Court of Justice gave his opinion on a long-running legal debate about a patent filed several years ago in Germany. If the Court follows his recommendation, patenting of applications using embryonic stem cells will be prohibited on moral grounds.13 leaders of major stem cell projects in Europe responded to the advocate-general’s statement with an open letter published in Nature this week. They express serious concerns about the impact of a patenting ban on European research. EuroStemCell, Europe’s stem cell hub, has collected comments and information about this case on its Stem cell patents topic page. Visit the site to read the open letter and find out more about the case. You can also share your views by posting a comment on the site, or add your signature to the letter if you wish. Visit http://www.eurostemcell.org/stem-cell-patents

April 2012 - New research: Illuminating embryonic stem cells
Collaboration between two EU funded projects 'Heroic' and 'EuroSyStem', has provided new insights into embryonic stem cells
The teams used next generation sequencing technology to examine two key properties of the cells that influence their identity and behaviour: gene expression and gene regulation. This meant analysing pure embryonic stem cells to determine which genes are turned on or off, and how the genes are controlled. The results of the study overturn previous reports that embryonic stem cells are unstable and are poised to become more specialised cells.
The study was published in the journal Cell today. Henk Stunnenberg, leader of one of the research groups that carried out the study and coordinator of both Heroic and the recently started High Impact Project BLUEPRINT, said: "The epigenetic make-up - a layer of regulatory instructions on top of the genome - of the pure embryonic stem cells shows remarkable and unexpected features, in particular with respect to developmental genes. This forces a rethink of current models".
Austin Smith, EuroSyStem Scientific Co-ordinator, added: "These findings show how much we are still learning about stem cells. They also point to an underlying difference between true embryonic stem cells isolated from mice and the currently available human stem cells which are less pure and more variable".
Read more about the study, its findings and the scientific concepts behind them, on the EuroStemCell Research spotlight.
Marks et al., The Transcriptional and Epigenomic Foundations of Ground State Pluripotency, Cell (2012), doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.026
Read a review of this paper: Guenther MG and Young RA (2012). Grounded: Transcriptional Pausing in Naive mESCs. Cell Stem Cell (2012, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2012.04.016.

May 2010 - EuroSyStem PIs lead interdisciplinary discussion
Ingo Roeder and Markus Loeffler lead the discussion at StemCellMathLab
The 5th International Workshop on Concepts and Mathematical Models of Stem Cell Organisation -

"StemCellMathLab" - which was organised by ingo Roeder and Ingmar Glauche, took place at Schloss

Eckberg in Dresden between May 17th and 18th. Thirty-two participants from eight countries took part in

the 2010 workshop, which was entitled "Towards a quantitative understanding of stem cell-niche interaction: Experiments, models, and technologies". The workshop brought together scientists from stem cell biology, biotechnology, medicine, mathematics, and bioinformatics. Moderated by Ingo Roder and his co-chair, Markus Loeffler, the participants discussed old and new questions and challenges with respect to the regulation of stem cell function by their local environment. In the atmosphere of an extended round-table discussion, topics such as "Is the niche a real entity or a concept?", "Are niches pre-existing (static) entities or are they (dynamically) created by the stem cells themselves?" or "How can mathematical models and bioengineered (artificial) niches help to enhance our understanding of stem cell biology?" have been intensely debated.
The Workshop was a joint activity of the Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometry (Dresden University of Technology), the Institute for Medical Informatics (University of Leipzig), and the GWT-TUD GmbH. It was kindly supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, the Blood Cell Fund, and by EuroSystem.

July 2011 - EuroSyStem Period 2 Report: Publishable Summary
View a copy of the Period 2 Publishable Summary for EuroSyStem

July 2009 - EuroSyStem meets school students in Dorset, UK
Tariq Enver visits Bryanston School
EuroSyStem Principal Investigator Tariq Enver, and Communications Manager Emma Kemp visited Bryanston School in Dorset, UK, to talk stem cells with 15-17 year old science students. The students watched “A Stem Cell Story” and were so keen to ask questions that Tariq almost didn't get home that night!
Students raised questions such as:

  • What are the factors that control cell differentiation?
  • Where are stem cells found?
  • Might using stem cells in therapy cause cancer?

Their teachers were also fascinated, and were impressed by how engaged their students were with the topic. The students are all studying biology at school post-16: perhaps they'll be the next generation of stem cell scientists?

July 2009 - Open letter to Senior Editors of peer-review journals
EuroSyStem scientists join with colleagues in a call to improve the peer review process
Members of EuroSyStem have joined with other leading stem cell researchers in an open letter to peer-review journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology.  The letter, which was sent to senior editors of 10  key journals, calls for improved transparency in the peer review process. 
Austin Smith and his 13 co-signatories say in their letter:
"We suggest a simple step that would greatly improve transparency, fairness and accountability; when a paper is published, the reviews, response to reviews and associated editorial correspondence could be provided as Supplementary Information, while preserving anonymity of the referees. We note that this procedure has recently been adopted by The EMBO Journal. We wish to encourage other journals to follow suit and would like to hear your considered opinions."
You can view the full letter and post your comments at http://eurostemcell.org/commentanalysis/peer-review. Alternatively, download the letter here.

Jan 2009 - Interview with Ingo Roeder, Leipzig
EuroSyStem brings theory and experiment together
BioInform recently spoke with Ingo Roeder, one of the organizers of the EuroSyStem Workshop "Workshop in Computational Approaches to Stem Cell Biology I", which explored methods, data management tools, and theoretical approaches in the area of computational stem cell biology.
For the full interview on BioInform's website click here.

Dec 2009 - Innovative Project Awards: Open Funding Call
Up to 5 awards with relevance to systems biology of stem cells.
EuroSyStem Innovative Project Awards will support research in the field of systems biology of stem cells. Up to 5 awards will be made for projects with a duration of up to 2 years. Projects must be led by emerging investigators from EEA countries. A maximum of €75,000 will be awarded per project.
The deadline for applications was friday 29th January 2010. The call is now closed.
Click here to download the call guidelines
Projects must be on systems biology but could be on any type of mammalian stem cell.  However any proposal using human cells must provide full ethical documentation to accompany the application.

March 2010 - Outreach activities now available
Activities to help get stem cell scientists and the public talking to each other.
EuroStemCell and its partners have run lots of events to help get stem cell scientists and the public talking to each other. We've collected a set of activities and teaching tools on the EuroStemCell website, suitable for children of various ages and adults too. We'll be adding more activities soon, so watch this space.
Resources available to download from http://eurostemcell.org/activities:

  • Introducing stem cells: A flexible presentation for 16+ or adult audiences;
  • A Stem Cell Story: Quick quiz for 14-16 year olds;
  • Strawberry DNA: Experiment for 10-12 year olds;
  • Stem cells and drug discovery: Workshop for 13-14 year olds;
  • Points of view: Classroom activities for 11-16 year olds;
  • Puzzles and consolidating activities for 11-16 year olds.

April 2015 - Stem cell mysteries unravelled

Interview with Prof. Austin Smith for Horizon 2020
Read about how the EU-funded project 'EuroSyStem' contributed to scientists reaching the next level of stem cell knowledge, in an interview by the Project Coordinator Professor Austin Smith. Please visit the Horizon 2020 website.

December 2010 - Workshop in Computational Biology
Taking a computational approach
On 2nd and 3rd December, 14 members of EuroSyStem from 9 countries gathered in Dresden to learn more about the computational approaches to stem cell biology. The two-day workshop was warmly received by participants, who undertook adventurous journeys through the snow to attend.
Day 1 focused on methods for modeling transcriptional regulation, whilst day 2 examined techniques for analysing and visualising time series data. Lectures were combined with hands-on practical sessions to give delegates a deeper understanding and direct experience of the tools and techniques available. Participants enjoyed the workshop and said that the lectures made potentially difficult topics both clear and accessible.
The workshop was organised by Ingo Roeder and Ingmar Glauche. Tilo Buschmann, Maria Herberg and Konstantin Thierbach also gave lectures or led practical sessions, whilst Nico Scherf and Lars Thielecke offered additional support.
Read more about the workshop content: check out Tilo Buschmann's real-time updates from the workshop on Twitter @euro_dayinsci
Workshop participants can view the Workshop slides in the 'Training and Outreach' documents at http://www.eurosystemproject.eu/member-downloads?_optiontype=Training+and+Outreach+Documents 

March 2010 - School students discover stem cells
Italian school students enter the world of stem cells at the University of Milan's UniStem Day for high school students on 19th March 2010.
On 19th March 2010, Elena Cattaneo led a day of stem cell activities aimed at high school students in Milan. 1,000 students attended the day, which featured a host of activities including practical workshops in research labs at the University of Milan and a science communications workshop. The day featured outreach activities developed as part of EuroSyStem's Work Package 6.
The day was a great success and another event is already being planned for 18th March 2011.
Read the full story at http://www.eurostemcell.org/story/italian-school-students-enter-world-stem-cells

April 2010 - Taking Stem Cells to British Schools
Ian Chambers and Emma Kemp fly the stem cell flag in Bury
On 26th April, EuroSyStem PI Ian Chambers and Communications Officer Emma Kemp took a package of stem cell outreach activities to a school in Bury. Five classes of students, aged between 14 and 16, attended 1-hour sessions packed with information and activities on the scientific and ethical aspects of stem cell research.
This outreach event was supported by activities developed for EuroSyStem as well as by the films A Stem Cell Story and Conversations: ethics, science, stem cells, produced by EuroStemCell. Younger students created posters on different aspects of stem cell science and used each other's posters to answer questions. Older students tackled ethical questions in small groups and through a quick session of 'ethical speed-dating'.
If you are taking part in any outreach activities, the EuroSyStem Communications Office wants to know, and is ready to offer any help and support you need. You can view the outreach activities already developed at www.eurostemcell.org/activities, and contact Emma (eurosystem-comms@ed.ac.uk) to let her know when you're out and about.

July 2009 - EuroSyStem meets the public in Barcelona
Tariq Enver led a dynamic discussion at the ISSCR Public Symposium
Approximately 150 people attended the ISSCR Public Symposium in Barcelona, organised and run with the

support of EuroSyStem. Participants were treated to a multimedia event involving a photographic exhibition,

short films and an audience-panel discussion with a group of stem cell scientists.
The event began with an opportunity to see the 'Smile of a Stem cell' exhibition created by research project ESTOOLS. Members then moved into the state-of-the-art auditorium at the CosmoCaixa science museum, where they saw two short films: the award-winning film 'A Stem Cell Story' and a first-ever viewing of a soon-to-be-released film on induced pluripotent stem cells.
EuroSyStem scientist Tariq Enver led an open discussion between an expert panel and members of the public after each film was shown. Questions from the audience stimulated a wide-ranging discussion on stem cell science, it's current status and possible future developments.
The EU-funded FP7 projects OptiStem and NeuroStemcell also supported the event, making this a truly collaborative effort by European stem cell researchers, working with the ISSCR. Download the full event programme, with panel details

June 2009 - Stem cell: what's in a name?
Shahragim Tajbakhsh comments on terminology in Nature Reports Stem Cells
When do we call a cell -  stem cell? What about 'progenitors' and 'precursors'? In the fast-moving field of

stem cell biology, even veteran researchers can get lost in the maze of terms applied without any clear

consensus on the cellular entity that they should represent. In a commentary published in Nature Reports

Stem Cells on 25 June 2009, Shahragim Tajbakhsh examines the history of some of the key terms in stem cell biology, and suggests how we might begin to unpick the knots in current naming practices. Publication details: Stem cell: what's in a name? Shahragim Tajbakhsh, Nature Reports Stem Cells, Published online: 25 June 2009, doi:10.1038/stemcells.2009.90

July 2010 - Urban Lendahl Heads New Research Centre
EuroSyStem PI Urban Lendahl named as Scientific Director of the Wallenberg Institute for Regenerative Medicine
EuroSyStem PI Urban Lendahl will be the Scientific Director of a new regenerative medicine research centre at the

Karolinska Instituet in Stockholm. The creation of the Wallenberg Institute  for Regenerative Medicine (WIRM) has been

funded by a SEK 100,000,000 (over €10 million) grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The

establishment of WIRM at the Karolinska Instituet recognises the medical university's position as a leading international centre for stem cell and regenerative medicine research. "The establishment of WIRM represents a unique opportunity to bring Karolinska Institutet's internationally leading basic research and clinical research together at a completely new centre. It will make it possible to address research issues we currently lack the resources to tackle," says Professor Lendahl. WIRM's research will cover a broad range of areas, but will focus in particular on the blood system and development of bone marrow transplantation for conditions and patients that cannot currently be treated. The research at WIRM will include collaborations with Oxford and Lund based EuroSyStem PI Professor Sten Eirik Jacobsen. Read the Karolinska Instituet's press release at http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2637&a=103080&l=en&newsdep=2637