Kick-Off Meeting


The NFP 63 kick-off meeting took place on 18 May 2010. All researchers taking part in the programme’s projects gathered at this meeting. Here is a short summary of the lecture by guest speaker Elaine Dzierzak. She is Professor for Developmental Biology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

​Elaine Dzierzak presented some of the results of her many years of research on the formation and development of blood stem cells to some 50 other scientists at the kick-off meeting. After a short introduction on the nature of stem cells, Dzierzak dealt with the complex formation process of blood stem cells. Every day the human body produces millions of new blood cells, all of which emerge from the blood stem cells.

Dzierzak is concerned particularly with the following questions: How and where do the very first of these cells form in the embryo? What factors contribute to this? Dzierzak has found already some answers. She has ascertained, together with her research team, that blood stem cells are formed in the dorsal aorta during a short period in the embryo’s development. She could thus lay to rest the long cherished idea that blood stem cells originate in the yolk sac.

Elaine Dzierzak views the future of stem cell research as very positive. This field of study has developed greatly since the year 2000. Like many other scientists, she sees the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) as a promising alternative to the embryonic stem cells. However, there are still many unanswered questions in this field such as the genetic changes occurring in iPS cell production or the development of tumours. “There is still a long, long way to go before these cells can be used therapeutically,” according to Dzierzak.

Dzierzak studied at the University of Illinois, obtained her doctorate at Yale University and was then engaged in research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the National Institute for Medical Research in London.






University House, Berne

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Anmeldeformular ‭[2]‬

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Anmeldeformular ‭[1]‬

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