University of Ioannina, PC 45110, Greece
+30 26510 07436

The elective course "Introduction to the Biology of Stem Cells" aims to present the latest developments in the field of stem cells. Students are taught the properties of both embryonic as well as stem cells from adult tissues, a cutting edge field that is growing rapidly with great application potential for regenerative medicine.

The course focuses on the detailed study of the characteristics of self-renewal and differentiation mechanisms and the applications that stem cells find at experimental and clinical level. Analysis of the above processes offers an excellent opportunity to combine knowledge of a wide spectrum, ranging from development, differentiation, cell proliferation, gene expression to tissue regeneration and cancer.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Pluripotent Stem Cells: The properties of pluripotent stem cells: embryonic SCs from the blastocyst stage, embryonic germ cells, epiblast-derived stem cells. Isolation, culture conditions, in-vitro differentiation methods
  2. Somatic stem cells: Microenvironment and «niche», somatic stem cells of adult tissues, the problem of "plasticity".
  3. Factors and epigenetic regulation: Growth and survival factors, gene networks that determine the pluripotent state («stemness»), epigenetic regulation, induced pluripotent stem cells.
  4. Cancer stem cells: The biology teratocarcinoma, cancer stem cells and cancer therapy.
  5. Tissue Engineering: The problem of organ regeneration, regenerative ability of animal tissues, preparation of autologous transplants, generation of tissues ex vivo.

Hours of training per student: 26

From the 3rd Semester