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Stem Cell Research and Critical Thinking
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3812-17-00-00
Enrollment deadline: 03/11/2017
Date and time08.12.2017, at: 08:00 - 12.01.2018, at: 16:00
Regular seats25
ECTS credits2.50
Contact personAmelia Ann Green    E-mail address: amelia.green@cpr.ku.dk

Aim and content
Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Describe emerging themes in stem cell research
2. Have a foundation to critically analyze data from primary literature in stem cell research
3. Describe common methods used in the investigation of stem cell potency, cell fate regulation, organogenesis, and cancer
4. Explain how experiments in the primary literature investigating stem cells were performed
5. Discuss the positive and negative controls that are or should have been used in the primary literature investigating stem cells
6. Evaluate whether or not a particular series of experiments warrants the conclusion made by the authors of a study

Our current understand of human biology is being revolutionized by rapid and extraordinary technological advances in molecular and cellular biology that have led to an unprecedented understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Translating this knowledge into new clinical procedures and treatments demands a deeper understanding of basic stem cell biology.
Stem cells are essential for biological development and regeneration. Self-renewal maintains the population of multi or pluripotent stem cells. The potency of stem cells gives them the capacity to develop into all specialized cell types. Basic research into all aspects of stem cell potency, cell fate regulation and organogenesis contributes to the progress of translational research within medicine and provides important insights for new treatment modalities. Detailed studies of the molecular and genetic mechanisms influencing cell fate decisions in normal and cancerous tissues inform new approaches to cancer prevention and treatment.
The course brings together a group of experienced researchers to provide training on how to analyze data and think critically about state-of-the-art stem cell research. Specifically, the content of the course will focus on discussing primary literature from current topics in stem cell potency, cell fate regulation, organogenesis and cancer.

Ph. D. –level students with a B.Sc. and/or M.Sc. degree in any biological science or chemistry are eligible to apply. The course is limited to a maximum of 25 participants.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease


Students will participate in group literature discussion sessions led by leading researchers in several fields of Stem Cell Research, from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Danish Stem Cell Center at the University of Copenhagen. Literature discussion sessions will take place weekly on Fridays for four weeks. A week before each session, a problem set of relevant scientific papers and questions based on their content will be provided. Students must then read the papers critically and submit a written report comprising the answers to the set questions before the discussion session. The discussion will then be based on the problem set. Evaluation (pass/fail) will take into account participation in discussion sessions and written work.

Course director
Josh Brickman, Professor, Novo Nordisk Foundation Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem), University of Copenhagen

Course organiser
Amelia Green, Programme Coordinator, Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme, University of Copenhagen and Technical University of Denmark

Group Leaders from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Danish Stem Cell Center, University of Copenhagen: http://danstem.ku.dk/

Three-hour discussion sessions on the following dates. Extensive reading of current literature (approx. 6-8 hours per session) and preparation of a written report are required in advance of each.
Friday 8 December, 2017
Friday 15 December, 2017
Friday 5 January, 2018
Friday 12 January, 2018

Course locations
Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Norre Alle 20, 2200 København

Please apply before 3 November, 2017. Use this form: http://tinyurl.com/RegiStemCellDiscussion to provide your name, email address, the university and PhD program where you are currently enrolled, and a 150 word (max.) statement of your motivation for applying for this course. You will be notified about your registration by email soon after the deadline. Contact amelia.green@cpr.ku.dk with any questions.

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