Junior Research Group (JRG) Stem Cell Biology

The Junior Research Group (JRG) Stem Cell Biology is part of the contribution of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster to the Excellence Cluster “REBIRTH” (Regenerative Biology and Reconstructive Therapy) of Hannover Medical School (MHH) funded by the DFG since October 2006.

The primary focus of our group is to develop and apply improved protocols for the generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to provide patient-specific stem cells that can be investigated as surrogate for the diseased cell phenotype. Interested in metabolic liver disease, we are also refining hepatic differentiation protocols, which will provide cells for studies of liver metabolism and on the long term perspective for stem cell-based therapies. Furthermore, new insights on stem cell based liver regeneration will be obtained by studying microRNAs involved in hepatic regeneration and differentiation.

Tobias Cantz is also engaged in public ethical issues and was a member of the work group “gene ethics” of the Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen. Currently, he is coordinating a multi-disciplinary internet-based platform (www.zellux.net) to provide comprehensive information on stem cell research to high school teachers and interested laypersons.

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