Stem cell news & views

Stem cell interviews

Interview with Michaela Frye: RNA modifications, an upcoming field

Dr Michaela Frye began her research career in molecular ecology and evolution , working with snails, before a shift to cystic fibrosis for her PhD research. After her PhD she worked as a post-doc with Fiona Watt at a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) research institute in London. In 2007 she was awarded a CRUK career development fellowship to set up a group at the Wellcome Trust - MRC Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, where she is now a senior research fellow. We spoke to Michaela at the Hydra Stem Cell Sumer School earlier this year, where she gave a lecture on epigenetic regulation of differentiation and development.

Interview with Henrik Semb: the pancreas, beta cells and diabetes

Professor Henrik Semb is the director of the Danish stem cell center. His research group focuses on how organs are formed and cells acquire their fates in vivo. In particular, they are interested in how processes such as cell shape changes, movement and polarity, not only affect 3D architecture of the developing organ but also what type of cells are made.  In vivo findings from their lab have given insight into coaxing human pluripotent stem cells into functional insulin-producing beta cells as a source for therapy in type 1 diabetes.

Interview with Malin Parmar: cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Malin Parmar heads a research group focused on developmental and regenerative neurobiology at Lund University in Sweden. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

At this year’s Hydra summer school I spoke to Malin about how she got started in stem cell research, what she’s working on at the moment, and her view of the prospects for treating Parkinson’s disease with stem cells.

Interview with Connie Eaves: blood stem cells in development and disease

Dr. Connie Eaves was a co-founder of the Terry Fox Laboratory in 1981, and has served both as its Deputy Director and Director. During her PhD studies in the late 1960’s, she discovered that two groups of cells contribute to the generation of antibody responses, heralding the subsequent recognition of two important types of immune cells: B and T cells.She has since contributed many seminal advances to our understanding of stem cells involved in blood formation and how they work in both health and disease.

Meet scientist and artist Ariel Ruiz i Altaba

Prof Ariel Ruiz i Altaba is Coordinator of the EU-funded research project HEALING, was founding director of the Swiss Stem Cell Network and is professor at the Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, Université de Genève, Switzerland. He is also an established visual artist. Emma Kemp met Ariel to hear more about science, art and how they might come together to build an understanding of the evolving world around us.

Meet Allen Eaves: academic biologist turned CEO

Dr Allen Eaves founded the Terry Fox Laboratory for Haematology and Oncology Research with his wife Dr Connie Eaves and was the lab’s Director for 25 years, from 1981 to 2006. He was also Professor and Head of Clinical Haematology at the University of British Columbia for 18 years. He is now Founder, President and CEO of STEMCELL Technologies Inc.

We caught up with Allen to find out more about life as a CEO, the role of companies in stem cell research and what keeps him interested in research.

Interview with Jane Visvader: stem cells in the breast

Professor Jane Visvader is Joint Head of The Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium Laboratory at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Her lab is interested in how the mammary gland of the breast develops, and what goes wrong in breast cancer.

PhD student Giovanni Valenti interviewed Jane for EuroStemCell in September 2011, at Hydra VII: The European Summer School on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.

Meet Nick Barker: a focus on stem cells and the intestine

Dr. Nick Barker is a Principal Investigator (PI) at the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), A*STAR, Singapore. Currently, Nick also holds a visiting professorship at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine and is an associate Principal Investigator with the EC-funded research consortium EuroSyStem. Nick’s studies focus on tissue (adult) stem cells, particularly in the intestine, skin and stomach. He is also interested in the role of these stem cells in cancer.

Interview with Karen English: where cell biology and immunology meet

Karen is a post doctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Kathryn Wood at the University of Oxford. Karen’s work contributes to the EC-funded project OptiStem. We caught up with Karen at the project’s 2011 annual meeting.

Christine Mummery: a physicist’s take on stem cell biology

Christine Mummery is Professor and Chair of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Centre. She pioneered studies on heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) made from human embryonic stem cells and was among the first to inject them into a mouse heart after a heart attack.