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Prof. Dr. Henrik Semb

Director, Institute of Translational Stem Cell Research (ITS)

“Our main goal is to understand the basic fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of organogenesis and translate this knowledge into new cell and gene therapies in diabetes.”

“Our main goal is to understand the basic fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of organogenesis and translate this knowledge into new cell and gene therapies in diabetes.”

Academic Career and Research Areas

Henrik Semb’s multi-disciplinary approach to research has contributed to the advancement of several scientific fields. His lab has used a combination of in vivo and in vitro tools to decipher a range of cellular and molecular mechanisms in morphogenesis and differentiation during organogenesis. For example, he recently identified how mechanosignaling, via integrins, acts as a gate-keeper for fate decisions of multipotent pancreatic progenitor.

Henrik’s long-term interest and experience in translating basic research results into clinical applications has also led to an ambitious collaborative, sustainable and transferrable program on human pluripotent stem cell-based cell therapy in Type 1 Diabetes.

Grants

Henrik Semb’s scientific achievements in pancreas development and the beta cell biology field have been recognized by many international and national grant-awarding bodies throughout his research career, including the EU, EMBO, the Swedish Government, the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Swedish and Danish Foundations for Strategic Research respectively.

ISLET Project

Henrik Semb co-ordinates the European project ISLET and brings the strength of the ambitious vision of innovating a fine-tuned cell therapy to patients with Type 1 Diabetes. It was his leadership during the five-year EC funded project HUMEN that saw the discovery of directing stem cells to produce beta cells in the lab. This work lays the foundation for the ISLET first generation product, which we will bring to the point of clinical trial in 2025.

Professional Career

2011 - 2022

Professor in Human Stem Cell Biology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2011 - 2022

Executive Director and Group Leader of DanStem, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Since 2018

Director of the Institute for Translational Stem Cell Research at Helmholtz Munich