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Stem Cell Center

Stem cells are unique in their capacity to proliferate and replacing cells – often life-long. However, many adult organs, such as the brain or the pancreas, have no or few stem cells. The Department’s mission builds on our pioneer approach to reprogram local cells towards the lost cell type identity in such organs and on our pioneer discoveries on epigenetic mechanisms of reprogramming. The key proteins that enable such fate conversion have been all identified for their role during development, when all relevant cell types are generated. Our Department therefore combines in a world-wide unique combination expertise in stem cells, developmental mechanisms of fate specification and plasticity including a strong epigenetic expertise with injury models and direct reprogramming.

Stem Cell Center

Replacing lost or damaged cells is the cornerstone of regenerative medicine. To achieve this, we need to understand not only how cells acquire their specific identity but also how cell plasticity is regulated. Helmholtz Munich’s Stem Cell Center is unique worldwide in combining leading expertise in cell plasticity, epigenetics, and direct reprogramming. 

Our Stem Cell Experts

Portrait Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla

Prof. Dr. Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla

Director of the Stem Cell Center, Director of the Institute for Epigenetics and Stem Cells, Group Leader View profile
Porträt Wolfgang Wurst

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurst

Director of the Institute of Developmental Genetics View profile
Magdalena Götz Porträt

Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz

Director of the Institute of Stem Cell Research View profile

Prof. Dr. Irmela Jeremias

Head of the Research Unit Apoptosis in hematopoietic Stem Cells View profile

Recent Publications

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2023 Nature Communications 14, Article number: 7674 (2023)

Sebastian Schmidt, Constantin Stautner, Duc Tung Vu, Alexander Heinz, Martin Regensburger, Ozge Karayel, Dietrich Trümbach, Anna Artati, Sabine Kaltenhäuser, Mohamed Zakaria Nassef, Sina Hembach, Letyfee Steinert, Beate Winner, Winkler Jürgen, Martin Jastroch, Malte D. Luecken, Fabian J. Theis, Gil Gregor Westmeyer, Jerzy Adamski, Matthias Mann, Karsten Hiller, Florian Giesert, Daniela M. Vogt Weisenhorn, Wolfgang Wurst

A reversible state of hypometabolism in a human cellular model of sporadic Parkinson’s disease