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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

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

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wurst

Director of the Institute of Developmental Genetics View profile

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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Adam C O'Neill, Fatma Uzbas, Giulia Antognolli, Florencia Merino, Kalina Draganova, Alex Jäck, Sirui Zhang, Giorgia Pedini, Julia P Schessner, Kimberly Cramer, Aloys Schepers, Fabian Metzger, Miriam Esgleas, Pawel Smialowski, Renzo Guerrini, Sven Falk, Regina Feederle, Saskia Freytag, Zefeng Wang, Melanie Bahlo, Ralf Jungmann, Claudia Bagni, Georg H H Borner, Stephen P Robertson, Stefanie M Hauck, Magdalena Götz

Spatial centrosome proteome of human neural cells uncovers disease-relevant heterogeneity

Tsunetoshi Nakatani, Jiangwei Lin, Fei Ji, Andreas Ettinger, Julien Pontabry, Mikiko Tokoro, Luis Altamirano-Pacheco, Jonathan Fiorentino, Elmir Mahammadov, Yu Hatano, Capucine Van Rechem, Damayanti Chakraborty, Elias R. Ruiz-Morales, Paola Y. Arguello Pascualli, Antonio Scialdone, Kazuo Yamagata, Johnathan R. Whetstine, Ruslan I. Sadreyev & Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla

DNA replication fork speed underlies cell fate changes and promotes reprogramming