Stem Cell Core
The University of Connecticut Stem Cell Core provides expertise and training in techniques needed for research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The core’s services are available to scientists at the University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University as well as other institutions. Currently housed at the UConn Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut, the core is performing culture, banking and quality control of nine different hESC lines. The Stem Cell Core’s overall mission is to contribute to advancing stem cell therapies for human disease.
The hESC cell lines maintained by the Stem Cell Core are derived from donated preimplantation embryo, although other technologies, such somatic nuclear transfer, may be a source of such cells in the future. HESCs have an extraordinary property called pluripotency and, because of this, can generate any type of cell or tissue in the human body. Research studies using hESCs to discover cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal injuries, diabetes, and heart disease are under way. Researchers, including Dr. David Rowe’s group at the UConn Health Center, are using hESCs to discover new ways to repair and regenerate human bones. HESCs are also an invaluable research tool to understand early human development as well as for screening potential drug candidates for embryotoxicity, mutagenicity, and cytotoxicity.
Supported by a Core Facility grant to the University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University from the State of Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program, the Stem Cell Core currently aims to:
- Culture and bank currently available hESC lines and useful, genetically modified lines, and provide training in hESC culture and differentiation to all eligible researchers throughout Connecticut and beyond.
- Track and control the quality of hESC lines for cell identity, pluripotency, karyotype, mycoplasma contamination, and provide validation of hESC culture materials.
- Derive new hESC lines under animal-free and chemically defined culture conditions from extra embryos donated to in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics with diagnosed genotypes.
- Organize cross-campus workshops and reach out to scientists, students and members of the community to understand and promote stem cell research in Connecticut. View the stem cell seminar schedule >