Stem Cell Lab Monitor: post series on excellent stem cell labs

franklinlabResearch in life sciences is more a team effort than ever. If you take a look on an average peer review article, in most cases there are as many as 6 authors and usually from more than 1 lab. But the basic unit and currency of any valuable research contribution is a LAB. Not the principal investigator (although the PI is the most representative voice of a lab) in itself, not a lonely grad or postgrad student, or an assistant, but a working functional and whole LAB, which can consist of 3 people or 10 or 25 people. The same arithmetics applies to the equipment: what makes a lab is not one particular tool (an incredible confocal, a smart PCR machine, a cool laser MicroDissector) but the whole set of the lab tools (picture: my Macbook shot on the Cambridge lab I worked last year).

So here I am happy to inform you on my coming blog post series (column), called Stem Cell Lab Monitor which will introduce the outstanding stem cell labs all over the world through their homepages, projects, interests, members etc., and through interviews (forgot almost: blogterviews) with the PIs and other lab members if possible. I hope you can get a picture on the lab cultures this way. If the focus is not on a definite stem cell lab, rather on a tissue engineering or a mitochondria or any life sciences lab, it’ll be a Tissue Engineering or Mitochondria Lab Monitor, respectively.

These will be my short questions to the PIs in the first round, and they can be modified and specified depending on the lab under investigation.

1. What is your scientific background and how did you get immersed into stem cell research? What was the motivation behind that?

2. Who were your masters and supervisors?

3. What are the current research projects in your lab?

4. What are the crucial methods do you use?

5. What is the financial background of the lab, what grants are behind?

6. How functional is your lab homepage and how regularly is it updated?

7. What is the most important problem of recent stem cell biology?

8. What is the decisive mechanism behind stem cell’s remarkable regenerative potential? Differentiation, fusion, paracrine factors…How tissue dependent it is?

9. How would you define the endogenous regenerative potential of a tissue/organ?

10. In which medical sectors will stem cell therapies likely to be disruptive treatments in the next decade…knee implants, sports medicine, heart muscle….?

5 thoughts on “Stem Cell Lab Monitor: post series on excellent stem cell labs

  1. Wow, that looks eerily similar to my current lab… from the general layout straight down to the Qiagen kits.

  2. Over the years, I have designed many labs. For some reason, people think that your picture is what a lab should look like. The same standard exists in academia and industry. Lab design and layout, now there’s a topic for conversation. For example, I can think of nothing worse than all those bloody drawers for hiding things away in that you can never find when you need them!

    Who cares if you have a state-of-the-art website, but your laboratory restricts you from getting your work done?

    By the way, the Qiagen factory that makes those kits is right around the corner. I’ve worked with 3/4 of the people there. And their R&D labs look just like yours….

  3. Hello

    I am am an environmental chemist who has worked on lab design in Human Clinical IVF labs and stem cell labs. I have a new project with a variety of processes. embryo culture and ICM isolation ESC cell culture, ESC isolation, PCR work up and cell storage and analysis. Is there a consensus guide on what is important.

    Antonia Gilligan
    201-420-0600 lab/office
    201-755-8102 cell

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