Cell, Developmental and Molecular Biology
This introductory module has been specifically designed to cover the basic underlying biology required for a clear understanding of stem cell types and their function.
Pluripotent Stem Cells
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a detailed understanding of the biology, culture, derivation, differentiation ethics and commercialization of human and mouse embryonic pluripotent stem cells.
The practical sessions within the course will provide laboratory experience of the range of the range of techniques in current use for culture, differentiation, manipulation and assessment and transfection of these cells.
During practical sessions students acquire the laboratory skills necessary for work with pluripotent stem cells. Thus, a major part of this module is learning and demonstrating proficiency. The tutorial sessions are designed to explore the legislation, clinical application and current obstacles to commercialization of these cells, in addition to covering critical evaluation of embryonic pluripotent stem cell experimental design.
Adult and Foetal Stem Cells
Expand your understanding of a broad range of adult and foetal stem cell types, including haematopoeitic, mesenchymal, neural and cord blood cells, with emphasis on both basic biology and clinical applications.
Laboratory skills in culture and differentiation of adult stem cells is provided. Tutorial sessions cover ethical issues, the clinical facilities required for human stem cell transplantation and critical analysis of high profile stem cell papers.
Translational Technologies for Stem Cells
This module covers four core areas:
- Clinical and experimental applications for stem cells, including how stem cells can be used in drug development and understanding genetic disease, through to how stem cells are prepared for clinical use. It will also consider the challenges facing these tasks
- Scalability and application of stem cells as well as the challenges of using automation and bioreactors to produce the quantities of cells required for clinical and biomedical use
- Tissue engineering approaches for stem cells, the challenges of delivering stem cells for clinical transplantation, studies of the 3D culture of cells in bioreactor systems and the use of engineered scaffolds for optimal stem cell culture and tissue growth for biological applications
- Interdisciplinary research which exposes the state-of-the-art advances of the interface between stem cell biology and physical science techniques
Research Skills and Technology Exploitation
In addition to providing the presentation and analytical skills required to assess and pursue further stem cell opportunities, in this module you will undertake a group-based Business Plan project. Through this you will gain experience in business development, intellectual property exploitation and the ethical and legal frameworks that govern stem cell developments.
This module enables students to experience contemporary research methods by engaging them to design a research programme and perform experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem.
Each student will be allocated an academic supervisor with whom they will discuss the research project prior to commencement. Students will first collect, analyse data, read and collate previous results relevant to their project, then embark on a period of research before preparing, writing and submitting a scientific paper. They will write a clear and concise report and will discuss their work with academic members during an oral presentation.
The form of project may vary and it will be based on laboratory work, audit, patient studies or an extended literature review. The principal activities will be completion of the practical work and submission of a final report in the form of a dissertation and presentation.