84281 - Stem Cell Biology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

Describe basic concepts in stem cell biology, including origin and plasticity. Differentiate between embryonic and adult stem cells, and describe their characteristics. Define the molecular mechanisms of stem cell differentiation. Discuss potential applications of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Course contents


Morphological and functional definition of a stem cell.

Tissue specific stem cells: The hematopoietic stem cell. 

The cellular hierarchy of the hematopoietic system.     

The differentiation of the hematioietic stem cell: Commitment and terminal maturation. 

The extrinsic control of the differentiation process: the growth factors.

The intrinsic control of hematopoietic differentiation: epigenomic and transcription factor control. 

Major biochemical changes in the hematopoietic stem cell compartments during the ontogenesis and with aging. 

Other tissue specific stem cell of clinical interest.

Tissue replacement and tissue regeneration therapy.


The students will be strongly encouraged to take an independent approach to learning. They will be advaiced to adopt any international textbook in English available on-line. They will also be guided toward a critical use of internet-assisted documentation and histological archives of italian universities.

Teaching methods

A combination of frontal lessons and lessons inter-pares on specific arguments. The acquisition of the knowledge will be frequently monitored with oral and written tests

Assessment methods

At the end of the course an oral examination will take place

Teaching tools

Selected meritorious slides presentations on specific subjects prepared by students of previous academic years that will be posted on line

Office hours

See the website of Anna Rita Franco Migliaccio