Stem cells in disease modeling & drug development

Coordinators: Oliver Brüstle (Bonn), Bert Klebl (Dortmund), Karl-Ludwig Laugwitz (Munich), and Harald Stachelscheid  (Berlin)

The increasing availability of human stem cells and recent progress in cell (re)programming open unprecedented prospects for studying the molecular pathogenesis of diseases in an authentic human background. Advances in the fields of cell culture automation, HCS and HTS provide an opportunity to harness this potential for the development of novel disease-specific systems for drug screening and validation. 

The aim of this working group is to promote interaction between stem cell biology, fundamental disease-related research, biotech and pharma to foster the development of this fascinating biomedical field.

Key challenges to be addressed include:

  • In vitro generation of authentic and mature human tissue-specific cell types
  • Modeling of age-related diseases in reductionist cell culture systems
  • Standardization as key prerequisite for industrial applications
  • Implementation of established and novel read-out technologies in stem cell-based systems
  • Interfacing stem cell culture with cell culture automation and HTS requirements
  • Promotion of interdisciplinary research consortia bringing together experts from stem cell biology, disease-related research and drug development
  • Strategic partnering with emerging large-scale stem cell operations and cell banks
  • Alliances with biotech and pharma to promote early implementation of required industrial standards and rapid translation into the drug development process

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