Since University of Wisconsin–Madison researcher James Thomson and colleagues derived the first human embryonic stem cells 20 years ago, research universities and biotechnology companies around the globe have worked to unlock their vast potential.
Through the work of the UW-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, UW–Madison has remained at the forefront of the field. Launched in May 2007, the center serves as an intellectual and collaborative hub for a broad-based, interdisciplinary research community. Today, more than 600 scientists and students in almost 100 SCMRC labs around campus are working, teaching and studying in the field.
The SCRMC encompasses faculty, staff and students across five schools and colleges, 40 departments, and 10 centers and institutes at UW–Madison. It is not housed in a single brick-and-mortar building but is a virtual center with investigators across campus. The center is jointly supported by the UW–Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Educationand School of Medicine and Public Health. An executive committee of faculty from across campus provides leadership.
Most SCRMC researchers work on much-needed basic science with both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (adult cells that are converted back into naive stem cells capable of becoming nearly any cell in the body), while others are also exploring new cell culture techniques, gene editing methods, and advances in preclinical animal research and human clinical trials.