Sunday, 24 March 2019
Unit of Stem Cell Molecular Genetics  


Stem cells are considered an unlimited source of material for cell replacement therapies, thus holding great promise in regenerative medicine. Indeed, embryonic stem cells can differentiate into every cell type of an organism whereas adult stem cells can differentiate into cells of a specific lineage. To date, derivatives of embryonic stem cells have only been tested in one clinical trial with no conclusive results. Nicely, adult stem cell-based treatments such as bone marrow transplantation are currently applied with a high success rate.. 

Embryonic stem cell lines can be derived from embryos or can be generated after reprogramming somatic cells into an embryonic-like state. Adult stem cells are isolated from post-embryonic tissues and, to date, only one adult stem type, i.e. neural stem cells, has been obtained through direct reprogramming from somatic cells. Further studies need to demonstrate whether other adult stem cell fates can also be generated with the right combination of transcription factors and culture conditions. In contrast to embryonic stem cells that can unlimitedly self-renew in vitro, the culture conditions required to maintain adult stem cell proliferation in vitro are mainly unknown. In human, adult stem cell lines have not been derived yet, hindering the study of their stem cell potential. In addition, the inability to promote human adult stem cell proliferation in vitro has clinical consequences since a suboptimal number of adult stem cells reduces the transplantation success rate. In the mouse model, adult stem cell lines have been established only from some tissues such as neural. For these reasons, our research efforts will focus on: i) identifying the niche components that promote adult stem cell proliferation in vivo; ii) mimicking these conditions in vitro to derive adult stem cell lines and; iii) using these culture conditions to reprogram somatic cells into adult stem cell lines. Therefore, the main goal of our research is to derive adult stem cell lines as a tool to study their stem cell biology and to improve their medical applications. Specifically, we will use spermatogonial stem cells as a model.l






 Principal Investigator:

 Natalia Tapia

Currículum Vitae


 Tel.: +34 963391760


  • Tapia Seco, Natalia
  • Mulet Bolufer, Isabel