The Stem Cell Institute (SCI) of the University of Minnesota was founded in 1999 and was the first such center in the U.S. The faculty undertake research on the properties of embryonic and adult stem cells, and associated developmental biology problems. Most of the work is basic science research although there is also some clinical research particularly in the area of hematopoietic cell transplantation. The SCI currently comprises 39 faculty.
About half are located in the McGuire Translational Research Facility (MTRF) on the East Bank campus, along with core facilities such as flow cytometry (equipment and personnel for separating live cells according to their properties). The remainder are located in other buildings of the East Bank and St. Paul campuses. They include members of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Technology, as well as the Medical School and College of Biological Sciences.Stem cells are the cells responsible for tissue renewal in humans and animals. They can both reproduce themselves, and produce functional differentiated cells to make up the tissue in question. Embryonic stem cells are cells that can be cultured in vitro from early embryos, can reproduce themselves, and can form any cell type in the body. Stem cell biology embraces the range of topics from understanding how stem cells work, in terms of basic molecular and cellular biology, to practical methods for producing cells for transplantation and other clinical applications.
This degree program offers training in stem cell biology, which is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that rests on foundations provided by molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Students will take lecture, lab, and seminar classes in these various disciplines, in addition to stem cell biology. They will interact with members of the Stem Cell Institute through participation in research seminars and journal clubs, and will spend a full calendar year conducting stem cell research in the laboratory of a Stem Cell Biology Graduate Program faculty member. This research will form the basis of the Masters thesis.
The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a member of the North Central Association.