STEM CELLS OF MARINE/AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES: FROM BASIC RESEARCH TO INNOVATIVE APPLICATIONS
The “stem cells” discipline represents one of the most dynamic areas in biology and biomedicine. Marine and aquatic invertebrate stem cell (MISC) biology is of prime research and medical interest. The aim of this COST Action is to consolidate and promote an interdisciplinary network of the European community working on MISC. This will help to develop novel MISC tools and methodologies, promote the MISC discipline in the front interest of biomedical disciplines and establishing collaborations with industries.
WG 1 – Developing protocols for raising marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cells under in vitro conditions
Leader: Dr Isabelle DOMART-COULON , Vice-leader: U. Frank
WG1 coordinates the activities of a series of tasks devoted to the development of common protocols, problem solutions and tools (such as the development of resource services) in order to foster integration of research institutions. It will focus on the tasks listed below. This will guide the development of shared services and solutions not only within the research institutions but also into the working environments of stakeholders and users to lay a solid foundation for long-term cooperation.
- New marine invertebrate models and access to marine resources
- The problem of endosymbionts in establishment of pure or mixed cell cultures of MISC
- Methods for stem cell enrichment in culture
- Immortalisation of marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cells
- Cryopreservation of marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cells
WG2 – “omics” to characterize the MISC phenotypes
Leader A. Varela Coehlo (PO), Vice-leader K. Bartscherer (D)
Technical and scientific capabilities to support the cooperation are coordinated by WG2: molecular/biochemical profiling of novel model organisms needs data services for annotation, analysis and archiving
- Comparative functional genomics and transcriptomics of marine/aquatic invertebrate tissues or derived MISCs
- Comparative proteomics of marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cells
- Differentiation molecular pathways of MISCs
- Development of strategies for “manipulating” stem cells (knockdown, CRISPR, transgenesis, etc.)
WG 3 – Blue technology: MISCs as model systems for the study of fundamental biological processes related to stem cells.
Leader P. Oliveri (UK), Vice-leader A. Rosner (IL)
WG3 coordinates the activities of the tasks listed below devoted to the address the various aspects of stem cell biology in MISC. It will foster integration of research institutions.
- Evolutionary aspects of stem cell differentiation and development
- Cancer, aging and senescence phenomena
WG 4 – Networking with stakeholders
Leader A. Burzynski (PL), Vice-leader AM Geneviere (FR)
The evaluation of the potential of MISC to provide useful biomolecules is the focus of WG4
- Bioactive molecules. The technology developed in culture may be instrumental in solving some practical tasks in marine biotechnology, including the generation of cell cultures producing complex bioactive compounds with therapeutic potential. Stakeholders, some of which are already part of the proposing network, will be contacted from the beginning of the COST project and invited to participate to specific workshops in which the potential applications of MISC will be discussed.