ISCI-3 Working Groups

ISCI-3: To agree protocols for comparing the propensities of human pluripotent cell lines to differentiate.

There is an urgent need for the stem cell community to establish common protocols for evaluating and comparing the pluripotent capacity of different human ES and induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells. 

“The goal of ISCI3 is to reach a consensus on protocols that can be used to evaluate and compare the propensity and capacity of different cell lines for differentiation”.

The overall objective is to establish a consensus on specific simple, robust, and quantifiable protocols that can be used to assess the capacity of individual pluripotent stem cell lines (ES or iPS) to differentiate along specific lineages.  We are not seeking to compare how different factors impinge of stem cell differentiation, nor how different stem cell lines may differentiate.  Rather we are seeking to identify agreement on robust quantitative assay protocols that will allow us to address such questions in comparable ways in different labs.

The ISCI does not aim to impose any views on researchers in the field, but rather to facilitate the development of consensus views where that is possible.   We also recognise that methods for testing pluripotency of human ES and iPS cells will undoubtedly continue to evolve over time, and that individual researchers may well continue to favour particular methods.

Working Groups

We are setting up ‘working groups’ that will each focus upon different key lineages for which one might want to assess the capacity of a stem cell to follow. 

The working groups are as follows;

Working Group 1:
The Starting Point – Pluripotent Stem Cell Characterisation
Leaders: Martin Pera (Los Angeles), Steve Oh (Singapore)

Working Group 2:
Extraembryonic lineages (trophectoderm; primitive endoderm)
Leaders: Janet Rossant (Toronto), Paul Robson (Singapore)

Working Group 3:
Ectoderm (neural and non-neural)
Leaders: Oliver Brustle (Bonn), Benjamin Reubinoff (Jerusalem)

Working Group 4:
Mesoderm
Leaders: Christine Mummery (Leiden), Andrew Elefanty (Melbourne), Dan Kaufmann (Minneapolis)

Working Group 5:
Definitive Endoderm
Leaders: Ed Stanley (Melbourne), Gordon Keller (Toronto)

Working Group 6:
Germline
Leaders: Peter Donovan (Irvine), Hans Schöler (Münster)

These working groups, composed of researchers with particular relevant interests, should discuss methods and protocols for inducing and assessing differentiation.  In addition, we will put together a small group to evaluate the teratoma assay and discuss how it might be improved and standardised.

To facilitate discussion there are forums available for workgroup members to share and exchange ideas, documents, information etc.  Workgroup members will be able to post documents and comments for everyone else to see and comment on. Please log on to access these forums.

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