About us – University of Copenhagen

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The Danish National Research Foundation Center for Stem Cell Decision Making (StemPhys) commenced in April 2015.

StemPhys is a unique and interdisciplinary initiative joining forces of physics and stem cell biology with the goal of significantly advancing our knowledge of stem cell commitment and controlling the differentiation process. Three of the core scientists are stem cell biologists from DanStem, Faculty of Health, and three are physicists, two theoretical and one experimental, from the Niels Bohr Institute, Faculty of Science. 

Core PI contibutions:

Lene Oddershede (Optical Tweezer Group, Biophysics, NBI):

  • Cortical tension
  • Biomechanical signaling
  • Viscosity/Viscoelasticity/Elasticity
  • Advanced imaging techniques:
    • Super resolution microscopy
    • Optical tweezers
    • Light sheet microscopy

Joshua Brickman (Brickman group, Danstem, Panum):

  • Cell-cell communication (FGF)
  • Diffusing cytokine
  • Gastrulation
  • Single-cell RNAsequencing

Mogens Høgh Jensen (BioComplexity, Biophysics, NBI)

  • Cell dynamics
  • External oscillating cytokines coupling to protein oscillations
  • Arnold tongues and Mode-hopping
  • Chaos and gene regulation
  • YAP protein and cell mechanics

Elke Ober (Ober group, Danstem, Panum)

  • Liver
  • What guides organ shape and size
  • How are organs placed relative to each other
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Tubular network
  • Cell-cell communication (Ephrin signaling)

Ala Trusina (Uni-Bio Lab, Biophysics, NBI):

  • Lineage Tracking
  • smRNA FISH
  • Frequency detection
  • Rule-based models
  • Stochastic models
  • How do cells maintain right proportions

Anne Grapin-Botton (Grapin-Botton Group, Danstem, Panum):

  • In vitro organoids
  • Pancreas
  • Cellular polarities
  • Tubular network
  • What guides organ shape and size
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell-cell communication (Notch-delta)

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See the below movie introducing some of the work done within StemPhys. 

"Four simple rules that are sufficient to generate the mammalian blastocyst" (article published in PLOS Biology)