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Stem Cells

at UW–Madison

Artboard 1

In 1998, UW–Madison developmental biologist James Thomson introduced the world to the first laboratory-derived human embryonic stem cells. His lab's accomplishment underpins the new field of regenerative medicine, and the all-purpose cells are used worldwide to test drugs, develop treatments for diseases and further our understanding of basic human biology. Twenty years later, UW–Madison remains at the forefront, an internationally recognized leader in stem cell research.

The Morgridge Institute for Research Presents

Immortal: An oral history of stem cell discovery

In November 1998, the journal Science published James Thomson's groundbreaking work on embryonic stem cells. There has been 20 years of progress since the initial discovery spawned a new field of research, and tremendous potential exists for the future. We reached out to the people who lived it, and they shared the experiences in their own words. This is their story.

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Stem Cell News

  • Video: Stem cells, lab to clinic

    David Gamm, director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute, and Forward Bio Institute director Bill Murphy explain how stem cell scientists at UW–Madison are working with industry to put scientific breakthroughs on the path to helping patients.

  • Stem cell summer camp

    The Morgridge Rural Summer Science Camp has allowed more than 500 high-academic achievers from across the state to spend a week learning from leaders in stem cell research.

  • Waisman's stem cell research into Down syndrome gives family hope

    It’s not a cure for Down syndrome that Dave Witte and Cristina Delgadillo want for their 5-year-old daughter. But they would be happy if stem cell research at the Waisman Center reduces the complications faced by Olivia, who has had two heart surgeries and a stroke.

  • Stem cells: How we got here, where we're going

    This is the first in a series of four videos about stem cell research at UW–Madison: how it started, what it's achieved, and where it's headed. Catch up on what's happened since James Thomson's prescient prediction that stem cells "will change medicine, period." 

  • New gene editing tool drives stem cell services and discovery

    At just two-and-a-half years old, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Human Stem Cell Gene Editing Service is already contemplating expansion, partly because of demand for a new gene editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9.

Explore all stem cell stories »

18/6

As of late 2017, there were 18 clinical trials using embryonic stem cells in six countries.

635

The number of people — faculty, staff, students — working in labs conducting stem cell or regenerative medicine research on the UW–Madison campus.

284

The number of stem cell–related patents issued to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation as of May 2018.