Title: A IAPP on the Role of NCAM in Stem Cell Differentiation
Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP).
Participant's number: 5
Project number: PIAP-GA-2009-251186
Project website: http://stemcam.biotalentum.eu
Objectives: The STEMCAM project is a 4-years training and transfer of knowledge program between two highly respected academic groups and three highly innovative companies in the field of applied stem cells research. The scientific and industrial aim of STEMCAM is to progress the understanding of, and develop new tools for, lineage specific differentiation of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells. The consortium will determine the role of the Neuronal Cell Adhesion Molecule, NCAM and related growth factor receptors in the differentiation of induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells towards the neural and myocardial lineage, in comparison with the better characterized Embryonic Stem (ES) cells. The research will take advantage of very unique and innovative pharmacological tools, the NCAM mimetic peptides discovered by ENKAM. The results will provide the basis for development of new protocols and products for lineage specific differentiation of iPS cells. The STEMCAM project will link intersectorial research activities in Industry and Academia applying an interdisciplinary approach from cell biology (including in vitro culture using bi-and three dimensional systems), immunocytochemistry, in situ hybridization, flow cytometry, immunomagnetic cell separation, molecular biology, electrophysiology, to peptide chemistry and chemioinformatics. The project will run via a training and transfer of knowledge program structured to efficiently exploit the expertise and complementarities between the industrial and academic partners to reach the scientific goals of the project and provide high quality intersectorial training for the participating researchers. This is expected to be of high benefit for their individual career development. The project results will significantly contribute to the understanding of signaling networks and mechanisms involved in iPS cell differentiation, which is still in its early stages, in comparison with ES cells. The project will focus on two areas of stem cell differentiation research, neurogenesis and cardiomyogenesis, of high relevance for industrial and clinical applications. Thus the project has significant potential impact on European competitiveness and regenerative medicine by fostering long-term collaborations and partnerships between Industry and Academia partners, and leading to novel protocols, intellectual property and products in this innovative area.