Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
July 19, 2021 - August 18, 20217/19 - 8/184 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineLindsay Mehrmanesh

Course Description

There's a lot of controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells, but did you know that there are many other types of stem cells in your body? Some are already being used to treat patients while countless others are in clinical trials. In this course, you'll achieve a foundational knowledge of what stem cells are, what they do, and their importance to research and medicine. Discover how stem cells allow a single fertilized egg to develop into a complex human being and how their power is being utilized in areas ranging from injury and disease treatments, to cosmetic applications and even targeted cancer therapies.

Stem cells have the remarkable ability to become any one of the 200+ cell types found in adult humans. This course will explore what makes stem cells unique, how they function normally in the body to create and maintain specialized organs and how they are being used in regenerative medicine. We will cover the basic cell, molecular and developmental biological principles required to understand exactly what these incredible cells are. We will examine what stem cells do in different organ systems, how they keep us healthy, and how they can be harvested and manipulated for use in research and medicine. We will explore how CRISPR, a genome editing technique that recently won it’s founders the Nobel prize, has the potential to revolutionize regenerative medicine. While this advancement is powerful enough to change modern medicine as we know it, where should the boundaries be? We will address this question and more as we learn how researchers and physicians use innovative technologies to unlock stem cells’ seemingly unlimited potential. We will also address the hurdles currently being faced in the field and the cutting-edge research being conducted to advance stem cell technology. Coursework will be composed of a variety of asynchronous elements including readings, videos, writing assignments, data analysis, case studies, group discussion boards, and short, recorded presentations. There will also be limited, optional, synchronous group work opportunities when feasible.

Upon completion of this course students will extend their general biology knowledge to include an introduction to the more specialized areas of cell, molecular and developmental biology, which will be helpful in future college coursework. This will not only allow for a deeper understanding of stem cells, but will develop the critical thinking skills required in all fields of science. Students will begin to be able to distinguish between what stem cells can and cannot do in a medical context. Students will also be exposed to current applications of stem cell technology, genome editing, regenerative medicine and new medical innovations.

Prerequisites: Students best suited for this course will have a strong interest and background in biology and will have taken at least one high school biology course. AP biology is helpful but not necessary.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBI0964

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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