UniStem Day 2022

Record participation at the international Stem Cell Day in North Rhine-Westphalia

In 2022, offers for UniStem Day on March 11 were once again in high demand. Almost 400 students from 12 cities registered to learn more about stem cells. 88% of all nationwide offerings took place in NRW.

UniStem Day, an international activity day on stem cell research, is being held held annually in March since 14 years. Research institutions around the world open their doors to spend a whole day dedicated to stem cell research together with interested high school students.

Keeping in line with the network's 20th anniversary, this year more scientific institutions of the Stem Cell Network.NRW than ever before participated in the "UniStem Day". Spread across the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia, 15 universities and university hospitals opened their laboratories. The majority of the offers from Germany took thus once again place in North Rhine-Westphalia and was hosted by the members of the Stem Cell Network.NRW. "We are pleased that we can give interested students an insight into our work and knowledge about stem cells and that the students can also participate in small experiments." explains Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Gesine Kögler, Head of the UKD-José Carreras Stem Cell Bank.

As in 2021, there were virtual contributions in addition to classroom sessions for smaller groups of students. The working groups offered interested high school students insights into their research and the possible applications of stem cells, e.g. to treat diseases such as Parkinson's or cancer. The students were also allowed to become active themselves and could, among other things, analyze different stem cell types under the microscope and provide them with nutrients. The diverse program ranged from experiments and lab tours to scientific lectures, stem cell quizzes, online formats with interesting presentations and virtual "Meet the Experts" rounds. "I found it very interesting that there were several presentations, each focusing on different topics, and I'm also surprised at how diverse and elaborate this topic is." summarizes Jo (17) her impressions.

Many of the participants had brought specific questions for the researchers and wanted for example know more about the financing of their work or the job description of a natural scientist, so that lively discussions took place. For some contributions the original time window was even exceeded due to the great interest!

The ethics of stem cell research was also on the agenda: At the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Düsseldorf, the students discussed various bioethical positions on research with human embryonic stem cells.

Even though this year’s UniStem Day took once again place under special circumstances, the participants were very satisfied with the event and draw a positive conclusion. "The UniStem Day was very informative and a nice addition to the normal lessons." states 17-year-old Ana from Solingen.

The following research institutions in North-Rhine-Westphalia participated in the UniStem Day 2022 :



Impressions of UniStem Day 2022