UniStem Day 2024

From the classroom to the lab - European action day offers pupils hands-on stem cell research

On UniStem Day on March 22, twelve scientific institutions (universities and university hospitals) from all over North Rhine-Westphalia welcomed 200 pupils to their laboratories and offered direct insights into everyday life in stem cell research as well as the opportunity to enter into dialog with the scientists.

Since 2009, the "UniStem Day", an international action day on stem cell research, is held annually in March. The aim of the event is to familiarize interested young people with the subject of stem cell research and to deepen the knowledge about stem cell research taught at schools.

97 research institutions in 13 countries on two continents opened their doors for this year's action day. Once again, the majority of the offers from Germany took place in North Rhine-Westphalia and were organized by members of the Stammzellnetzwerk.NRW. 12 different stem cell institutes from Aachen to Bielefeld offered the more than 200 registered pupils exciting and interactive activities in the field of biomedicine.

"UniStem Day is important because it offers young people about to enter higher education unique insights into one of the most promising fields of biology and biomedicine: research on and work with human stem cells and the cells and tissue generated from them." explains Prof. Dr. Nilima Prakash from Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences (HSHL). 

The scientists from the Stem Cell Network.NRW introduced the participants to the topic of stem cells and their potential applications and offered insights into research practice during presentations. Keywords such as human induced pluripotent stem cells, differentiation into dopamine-synthesizing nerve cells or Parkinson's disease were discussed. In laboratory workshops, the students also had the opportunity to carry out practical work themselves, such as preparing a quantitative real-time PCR or a "cell feeding". The program was rounded off by presentations on the everyday working lives of people working in science and subsequent discussion rounds in which questions about studying, doing a doctorate or working in science were discussed.

"It was very interesting to find out first-hand what the day-to-day work of a stem cell researcher looks like and what career prospects there are in this field. Now I'm even more sure than before that studying biology is exactly my thing!" says Lola (18), summarizing her insights from the exchange with one of the experts..

We are very pleased that UniStem Day 2024 was once again so well received and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the academics at the various institutes who made this event possible through their commitment!

The following research institutions in North-Rhine-Westphalia participated in the UniStem Day 2024 :

Impressions of UniStem Day 2024