StN Spotlight Series

Under the motto “Connecting Stem Cell Scientists in NRW“ the Stem Cell Network NRW has launched the virtual exchange format “StN Spotlight Series”. The aim of this lecture series is to offer stem cell scientists regular opportunities for networking and exchange despite the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic.

The Spotlight Series takes place as video conference. The talks are given in English language. Every interested stem cell scientist is invited to join. Usually the Spotlight talks take place every 2nd Thursday at 2 pm. No fees are charged for participation, but you must register in advance for the respective date and acknowledge a confidentiality agreement if you would like to attend the talks.

The registration link (participation is for free!) and a short abstract of the respective spotlight talk will be provided by email in the week before the event. If you have not
received these mails yet and would like to participate or have questions about the Spotlight Series, please send a short email to info[at]

Each Spotlight talk starts with a 20-minute lecture after which the speaker is available for questions and there is room for further discussions. In past meetings, there were some really good debates!

The Spotlight Series comprises three different categories:

  • “StN Spotlight: Research”: Presentation of new publications and (unpublished) research results
  • “StN Spotlight: Members”: Introduction of new member institutions/working groups
  • “StN Spotlight: External Speakers”: Platform for exchange with guest scientists from outside the network or invited speakers

Initiated in spring 2020 as a loose get together by video conference to exchange about the new (working) situation due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, Spotlight has now become an established video lecture series. At the beginning there was also the category „StN Spotlight: COVID-19 Stammtisch“, which was an open exchange about the current situation and lectures on research approaches related to COVID-19,
e.g. unproven stem cell therapies for COVID-19.


Next Spotlight Talks


  • 30.09.: Forebrain brain organoids assembling functionally integrated bilateral eye primordia (Research Spotlight with Univ.-Prof. Dr. (Ph.D) Jay Gopalakrishnan, Institute for Human Genetics, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf) 
  • 14.10.: Pain patient specific iPS-cells for functional disease modelling (Research Spotlight with Anika Neureiter, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen University)
  • 21.10.: Cell populations from cord blood for advanced and regenerative therapies (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Gesine Kögler, University Hospital Düsseldorf)
  • 04.11.: Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Daniel Nettersheim, University Hospital Düsseldorf - title tba 
  • 18.11.: Ethical implications of stem cell research (ELSA Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Annette Dufner, University of Bonn)
  • 02.12.: Programming human stem cells to cell types of interest (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Volker Busskamp, University Hospital Bonn)

Interested to present exciting research findings, your new paper or to give insights into the work of your institute? Contact us! The team of the coordination office is happy
to receive contributions for the next Spotlights.



Previous Spotlight Events:

  • 23.09.: Overarching control of autophagy and DNA damage response by CHD6 revealed by modeling a rare human pathology (Research Spotlight mit Dr. Yulia Kargapolova, University of Cologne
  • 16.09.: GMP-compliant iPS cells and differentiation work flows for cell therapy (Spotlight: External Speakers with Dr. habil. Boris Greber, RheinCell Therapeutics GmbH
  • 09.09.: Vascular wall-resident mesenchymal stem cell fates within lung cancer (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Diana Klein, University Hospital Essen) 
  • 26.08.: SARS-CoV-2 infections in iPS derived human lung organoids (Spotlight: COVID-19 Research with PD Dr. Thorsten Müller, Ruhr University Bochum) 
  • 12.08.: Endoscopic Spraying of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: An In Vitro Study for Local Cell Therapy of the Lungs (Research Spotlight with Dr. Lena Thiebes, RWTH Aachen University)
  • 29.07.: SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication in IPSC derived retinal organoids (Spotlight: COVID-19 Research with Dr. Yotam Menuchin Lasowksi, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine Münster)
  • 15.07.: Stem cell based modelling of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease goes 3D (Research Spotlight with Dr. Nina Graffmann, University Hospital Düsseldorf)
  • 01.07.: Cancer Cell Fusion (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Thomas Dittmar, Witten/Herdecke University)
  • 17.06.: Obstacles to debating the ethics of human embryonic stem cell research (Research Spotlight with Dr. Alexander Christian, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf)
  • 02.06.: Stem cell research at the Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences (Member Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Nilima Prakash and 
  • Prof. Dr. Lara Tickenbrock, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences)
  • 20.05.21: Modeling KIT D816V Systemic Mastocytosis with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Identification of Nintedanib as a New Drug Candidate
    (Research Spotlight with Marcelo Szymanski, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen University)
  • 19.11.20: iPSCs in modeling and drug discovery of mitochondrial diseases (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Alessandro Prigione, University Hospital Düsseldorf)
  • 05.11.20: Direct Conversion of Blood into NSCs: Prospects for Biomedical Applications (Research Spotlight with Lea Flitsch, University Hospital Bonn)
  • 22.10.20: Stem cell research at the IUF: Science for human safety and animal protection
    (Member Spotlight with Prof. Ellen Fritsche and Dr. Andrea Rossi, IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Düsseldorf)
  • 08.10.20: Redox regulation of development and differentiation (Research Spotlight with PD Dr. rer. nat. Carsten Berndt, University Hospital Düsseldorf)
  • 17.09.20: Hydrogel culture of iPS cell derived cardiomyocytes for basic research and biotechnology (Research Spotlight with PD Kurt Pfannkuche, University of Cologne)
  • 10.09.20: Research at the MPI of Molecular Physiology: Using stem cells across biological scales
    (Member Spotlight with Johann Jarzombek, Slava Ziegler, Michael Grange und Christian Schröter, MPI Dortmund)
  • 27.08.20: Analysis of the functional consequences of truncating RUNX1 mutations in mouse HSPCs(Research Spotlight with Samantha Langer, University Hospital Essen)
  • 13.08.20: Analysis of human serum-mediated effects on adult human cardiac stem cells by global gene expression profiling (Research Spotlight with Anna Höving, Bielefeld University)
  • 30.07.20: Syndecan-1 and Heparanase - novel regulators of cancer stem cell function (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Martin Götte, University Hospital Münster)
  • 16.07.20: Escape the rodent trap: sodium channels and stem cells in translational pain research (Research Spotlight with Prof. Dr. Angelika Lampert, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen University)
  • 02.07.20: RNA-targeting Cas9 Corrects Molecular and Physiological Features of Myotonic  Dystrophy Type I (External Spotlight with Dr. David Nelles, currently doing a sabbatical at the University of Cologne, Kurian lab)
  • 18.06.20: Towards fully automated cell production: News about laboratory automation at the Fraunhofer IPT (Member Spotlight with Bastian Niessing)
  • 04.06.20: Oct4 pioneers nucleosomes in motion (Research Spotlight with Dr. Vlad Cojocaru)
  • 14.05.20: Modelling neuropathology of Covid-19 in stem cell based 3D human brain organoids (COVID-19 Stammtisch with Prof. Jay Gopalakrishnan, see preprint)
  • 30.04.20: Treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 with convalescent plasma (COVID-19 Stammtisch with Prof. Monika Lindemann)
  • 24.04.20: Unproven Therapies - Recent ongoing approaches with COVID-19 (COVID-19 Stammtisch with Dr. Verena Börger)
  • 16.04.20: Open exchange especially about the current situation and restrictions in the laboratories and universities closures (COVID-19 Stammtisch)




Is there a new publication in your research group, have you developed/tested a new method or would you like to give insights into your laboratory? Please contact the coordination office if you would like to contribute to one of the next Spotlights. We are happy to receive any topic suggestions.

Overview upcoming talks