Stem Cells: A Cure or Disease?

Mouse embryonic stem cells marked in fluorescent green, viewed under a microscope

Mouse embryonic stem cells (shown in green). (Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2011



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Description

Have you ever considered going to a pharmacy to order some new cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells) for your ailing heart? It might sound crazy, but recent developments in stem cell science have made this concept not so futuristic. In this course, we will explore the underlying biology behind the idea of using stem cells to treat disease, specifically analyzing the mechanisms that enable a single genome to encode multiple cell states ranging from neurons to fibroblasts to T cells. Overall, we hope to provide a comprehensive overview of this exciting new field of research and its clinical relevance.

This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.

Related Content

Steve Bilodeau, and Grant Welstead. 7.349 Stem Cells: A Cure or Disease?. Spring 2011. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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