PABSELA 2008 | SCRT08 > SCRT08 > Overview

Stem Cell Research Training 2008

Dates and places
PABSELA-SCRT08 took place at Fundación Instituto Leloir (FIL), Buenos Aires, Argentina between 03 and 17 May 2008.

Course Description
The students who completed the PABSELA course 2008 were a selected group of 18 young Latin American investigators from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico with a 1.25:1 female:male ratio and an average age of 30 years. PABSELA-Stem Cell Research Training 2008 (SCRT08) students were predominantly PhD candidates carrying out clinical and scientific research in academic institutions. All of the students coming from Latin American non-for-profit institutions were granted a full tuition scholarship. Furthermore, students coming from the Argentine countryside obtained travel funds. This year cohort included biochemists, physicians, biologists, and neuroscientists, and these diverse backgrounds provided a synergistic effect during class discussions. Prior to the course, the students prepared by reading around 100 scientific publications in the month between being notified of their selection and the beginning of the course.

PABSELA-SCRT08 consisted of 17 lectures and discussions of scientific publications, 12 seminars, and 10 laboratory sessions for a total of 115 hours of intensive courses. This year the students also engaged in a 2-days special session were they presented their current investigations and projects in a scientific meeting-like setting. During the training they analyzed the latest data on stem cell research from epigenetics to cancer and neural stem cells directly from 14 scholars who are leaders in the field at a global level.

The faculty included four scientists from Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals, all of whom are also faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Faculty from Yale School of Medicine, Columbia University, University of California at Davis, United States; Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada; University of Oslo, Norway; Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Univesidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil also delivered lectures.

This year's laboratory activities included a method for in vivo transplantation of neural stem cells and for electroporation of neural progenitors on site led by Dr. Paola Arlotta from Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, where students learned to identify, isolate, and introduce neural stem cells into different areas of murine central nervous system.
The second laboratory session focused on in vivo tracking of stem cells in rodents. Students learned state of the art imaging methodologies that enable the analysis of stem cell migration, homing, trasvasation, proliferation, and clearance by in vivo imaging techniques. This non-invasive technique was recently developed by Dr. Andrew Kung at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Harvard Medical School.

In utero electroporation with Dr. Arlotta

Dr. Paola Arlotta from Harvard Medical School (right) assisting PABSELA SCRT08 students during the neural stem cell genetic manipulation laboratory session  

The laboratory activities include techniques of histology, immunostaining, tissue culture, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. This part of the program involved the acquisition of laboratory materials, equipment, and consumab