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Stem Cell Research Initiative

The Stem Cell Research Initiative at UCT comprises a group of researchers with a common goal – harnessing the unique power of stem cells to model disease. The main focus of the group is the utilization of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to create “disease in a dish” models. The group is spread across three Divisions within the Faculty of Health Sciences (Cell Biology, Human Genetics and Neurology), and members include academic staff, support staff and postgraduate students.

Specialist areas of this research group include:

  • The biology of melanocytes in early development and in diseases of the skin (albinism, vitiligo, naevi)
  • Stem cell biology – induction of melanocyte differentiation
  • Developmental and genetic basis of early onset glaucoma; aberrations of the corneal endothelium, the trabecular network and other structures of the anterior segment.
  • Development and regeneration of the corneal endothelium