The Niche

A new stem-cell online resource; upcoming deadline for short travel grant to UK

Science is going even more global, and that means more face-to-face and online get together. Here’s some help with both.

Travel grants to UK

It seems every American scientist is busy writing a grant right now. U.S. stem cell scientists looking for funds to go to the UK may want to gear up for another, very short grant A small travel grant program allows UK and US researchers to meet face-to-face and discuss potential collaborations. In this latest round, the program is inviting applications from academic researchers who want to visit industry partners.

Applications are due by May 8. Get more information here.

New online cell characterization tool

A new online resource allows the storage and analysis of various kinds of data associated with cell, cell line and tissue characterization across different species The Characterization Tool , housed at the Charité University Medicine Berlin, is now available; it is linked with the European Embryonic Stem Cell Registry but also includes mesenchymal stem cell lines and non-stem cell lines.

A recent feature profiled what it takes to turn data sets into information. Obviously, a big set is having the information.

Here are some other online tools and registries. If I’ve left out some of your favorites, please email me at theniche[at]

Though not specific to stem cells, Pathguide contains links for some 300 resources for figuring out biological pathways. The Genetic Analysis Software List tallied close to 500 items late last year.


An open-source bioinformatics platform for visualizing molecular interaction networks and integrating these interactions with gene expression profiles and data.

Map of Stem Cell Research Centers by William Hoffman

StemBase has gene-expression data from over 200 stem cell samples in 60 different experiments, as described in a recent article in BMC Research Notes.

The Stem Cell Database

Gene expression data for haematopoietic stem cells and their microenvironments from labs at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania. The also offer a similar database for stromal cells.

The StemCellMatrix has data on many pluripotent and other lines, and was built in part for a project in a recent Nature paper I described in the Great Stem Cell Sort.

Harvard Stem Cell Core

In addition to providing core facilities to members of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the HSCI iPS Core Facility promotes the distribution of iPS lines, including iPS lines derived from individuals with diseases of the nervous system, blood, kidney, and diabetes, to the international scientific community.

International Stem Cell Registry

University of Massachusetts’ searchable database of published and validated unpublished information on all human ES cell lines as well as other pluripotent stem cell lines.

International Stem Cell Forum Registry

Part of an initiative involving 17 laboratories in ten countries to systematically study a set of human embryonic stem cells (hES) in an effort to establish an international set of standards for characterisation. Data on the lines are freely available for researchers to download and analyse.

National Stem Cell Bank

A University of Wisconsin based repository to grow, characterize, and distribute some of the pluripotent stem cell lines listed on the NIH Stem Cell Registry

UK Stem Cell Bank

Coriell Institute for Medical Research Stem Cell Resource

Rutgers Stem Cell Research Center hES cell Core Facility

Provides stem cells to their own internal program project grant aimed at repairing Spinal Cord Injury, and also provides resources to New Jersey scientists conducting hESC research, including non-Federally restricted laboratory space to aid in pilot projects.

Stem Cell CommunitySearchable database of 260 ES cells worldwide maintained by labs at Scripps Research Institution


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