28 October 2011
Dr Doug Winton, from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, addressed a well-attended seminar at Cardiff’s School of Biosciences.
Dr Winton, expert on the stem cell biology of the colon, has worked with ECSCRI’s Director, Professor Alan Clarke on a number of studies. His views could have major implications for the Institute’s work over the next years.
Dr Winton said: “My view is slightly different to the current take on stem cells, which is that there are discrete groups of stem cells with different properties, some more primitive than others. My own group is rather sceptical of this. We think there may be fewer groups of stem cells than people believe, and they show these different characteristics at different points in their history. It’s not necessarily a good thing if I’m right – we may have to go back and re-think the basic science of stem cells.”
Professor Clarke said: “We have said from the start that cancer stem cell science is a controversial area, with a number of competing hypotheses. Our Institute aims to get to the bottom of understanding cancer stem cells to better inform approaches to cancer itself. Doug’s work will help improve understanding of how these cells function and drive cancer growth. His seminar here was very well attended, by everyone from students and senior academics, and we look forward to him collaborating closely with the Institute on future projects.”