Blog posts by Maya Friis Kjærgaard

Stem cells – on the way to a new diabetes treatment

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes worldwide continues to rise – there is even talk about diabetes as being an epidemic in some countries. The importance of solving some of the problems that come with diabetes is highlighted in last week’s ... Read more

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs): a balancing act of science and ethics

I recently attended a symposium in Copenhagen on the nature and impact of an EU law passed in October 2011 that prohibits the patentability of human embryonic stem cells, hESCs, The day saw stem cell researchers from all over Denmark gathered to express their point ... Read more

Maya Friis Kjærgaard

I recently graduated from the Technical University of Denmark with a Master of Science in engineering, specializing in biotechnology. Having written my Master’s thesis on how human pluripotent stem cells can be used to model the disease spinal muscular atrophy in vitro, my primary area of interest is how human stem cells can be used to develop treatments and disease therapies.

Human embryonic stem cells have long fascinated me due to their incredible adaptability: they have potential to become any human cell type. In 2009, I first got the chance to work with embryonic stem cells in the lab during the semester I spent as an international exchange student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

In 2011, I got to spend seven months at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute doing research for my Master’s thesis in the lab led by one of the leading scientists in the field, Professor Kevin Eggan.

On 1 April I started work as a research assistant at the new Danish Stem Cell Center, Danstem, which opened in July 2011. At Danstem, my research will focus on the ways in which human stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells can be used to develop new therapies for diabetes.

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