Project title: MARISTEM COST ACTION 16203


Project leader: Andreja Ramšak, PhD


Code: CA16203


Duration: 2. 10. 2017 - 31. 9. 2021


On October 2, the COST Action CA16203 “MARISTEM” officially started and will be active for the next 4 years. It was proposed by a panel of 11 countries leaded by Prof. Loriano Ballarin, Department of Biology, University of Padova (Italy) and, at the moment includes 17 COST member countries and Russia. Coordinator at MBS is dr. Andreja Ramšak. 

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Marine invertebrate stem cells - COST Action 16203 





The “stem cells” discipline represents one of the most dynamic areas in biology and biomedicine. While adult marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cell (MISC) biology is of prime research and medical interest, studies on stem cells from organisms different from the classical models (e.g., human, mouse, zebrafish) have not been pursued vigorously.


Marine/aquatic invertebrates as a whole portray the largest biodiversity and the widest phylogenetic radiation on Earth, from morphologically simple organisms (e.g., sponges, cnidarians), to the more complex molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms and protochordates. Likewise, they illustrate a kaleidoscope of MISC-types that participate in the production of enormous novel bioactive-molecules, many of which are of significant potential interest for human health (antitumour, antimicrobial). MISC further participate in aging and regeneration phenomena, including whole-body regeneration, the knowledge of which can be clinical relevant.


Up to now, the European MISC-community is highly fragmented and very scarce ties were established with biomedical industries to harness MISC for human welfare.


Thus, this COST Action aims at:
• consolidating the fragmented European community working on MISC;
• promoting and coordinating European research on MISC-biology;
• stimulating young researchers to approach research on MISC-biology;
• developing, validating, training and networking of novel MISC tools and methodologies;
• establishing the MISC discipline in the front interest of biomedical disciplines;
• establishing collaborations with industries to exploit MISC as sources of bioactive molecules.