Professor of Stem Cell Research at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology since 2001.
New cells are continuously being formed in many of our organs. These new cells often originate from stem cells, which are immature cells with the capacity to form new mature cells. Loss of cells is a feature of many diseases, which is why it is essential to try to develop new strategies for stimulating new cell formation. In order to be able to do this in a systematic way, it is important to understand how stem cells function and how new cell formation is regulated. Jonas Frisén's research group is studying stem cells in adult organs.
The brain, where stem cells form new nerve cells, is a main focus of interest, but the team is also studying other organs. According to a modern myth, all the cells in the body are replaced every seven years, but in actual fact even today we know very little about how often cells are replenished. The research team has developed a method for studying human new cell formation using carbon-14 dating of cells and is mapping the pattern of cell turnover in the human body.