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Hwang plans world stem cell hub

South Korean scientist envisages the new center as a kind of Jackson Labs for stem cells

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)

Hwang Woo Suk, the pioneer in cell nuclear transfer and cloning, is developing plans with the government of South Korea to launch an international stem cell research center in his hometown of Seoul later this year.

The project, which is likely to be called the World Stem Cell Hub, is being conceived as something like a stem cell version of The Jackson Laboratory in the United States, said Hwang's close collaborator, Gerald Schatten, from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Jackson Laboratory, based in Bar Harbor, Maine, is a nonprofit institute that supplies researchers around the world with some 2 million mice annually, but also provides training and conducts research.

"What they're envisaging is more than a stem cell bank, but also a collaborative research center…a place where people can go for research retreats and sabbaticals," Schatten told The Scientist. "It's something more like the Jackson Labs…or Cold Spring...

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