Stem cell : between philosophy and biology


10 décembre 2021


Salle Ladrière, Collège Mercier, Place Cardinal Mercier, 14, Louvain-la-Neuve

Life and cognition seminar series 


Lucie Laplane (IHPST/Institut Gustave Roussy)

Stem cells play a critical role in the development, daily renewal, and reparation/regeneration of tissues. They are also involved in various diseases in particular cancers. Yet, there is a lot that remains to be understood about them and the traditional view is being increasingly debated. This is both a biological and a philosophical issue. Mixing both approaches, I will discuss the following questions: (1) What kind of property is stemness? I will show that stemness can be four types of properties depending on tissues and contexts (2) Does it matter? I will highlight practical consequences of each type of stemness for cancer treatment (3) Is stemness stable? I will review empirical data questioning stemness stability and suggesting that some cancers could be associated with a switch in stemness property. (4) Is stem cell a unified biological category? I will end with a perspective on how to handle the debate on stemness natural kind by mixing philosophy, experimental biology and phylogenetic analyses.

To attend the session, please register on line


Life and cognition seminar series session 3 with Lucie Laplane. Organised by Cefises UCLouvain

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