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Preface/Front Matter

D.R. Marshak, R.L. Gardner, D. Gottlieb


The field of stem cell research has attracted many investigators in the past several years. Progress in embryology, hematology, neurobiology, and skeletal biology, among many other disciplines, has centered on the isolation and characterization of stem cells. The approaching completion of the sequencing of the human genome has lent further impetus to exploring how gene expression in stem cells relates to their dual functions of self-renewal and differentiation.

Two small meetings held at the Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1996 and 1999 served to bring together groups of scientists eager to discuss the role of stem cells in development, tissue homeostasis, and regeneration. These meetings highlighted both the quickening pace of discovery relating to the basic biology of stem cells and the increasing scope for their clinical exploitation. They also convinced us that it was timely to assemble a monograph that would help to make the fundamentals of stem cell biology more accessible to those seeking better acquaintance with the subject.

We thank Inez Sialiano, Pat Barker, Danny deBruin, and John Inglis of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for enabling this project to be realized. We also acknowledge the efforts of the entire staff of the Press who contributed to the editing and production process. Drs. James Watson, Bruce Stillman, and Jan Witkowski were highly supportive of this enterprise. A particular note of thanks is due Mr. James S. Burns for his encouragement and enthusiasm, as well as his vision and accomplishments, in both the development

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