Preface To The Professor

My justification for writing this book comes from a thorough review of the scientific literature currently published in the area of stem cell research.  While an enormous body of knowledge exists in this field, there has yet to be a comprehensive college-level textbook that thoroughly and properly addresses the material in a manner that allows for the student to grasp, retain, and get excited about the discipline.  Many works highlight unique or ground-breaking findings or delve into the broader concept of stem cell identity, function, and usefulness to man, yet they do not address the field with the all-inclusive effort needed to give the student a strong understanding of the need for stem cell research.  Secondly, most literary works in the area of stem cell research gloss over or fail to drive home key specific findings, definitions, concepts, and details that are required to give the student a thorough understanding of stem cells and their impact on therapeutics and medicine.  Thirdly, when key stem cell research and discoveries are described in teaching materials the researchers involved are often not mentioned or given the proper credit for their findings.  Thus I have compiled a breakdown of stem cell research that highlights the history behind the discipline, emergent groundbreaking findings such as the discovery of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotency, and given credit where credit is due.  Within the body of each chapter I have included Focus Boxes on key researchers and Case Studies highlighting seminal findings in stem cell research.  For each Focus Box or Case Study I have tried to provide an example of a true leader in the field or groundbreaking study.  To ensure that the student absorbs the material at the end of each chapter, I have included a detailed summary of the text, key terms, review questions, and all cited references.  The key term definitions and answers to the review questions can be found at the website .  It is highly encouraged that the professor utilize the summaries, key terms, and review questions as study materials and ask students to periodically review the corresponding website for continuously updated information related to this text in particular and to the field of stem cell research in general.

In Stem Cells:  A Short Course I've attempted to provide a comprehensive text covering all aspects of stem cell biology, research, and medical applications.  To this end I've addressed most, if not all, major areas of stem cell research focus, historical perspectives and futuristic concepts.  I've given the student a wealth of information related to stem cells to absorb, and I've organized it in a manner that allows for the grasp of intricate details related to stem cell biology as well as an understanding of the bigger picture pertaining to the impact stem cells are having and will have on medicine. I always welcome feedback and comments.  If you have suggestions for improvements on this text in future editions please do not hesitate to contact me.

                                                                                                                                                           Rob Burgess