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CA COST Action CA16203
Stem cells of marine/aquatic invertebrates: from basic research to innovative applications

The ‘stem cells’ discipline represents one of the most dynamic areas in biology and biomedicine. While adult marine/aquatic invertebrate stem cell (MISC) biology is of prime research and medical interest, studies on stem cells from organisms different from the classical models (e.g., human, mouse, zebrafish) have not been pursued vigorously.

Marine invertebrates as a whole portray the largest biodiversity and the widest phylogenetic radiation on Earth, from morphologically simple organisms (e.g., sponges, cnidarians), to the more complex molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms and protochordates. Likewise, they illustrate a kaleidoscope of MISC-types that participate in the production of enormous novel bioactive-molecules, many of which are of significant potential interest for human health (antitumor, antimicrobial). MISC further participate in aging and regeneration phenomena, including whole-body regeneration, the knowledge of which can be clinical relevant.

Up to now, the European MISC-community is highly fragmented and very scarce ties were established with biomedical industries to harness MISC for human welfare.

Thus, this COST Action aims at:

  • consolidating the fragmented European community working on MISC;
  • promoting and coordinating European research on MISC-biology;
  • stimulating young researchers to approach research on MISC-biology;
  • developing, validating, training and networking of novel MISC tools and methodologies;
  • establishing the MISC discipline in the front interest of biomedical disciplines;
  • establishing collaborations with industries to exploit MISC as sources of bioactive molecules.


(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Chair of the Action:

Prof Loriano BALLARIN (IT)

Vice Chair of the Action:

Prof Baruch RINKEVICH (IL)

Science officer of the Action:

Dr Lucia FORZI

Administrative officer of the Action:

Ms Svetlana VOINOVA


Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF


Last updated: 11 July 2017 top of page