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Over the last two decades the Institute for Neurophysiology has focused its research on pluripotent stem cells and their applications as unique model systems for developmental biology, as models for disease, for screening approaches in vitro toxicology as well as for future uses in regenerative medicine. It was one of the first institutions in Germany to receive a license for working with human ES cells. More recently, diseasespecific iPS cell lines have been developed at the institute, offering a unique perspective for developing human in vitro models of heritable diseases. Besides participating in numerous EU collaborative projects, the Institute for Neurophysiology has been coordinating a series of largescale integrated EU research projects under the EC FP6 and FP7 programs, targeting both basic research, technological research and applied science, and is well recognized for its leadership in these international collaborations. Institutional research interests also include characterization of the immunogenic properties of embryonic stem cells and their differentiated cells, selective differentiation of embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to different tissue specific cell types, structural and functional characterization of such cells and further research towards their respective use for clinical application. Ongoing collaborative research projects of the Institute for Neurophysiology aim also at developing novel toxicity testing platforms based on stem cells, in particular human stem cells to accelerate drug development, reduce related R&D costs, and to propose a superior alternative to animal testing. The research conducted at the Institute for Neurophysiology and in its various collaborative projects has resulted in numerous publications that are frequently cited. It is the goal of this institute to maintain highest standards in research and to stay competitive in this steadily growing, more and more interdisciplinary oriented field of research. This is warranted by maintaining and coordinating a considerable network of fellow researchers all over Europe, seeking complementary expertise of equally devoted partners towards a combined effort to tap the full potential of stem cell research - pro bono humani