We are delighted that the scientific journal Developmental Biology published a special issue, titled “Hubrecht Institute centennial, from embryos to stem cells”, edited by Jeroen den Hertog and Alexander van Oudenaarden, to honour the 100-year anniversary of the Hubrecht. We celebrated our 100-year anniversary 2016 with various festivities, including a visit from His Majesty the King, an open day where everyone could learn about stem cells and developmental biology, and the Hubrecht 100 Congress with impressive international speakers.
Ambrosius Hubrecht already laid down the scientific groundwork for the Hubrecht Institute one hundred years ago. As a scientist, Hubrecht was interested in the development of embryos, and specifically the comparison of embryos between species. Back in the days this meant that he collected, studied, described and visualized many embryos from various species, resulting in a precious collection of embryos. This collection was complemented by the beautiful drawings of embryos, made by artist Johan Prijs. After Hubrecht passed away, the Hubrecht laboratory became an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Research at the Hubrecht Institute has advanced for the last 100 years under the KNAW.
100 years of research
This special issue of Developmental Biology was written by researchers that are or have been affiliated with the Hubrecht Institute. You can read about the Hubrecht 100 Congress and the various topics that were presented. In addition, you will find a historic overview of the development of the institute and the research over the past 100 years. Ambrosius Hubrecht started by describing and visualizing embryos. Nowadays, we use a wide variety of modern techniques, including intravital microscopy and organoids, but the question we try to answer remains the same: how does a single cell develop into a complete organism? Knowledge about this will increase our insight in the development of healthy organisms and organs, and thereby also what goes wrong in disease.
This special issue about the Hubrecht Institute Centennial also contains seven scientific reviews, in which researchers give an overview of the research that has been performed on a specific subject studied at the Hubrecht Institute. You will find reviews about various topics such as the use of frog egg extracts to study DNA repair mechanisms, the regulation of the Hox genes (important genes that for instance regulate how many limbs are formed where in the embryo) and the role of protein-tyrosine phosphates in various processes during embryonic development.
We hope that you will enjoy reading this special issue of Developmental Biology about the Hubrecht Institute Centennial!