For one whole day, the Hubrecht Institute formed the stage for a college student masterclass. Participants of the U-Talent program could get acquainted with all aspects of scientific research – from working with organoids in the lab to discussing the ethical consequences of this technology as a diagnosis tool.

In the masterclass ‘Growing Organs in the Lab: From Stem Cell to Personalized Medicine’, thirty college students from the Utrecht area were treated to a complete program focused on stem cell and organoid research. In an introductory lecture the pupils were guided through the subject of the day, followed by a group discussion: what applications of organoids and stem cells would be possible in the future? Later, the participants visited the laboratory of the research group of Hans Clevers, where they were invited to get their hands on a pipette themselves. The day came to an end with an ethics discussion about the use of organoids. An ethicist and a patient were present to discuss research developments and possible plans for insurance.

Jasper Mullenders, PhD, one of the researchers from the Clevers group, explains laboratory work to students

With this masterclass, the Hubrecht Institute offered the participants a sneak peek in a research institute and served as an orientation for study choice. The day was evaluated very positive and, on average, received an 8 out of 10.

About the masterclass
The masterclass ‘Growing Organs in the Lab’ was designed by the Hubrecht Institute in cooperation with U-Talent – a program to stimulate the development of talent in the sciences in secondary school. Motivated and talented students from both lower and higher secondary grades come to Utrecht University every year to take part in activities that show them wider vistas and applications of science subjects. In this program, Utrecht University and the Hogeschool Utrecht cooperate with a number of regional schools.