Stem Cell States, Fates, and the Rules of Attraction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Understanding cell-fate decisions in stem cell populations is a major goal of modern biology. Stem and progenitor cell populations are often heterogeneous, which may reflect stem cell subsets that express subtly different properties, including different propensities for lineage selection upon differentiation, yet remain able to interconvert. We discuss these properties with examples both from the hematopoietic and embryonic stem cell (ESC) systems. The nature of the stem cell substates and their relationship to commitment to differentiate and lineage selection can be elucidated in terms of a landscape picture in which stable states can be defined mathematically as attractors.


  • Tariq Enver
  • Martin Pera
  • Carsten Peterson
  • Peter W. Andrews
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-397
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch