Tor Henrik Semb

Henrik Semb is professor of stem cell and developmental biology of the pancreas and Executive Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center For Stem Cell Biology at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research during the past 15+ years has been focused on elucidating basic mechanism in morphogenesis and cell differentiation during organogenesis using a combination of in vivo and in vitro genetic and cell biological experimental tools. In parallel, Professor Semb is heading a translational research program with particular interest to make human pluripotent stem cells usable as a source for mature insulin-producing beta cells for cell therapy in diabetes. In that area, he recently entered into a strategic partnership and is Director for Translational Stem Cell Research at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany.

More information about Professor Semb’s ongoing basic and translational research projects can be found at:


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) remains one of the main health challenges in the EU and worldwide, with 6 million European citizens affected. Today, T1D accounts for 10% of all health care budgets and is responsible for a high degree of absenteeism and work loss. To bring advanced therapy in type T1D to more patients, a new cost-effective scalable source of pancreatic islets for transplantation is needed. Our objective is to build and implement a new, innovative platform for the production of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) for treatment of EU citizens with T1D. We aim to establish a transferable GMP-compliant manufacturing platform based on improved protocols for generation and characterisation of new ATMPs from hPSCs. Based on an already available 1st generation ATMP, we plan the first clinical trial based on hPSC-derived beta-like cells.