A feature distinguishing human hematopoietic and epithelial stem cells from other equally fascinating stem cells is perhaps their easier translation into a clinical setting. We have devoted nearly our entire scientific career in trying to turn our understanding of epithelial stem cell biology into something that could help people suffering from virtually untreatable diseases of squamous epithelia. We have done that as a team, together with our numerous students, postdocs, technicians and valuable collaborators, clinicians, regulators, and, lately, industrial partners. We had rewarding successes and burning failures, but we always did our best. This award, given by friends and colleagues deserving it more than us, has been the most important recognition of our work. Below, we summarize our story.
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