The identity of somatic and pluripotent cells can be epigenetically reprogrammed and forced to adapt a new functional cell state by different methods and distinct combinations of exogenous factors. The aspiration to utilize such ex vivo reprogrammed pluripotent and somatic cells for therapeutic purposes necessitates the understanding of the mechanisms of reprogramming and elucidating the extent of equivalence of the in vitro derived cells to their in vivo counterparts. In my presentation, I will present my group’s recent advances toward understanding these fundamental questions and further detail our ongoing efforts to generate developmentally unrestricted human naive pluripotent cells with embryonic and extra-embryonic developmental potential. I will conclude by highlighting new avenues for utilizing custom made ex utero platforms for growing mammalian embryos ex utero until advanced stages, for better studying of stem cell transitions during embryogenesis and organogenesis. Collectively, I will be highlighting prospects for new platforms for advancing human disease and developmental modelling.