NYSCF’S Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference
Dates: Oct 16 – 17, 2013
Location: New York, New York
Leaders in translational stem cell research from around the world will present the latest advances in stem cell science that are leading to better treatments and cures to disease and injury at The New York Stem Cell Foundation’s Eighth Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference, held at The Rockefeller University in Manhattan on October 16-17, 2013.
On Wednesday, October 16, the conference opens with a session on Innovation and New Technology, addressing new developments in the cutting edge technology that stem cell research requires, as well as the potential for new discoveries using these technologies. The session, chaired by Susan L. Solomon, JD, CEO and Co-founder of The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute (NYSCF), will highlight exciting new partnerships and the potential for collaboration as discussed by Scott Noggle, PhD, Director of The NYSCF Laboratory and The NYSCF – Charles Evans Senior Research Fellow for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Following the session, a series of panels will focus on how stem cells are being used today for disease modeling and applied in the development of targeted drugs and treatments for major diseases and injuries.
The conference’s panels begin with the Road to the Clinic, where leaders from biotech industries, academia, non-profit, and venture capital firms work together to move discoveries made at the lab bench to the patient’s bedside. Panelists include Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, a Time Magazine selection as one of the 100 most influential books in the last 100 years, and Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), who will discuss MJFF’s strategy for finding cures and a new collaboration with NYSCF.
Shifting from treatment to scientific development, the afternoon panel From Cells to Organs will focus on how cells are currently being used to generate tissues for multiple purposes. This discussion will explore how generated tissues will affect the process of replacing damaged organs, drug testing, and engineering technologies for drug efficacy and toxicity testing.
This panel includes leaders in the field such as Edward S. Boyden, PhD, NYSCF – Robertson Investigator, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a recipient of the 2013 Grete Lundbeck Brain Prize – the biggest and most prestigious brain research prize in the world – and inventor of the field of optogenetics, and Donald E. Ingber, MD, PhD, Founding Director of the Wyss Institute and pioneer in the field of biologically inspired engineering including creating ‘organs on a chip’ for drug and toxin testing.
The evening session on Programming and Reprogramming Stem Cells highlights new methods of reprogramming adult cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and how these generated stem cells may be differentiated into diverse cell types. This session includes Dieter Egli, PhD, Senior Research Fellow at The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and NYSCF – Robertson Investigator, who will give an update on his work in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), discussing novel unpublished work that will be presented for the first time at this meeting.
Included on the first day of the conference are remarks by Ken Adams, President of the Empire State Development Corporation and former member of the Empire State Stem Cell Board and Kyle Kimball, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. They will both address the economic importance of scientific research, specifically stem cell research, at the city and state level.
The first day concludes with The 2013 NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize Recipient Address. The prize is granted to a young scientist whose extraordinary achievements or body of work move the field of translational stem cell research forward. Last year’s recipient was Kazutoshi Takahashi, PhD, Lecturer, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University for his work founding the field of iPS cell research in the laboratory of Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine. The recipient will be announced at The Eight Annual NYSCF Gala on Tuesday, October 15.
Thursday’s conference sessions consist of disease-specific discussions where scientists share their findings in moving stem cell research to treatments in the following areas: diabetes and autoimmunity, cancer and blood, heart and muscles, and neurodegeneration.
In the session on Diabetes and Autoimmunity, Douglas A. Melton, PhD of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, a global expert in stem cell diabetes research, will share his research progress on directing human stem cell differentiation into beta cells and discuss his aim to produce functional pancreatic beta cells for diabetics.
The afternoon session on Heart and Muscles features, Lee Rubin, PhD, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, who will detail his work on aging skeletal muscle and share his research on creating a chemical screen to identify modulators of muscle satellite cell proliferation.
The conference will conclude with a keynote address by Irving Weissman, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine and expert in the field of hematopoiesis, leukemia, and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) including the clonal events leading from HSC to leukemia stem cells. Dr. Weissman will present research or normal versus neoplastic stem cells, ways cancer cells defeat programmed cell death, and potential therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.