Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Banking On Life Conference (Cord Blood Stem Cell Research) May 2, 2009

The Center for Bioethics & Culture is hosting a conference that brings the major leaders, thinkers and experts in the field of cord blood stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Definitely a highly academic and engaging event! More from the event website here:

Cutting edge leaders from around the world, in the field of umbilical cord blood stem cell research and regenerative medicine, will join us to promote, inform and educate attendees on up to the minute successes and advances in cord blood research. These key voices will convene to share information that will shape the future direction of progress in cord blood banking and advances in patient treatments.

Some of the world experts are:

Dr. Colin McGuckin

After finishing his PhD (DPhil) on leukaemia research in 1991 (Biomedical Sciences Research Centre, University of Ulster – a 5* RAE department), Colin completed a postdoctoral position at St George’s Hospital Medical School Dept of Haematology. There he worked on Chronic Anaemia’s & Stem Cell Disorders. In 1996 he became Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Kingston University, and ‘Reader’ in 2001. In 1999, he founded and became Director of the Stem Cell Therapy Laboratory specialising in Stem Cell Research, Tissue Engineering and regenerative medicine. His research collaborates internationally and with industry. Colin is also a freelance journalist working with TV, radio and print media and believes in promoting medical and scientific research understanding to the public. He is a UK Millennium Fellow & Media Fellow promoting science and medicine to the public. In 2005 he was appointed the first Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, leading a clinical research programme to take adult stem cells through to patients. We strongly believe in international cooperation and collaboration

Banking Umbilical Cord Blood: The Future of Regenerative Medicine

Abstract: It is 20 years since the first successful cord blood stem cell transplant, and this field of regenerative medicine, is moving forwards at an incredible pace, as more and more countries realise the potential of the stem cells which are present in umbilical cord blood at birth. World expert, Prof Colin McGuckin, will present his own work and progress to date in this exciting sphere. His team have been successful in discovering a unique group of cells from cord blood called ‘cord-blood-derived embryonic-like stem cells’ or CBEs which can give rise to any tissue type of the body. They combine qualities of the embryonic and the adult stem cell, whilst bypassing the ethical or technical limitations of these two types of stem cells. In his laboratory they use a microgravity technology originally developed for NASA, to grow cells in 3-dimensional free-floating conditions, greatly increasing the number of cells which can be produced, and they have successfully grown liver cells from CBEs

Dr. David T. Harris

Dr. Harris is a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees (cum laude) in Biology, Mathematics and Psychology in 1978. He earned a Masters of Medical Sciences (summa cum laude) from Bowman Gray Medical School in 1980 and his Doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology (magna cum laude) from Bowman Gray Medical School in 1982. From 1982-1985 Dr. Harris was a Postdoctorate Fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1985 he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. In 1989 Dr. Harris joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in Tucson as an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. In 1996 Dr. Harris was promoted to Professor of Immunology. Dr. Harris established the first cord blood bank in the USA in 1992. He currently serves as Director of the Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank, is a member of the Arizona Cancer Center, a member of the Children’s Research Center, a member of the Arizona Arthritis Center, and Head of the Gene Therapy Group. Dr. Harris’s research interests include stem cells and regenerative medicine, cancer research/stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. He has published more than 300 articles (papers, book chapters and abstracts), given more than 100 talks on stem cells over the past 7 years, and has served as a consultant to the governments of China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. Dr. Harris has also founded 3 companies while at the University of Arizona; Cord Blood Registry, Inc.; ImmuneRegen BioSciences, Inc.; and QuReGen, Inc.

Cord Blood Cells and Regenerative Medicine: Clinical Applications
Abstract: The use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood has grown significantly over the last 10 years. More than 12,000 cord blood transplants have now been performed worldwide for a variety of cancers, blood disorders, and genetic diseases. However, recent discoveries in regenerative medicine suggest that stem cells, like those found in newborn cord blood, can differentiate into bone, brain, nerve, skin, or other cell types. While these areas of research are in their infancy, the value and power of stem cells and the potential they possess for medical treatment and cures is creating a new paradigm for the future.

The objective of this presentation is to provide updated information regarding clinical experience with umbilical cord blood banking and transplantation and a summary of expert opinion concerning the current and potential future applications of cord blood stem cells.

Other speakers here and register here.

Visit the Facebook Event page here.

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