Sunday April 2, 2006 - 8:00 to 10:00 am
Room 135 - Moscone Convention Center
Organizer Name: Meredith Hawkins, MD Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
Richard Burt, MD Professor of Medicine Director, Division of Immunotherapy Northwestern University
David A. Prentice, PhD Professor of Life Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Medical Genetics Indiana State University
Sanjeev Gupta, MD Professor of Medicine Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Nigel M. de S. Cameron, PhD Strategic Futures Group, LLC
Abstract: The pluripotent nature of “stem cells” offers tremendous promise for cell therapy approaches to many debilitating diseases. Notwithstanding, this area of science is in its infancy. Embryonic, fetal, and adult stem cells all carry unique possibilities alongside sizeable risks and limitations. Furthermore, the potential use of human fetal and embryonic cells opens vast bioethical minefields, which must be treaded cautiously. This symposium will combine overviews of the scientific and bioethical issues with up-to-the-minute scientific presentations demonstrating significant advances in using both fetal/embryonic and adult stem cells to treat important clinical conditions. Drs. Prentice and Cameron, in reviewing the relevant science and bioethics, will draw upon considerable experience in presenting these challenging topics to high-profile audiences, including Congress and many parliaments, as well as diverse scientific audiences. Drs. Gupta and Burt will present specific applications of fetal/embryonic and adult stem cell research in the treatment of such debilitating diseases as liver failure, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. They are both highly productive in this area and have contributed substantially to the literature. Given the active nature of stem cell research, we anticipate that by the time of the symposium there will be many scientific advances, even relative to what is state-of-the-art at the time of submission!