Harvard Catalyst Profiles

Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows.

Login and Edit functionaility are currrently unavailable.

International Society for Stem Cell Research Meeting


Stem cells are multipotent cells with an extensive capacity to contribute to organs. The stem cell pool in mammals is deposited early during embryogenesis and is continually reutilized during adult life. Recent studies have defined a population, called embryonic stem cells, with an even greater capacity to make many tissues. Despite this potential, the ability to direct embryonic stem cells to form particular organs in vivo has yet to be accomplished. Adult stem cells are derived from tissues and shown in transplantation experiments to contribute to organs. Stem cell plasticity describes the process by which stem cells from one organ can be driven to become another tissue type. The molecular mechanisms of plasticity remain to be determined. Mechanisms to amplify and direct stem cell populations in the embryo or in tissue injury models remains an open field. The ethics of stem cell biology have recently come to the forefront. It is therefore critical to investigate the medical uses of stem cells and approach a general consensus regarding their therapeutic use. We recently brought together a collection of scientists and physicians involved in stem cell research and formed the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Web site address: http://inventacorp.com/stemcells. This proposal will fund a meeting of the ISSCR to discuss stem cell biology as well as to establish this Society as a mechanism for providing the public with accurate information. The meeting should discuss significant advances in this field that are relevant to the treatment of diseases, such as diabetes, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal defects, hematopoietic problems, cardiovascular defects, stroke, and eye and ear disorders.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.