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New York Stem Cell Foundation announces third annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference

NEW YORK, NY (August 21, 2008) The leading figures in stem cell science will present the latest and most exciting breakthroughs in this revolutionary field of research at The New York Stem Cell Foundation's (NYSCF) third annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference, October 14-15 at The Rockefeller University in Manhattan. The conference will focus on the dramatic advancements researchers are making in developing a better understanding of the major diseases of our time -- including diabetes, heart disease and cancer -- and how that knowledge will help them develop more effective treatments and, ultimately, cures.

Co-chaired by Douglas A. Melton, PhD, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), and Paul Nurse, PhD, president of The Rockefeller University, this year's NYSCF Translational Stem Cell Research Conference will feature two days of panels and presentations geared to both scientific and lay audiences. Drs. Melton and Nurse are both founding members of NYSCF's Medical Advisory Board.

"We are excited to provide this forum for the very best minds in the world of regenerative medicine to report their latest findings and exchange ideas," said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF CEO. "It is equally important to provide a lay audience with a clear understanding of what we are learning from stem cell science, and how it is bringing us ever closer to clinical applications. Their support remains critical in advancing this pathfinding science."

The conference begins on Tuesday, October 14 with a day of panels designed to be of interest to a broad audience. The first panel, "Road to the Clinic: From Lab to Therapy," will be chaired and moderated by Harvard University Stem Cell Institute Director of Translational Medicine and NYSCF Scientific Advisor Lee Rubin, PhD, and will explore the process of taking research "from the lab bench to the bedside." Kevin Eggan, PhD, HSCI Principal Investigator and NYSCF Chief Scientific Officer, will chair and moderate "Conference Preview: Research Highlights for a Lay Audience," which will preview the research to be presented and its broader significance. WNYC Radio Host Leonard Lopate will moderate "The Political Landscape: What's in Store?" a discussion exploring the ongoing public policy debate surrounding stem cell research.

The second day of the conference will begin with opening remarks by NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon and welcoming remarks by Dr. Melton. Panels will explore disease-specific stem cell research in the areas of diabetes (chaired by Robin Goland, MD, Co-Director, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center), cancer and blood disease(chaired by Ihor Lemischka, PhD, Director, Black Family Stem Cell Institute), repairing heart and muscles (chaired by John D. Gearhart, PhD, Director, University of Pennsylvania Institute for Regenerative Medicine), and neurodegeneration/spinal cord injury (chaired by Gerald Fischbach, MD, Scientific Director, The Simons Foundation). The final panel will focus on the latest research efforts in the area of derivation and characterization of new pluripotent stem cell lines (chaired by Shahin Rafii, MD, Director, Ansary Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics, Weill Cornell Medical College).

Speakers will include: Harry Heimberg, MD, PhD, Investigator, University of Brussels; Christopher Henderson, PhD, Co-Director, Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University; Michael A. Rudnicki, PhD, FRSC, Director, Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research, Ottawa Health Research Institute; Tom Okarma, MD, PhD, President and CEO, Geron Corp.; Amy Wagers, PhD, Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University and HSCI; and Owen N. Witte, MD, Director, Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, UCLA.

George Daley, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital Boston, Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and HSCI Principal Faculty member, will deliver the keynote speech, "Disease Modeling with Pluripotent Stem Cells."

The closing reception will feature posters by NYSCF's Druckenmiller research fellows.

A full conference agenda and registration information can be found at:

Registration is complimentary for accredited members of the media.

"The New York Stem Cell Foundation conference has, in just three years, become an essential gathering for the top figures in our field, solidifying New York's place as a center for stem cell science," said Dr. Eggan. "In addition to directly funding innovative research, NYSCF is playing a leading role in fostering collaboration between researchers, which is essential to the advancement of this work."


Contact: Adam Pockriss
New York Stem Cell Foundation

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