ISSCR Elections

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 ISSCR elections. 


New officers will begin their terms following the ISSCR Annual Meeting in Boston,  Massachusetts, USA, 14-17 June 2017.

The ISSCR Board of Directors consists of 22 members, and includes the president, president elect, vice president, past president, clerk and treasurer. Nominations for the Board of Directors were made by ISSCR members in October/November 2016.

In the 2017 election members were invited to vote for: 

  1. Vice President
  2. Five new members to the ISSCR Board of Directors

1. Vice President

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Deepak Srivastava photo

Deepak Srivastava, MD

Deepak Srivastava serves as Director of the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center at Gladstone and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), he is also a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, and Biochemistry & Biophysics, and is an attending pediatric cardiologist in UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Important Issues on the Horizon for ISSCR

It would be an honor and a privilege to serve the ISSCR as Vice-President. We are in a time of unprecedented potential using stem cell technologies to address many of mankind’s most devastating diseases. In some cases advances in knowledge still require deeper mechanistic insight to achieve effective translation, while more mature discoveries require rigorous testing in well-designed clinical trials. Challenges for the ISSCR during this time of great opportunity will be to facilitate rapid scientific discovery and open international exchange, provide effective advocacy for research funding and ethical deployment of revolutionary technologies, and ensure worldwide coordination of regulatory reform to achieve a balance of safe, yet urgent, advancement of clinical trials. ISSCR is the singular international organization that can represent our entire community and must lead in each of these areas for our field to most effectively harness the promise of stem cell biology to alleviate human suffering.

Biography

Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory revealed how cardiac chamber-specific gene networks are established at the transcriptional level and are integrated with signaling pathways. His laboratory used human genetics to demonstrate that a decrease in dosage of some of these cardiac developmental regulators can cause human cardiac malformations, and has discovered the underlying mechanisms using deep network interrogation of human induced pluripotent stem cells. In studying the regulation of gene dosage, his lab described the first known biological role of a microRNA in the mammalian system, ultimately revealing a network of microRNAs that titrate the dose of key cardiac gene networks that dictate cell fate and differentiation. Dr. Srivastava’s lab has leveraged the body of knowledge from cardiac developmental biology to reprogram non-muscle cells in the mouse heart directly into cells that function like cardiomyocytes, effectively regenerating heart muscle in the setting of heart failure. This paradigm of harnessing endogenous cells in situ to regenerate organs may be broadly applicable to other organs.

Such approaches to understand human disease promise to yield new therapies. Dr. Srivastava has co-founded two biotechnology companies, iPierian and Tenaya Therapeutics, to help find new cures for many human diseases using cellular reprogramming technologies. A Phase I clinical trial for one of the developmental genes whose role he discovered, Thymosin b4, has been completed for patients suffering heart disease. As Program Chair for the 2016 ISSCR Annual Meeting, Dr. Srivastava emphasized the importance of basic research to develop a strong pipeline of knowledge, while also highlighting the rapidly advancing areas of clinical translation aimed at deadly human diseases with unmet needs.

Before joining Gladstone in 2005, Dr. Srivastava was a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas. He has received numerous honors and awards, including election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory has trained more than 50 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

Dr. Srivastava completed his undergraduate degree at Rice University, medical training at the University of Texas, and his residency in the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF. He also did a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Children’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School and a postdoctoral fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, before joining the faculty at UTSW in 1996.

Dr. Srivastava is a member of the ISSCR Board of Directors, Stem Cell Reports Editorial Board, chaired the 2016 Annual Meeting Program Committee, was the organizer of the International Symposium 2012 Roddenberry, was a member of the 2013 and 2010 Annual Meeting Program Committees, Communications Task Force, Clinical Translation Committee and has served as an abstract reviewer.

2. New Members of the Board of Directors

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Roger Barker

Roger Barker, BA MBBS MRCP PhD FMedSci

Roger Barker is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at the Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge. He is a guest professor at the University of Lund, Sweden and a PI in the MRC-Wellcome Trust Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge.

Biography

For the last 25 years Dr. Barker has run research that seeks to better define the clinical heterogeneity of two common neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS- namely Parkinson's (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). This has helped him define the best way by which to take new therapies into the clinic by aligning new therapies to the optimal patient groups. In this respect he has been heavily involved in gene and cell based trials for patients with these conditions and currently co-ordinates an EU funded transplant programme using human fetal tissue for patients with PD, following on from an earlier MRC funded trial using similar tissue in HD. 

Dr. Barker is part of a new EU project (NeuroStemCellRepair) and a global initiative (GFORCE-PD) that is seeking to take stem cells to trial in these disorders. He is currently is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neurology and sits on the editorial board of many other journals. He has just stepped down as the chairman of the ERC Advanced grants in Neuroscience committee, and is on the research advisory board of the Cure PD Trust and Parkinson's UK as well as advising government on regenerative medicine in the UK. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Barker has been involved with helping write the guidelines from the ISSCR on the clinical translation of stem cells and in 2016 took over as chairman of the Clinical Translation Committee at the society. He has published over 400 papers and is heavily involved in patient and public engagement and in taking clinical science out to the public and patient communities.


Konrad Hochedlinger, PhD

Konrad Hochedlinger, PhD, is a Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and a member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Biography

Dr. Hochedlinger completed his undergraduate training at the University of Vienna and his graduate and post-graduate training with Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch at MIT. Dr. Hochedlinger’s lab studies the molecular mechanisms that control normal development, tissue regeneration and cancer. His lab has made important contributions to our understanding of how transcription factors rewire the epigenetic state of cells during cellular reprogramming and related fate transitions. Dr. Hochedlinger is the recipient of the ISSCR Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the Harland Winfield Mossman Award for Developmental Biology and an HHMI Early Career Award.

Dr. Hochedlinger was a member of the ISSCR Publications Committee and has served as an abstract reviewer.

Ruth Lehmann, PhD

Ruth Lehmann is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Lehmann directs the Skirball Institute and the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Biography

Dr. Lehmann’s research focuses on germ cells, the only stem cells in the body able to give rise to a new generation. Her lab uses systematic, unbiased genetic approaches in Drosophila to understand how germ cells are specified in the early embryo and how they maintain the potential for totipotency while differentiating into egg and sperm in the adult. Born in Cologne, Germany, Dr. Lehmann studied biology at the universities of Freiburg and Tübingen, Germany.  She received her Ph.D in the laboratory of Dr. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Genetics in Tübingen, Germany in 1985. After postdoctoral training at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK she joined the Whitehead Institute and the faculty of MIT in 1988. She identified the RNA regulators Nanos and Pumilio and discovered that RNA is translationally repressed during transport but becomes activated once localized. In 1996, Dr. Lehmann was recruited to the Skirball Institute at NYU School of Medicine.  Here her lab began to unravel cues that control of germ cell migration by showing how lipid signaling affects germ cell migration and started to work on aspects of germ line stem cell behavior.  Presently, the lab is focused on how protein and RNA components are spatially organized within RNP granules and how mitochondria are transmitted through the germ line. In genome wide-screens for regulators of germ line stem cells, the lab identified new regulatory networks that influence the self-renewal versus differentiation decision and new mechanisms by which transposable elements are controlled in the germ line. Dr. Lehmann is a member of the American Academy of Arts Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. She was the 2011 recipient of the Conklin Medal of the Society of Developmental Biology and was elected Associate (foreign) Member of EMBO in 2012. Dr. Lehmann was the President of the Society of Developmental Biology and the Drosophila Board, she served on the councils of the National Institute of Child Health and Development and the American Society of Cell Biology, and is a member of several advisory boards in the US and Europe. As the founding director of two graduate training programs, Dr. Lehmann is committed to training the next generation of stem cell scientists. In her role as chair and director she is engaged in mentoring junior faculty and fostering collegial workspaces.

Dr. Lehmann was a member of the 2012 ISSCR Annual Meeting Program Committee and has served as an abstract reviewer.

Melissa Little, BS PhD GAI

Melissa Little is the Theme Director of Cell Biology at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Biography

For more than 20 years Melissa Little’s research has focussed on the molecular basis of kidney development, renal disease and repair. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies in the kidney. Her work on the developing kidney has driven studies into the recreation of nephron stem cell populations via transcriptional reprogramming and directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. As a result, her research now focuses on the generation of mini-kidneys from stem cells for use in drug screening and disease modelling and bioengineering.

A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Little’s work has been recognised by many awards, including the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence (2005), AAS Gottschalk Medal in Medical Sciences (2004), Eisenhower Fellowship (2006), ANZSCDB Presidents Medal (2015) and a Boerhaave Professorship, Leiden University (2015).

A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, she founded Nephrogenix Pty Ltd and from 2007-2008, she served as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Melissa is President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and Program Leader of Stem Cells Australia. She currently serves as a Special Editor for Development and on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology, Kidney International and Developmental Biology.

Dr. Little is the chair of the 2018 ISSCR Annual Meeting Program Committee, was a member of the 2010 Annual Meeting Program Committee, and has served as an abstract reviewer and serves on the Membership Committee.

Chuck Murry, MD PhD

Chuck Murry is the Woods Professor of Pathology, Bioengineering and Cardiology, and the Director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle.

Biography

Dr. Murry is a pathologist and stem cell biologist leading the UW Medicine Heart Regeneration Program. He uses stem cell systems to study cardiovascular development, tissue formation, and mechanisms of disease. 

Dr. Murry was born in Bismarck, North Dakota. After completing his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of North Dakota, he undertook the MD-PhD training at Duke University. His PhD thesis included the discovery of ischemic preconditioning, a stress response that provides the most powerful protection against cell death identified to date. He did residency training in Pathology at the University of Washington, followed by a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular pathology and a research fellowship in vascular biology. He joined the UW faculty in 1996, reached full professor in 2004, and went on to found the UW’s Center for Cardiovascular Biology in 2005 and Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine in 2008.  

The Murry laboratory pioneered the use of human pluripotent stem cells for heart regeneration and was the first to form human myocardium in experimental animals using stem cell transplantation. He showed that this new myocardium becomes vascularized, survives long term, beats in synchrony with the heart, and enhances function in small animals and non-human primates. A clinical trial of human cardiomyocyte transplantation is planned for 2019. Dr. Murry is also known for his seminal contributions to the role of Wnt signaling in cardiac differentiation, discovered chromatin signatures that identify novel developmental regulators, identified cross-talk between cardiomyocytes and stomal-vascular cells in 3D tissue, and developed techniques to enhance the maturation of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for disease modeling and drug screening.

Dr. Murry has been recognized with several awards including the Burroughs-Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences in 1996 and a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering in 2000. Since 2013, he has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Murry has served as a councilor for the International Society for Heart Research and the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology. He has mentored over 100 undergraduate, pre and post-doc trainees.  In addition, he has given numerous seminars and authored nearly 200 publications and book chapters. Dr. Murry has served on multiple editorial boards as well as review boards for NIH and private foundations. 

Since 2013, Dr. Murry has served on the ISSCR’s Task Force to revise the Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation, and with their recent publication, he has shifted his focus to the ISSCR’s Clinical Translation Committee. Dr. Murry was also a member of the 2015 ISSCR Annual Meeting Program Committee. He would be honored to continue this line of service on the ISSCR Board of Directors. 

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