Northbrook, IL--The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) was disappointed last week to learn that three UK Research Councils have withdrawn their support for the ISSCR’s 7th Annual Meeting that was to be held in London in 2009.
In its short six-year history, the ISSCR has become the leading international association of scientists dedicated to stem cell research. A main focus of the ISSCR’s activity is its annual meeting, which draws more than 2,000 scientists from all over the world to present the best stem cell research to an international audience.
Past annual meetings have been held in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and in November the ISSCR co-sponsored its first regional scientific symposium in Shanghai, China, with the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The ISSCR is committed to an international constituency and will continue to work with local sponsors to bring the meeting to international venues. By so doing, the ISSCR plays a valuable role in highlighting the work of host country scientists.
The ISSCR is a non-profit organization that has a financial responsibility to its membership. Because of the significant expense of holding meetings internationally, the ISSCR must obtain co-sponsorship from local host organizations.
The ISSCR cannot alone assume the significant financial burden of holding a meeting in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world. With the withdrawal of co-sponsorship support by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the ISSCR Board of Directors has voted to consider alternative sites for the 2009 annual meeting.
The ISSCR regrets the decision of these UK Councils to withdraw their support, and hopes there will be a time in the future when financial realities allow a meeting to be held in the UK. The UK has a very active stem cell community, and three prominent UK researchers serve on ISSCR’s Board of Directors.
The ISSCR will select a new site for the 2009 annual meeting in the next several months.
Posted December 3, 2007