2008 – ISSCR Press Releases and Statements

The International Society for Stem Cell Research Chooses Site for First Annual Meeting in Europe

Leading stem cell scientists will gather in Barcelona, Spain, in July 2009

Deerfield, IL – The International Society for Stem Cell Research, together with co-sponsors the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB), announce the 7th ISSCR Annual Meeting will take place at the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) in Barcelona, Spain, July 8-11, 2009.

The conference marks the society’s first meeting to be held in Europe and the second to be held outside of North America.  “I am absolutely delighted that the 2009 meeting will be held in Barcelona,” said Fiona Watt, DPhil, of Cambridge University and president-elect of the ISSCR.  “Barcelona is a beautiful city and is home to several superb research institutes with considerable strength in stem cell research.  I look forward to a wonderful meeting.”

The society values the opportunity to highlight and explore Barcelona’s stem cell community. “Bringing the ISSCR conference to Barcelona will invigorate stem cell efforts in Spain, provide an opportunity for European students and postdocs to hear first-hand about the latest developments in the stem cell field and provide an opportunity for researchers from Spain and abroad to become acquainted with each other and to collaborate,” said Professor Miguel Beato, director of the CRG.

Spain has a long-standing tradition in biomedical research and has recently seen a large-scale increase in investment in areas related to stem cell research. 

Recent changes in the legal and regulatory framework concerning research on human embryonic stem cells have fostered a growing community of biomedical research centers including the CRG and the CMRB in Barcelona, the Andalusian Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine Centre (CABIMER) in Seville and the Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF) in Valencia.

The ISSCR Annual Meeting has become the preeminent international stem cell meeting, attracting more than 2,000 of the foremost stem cell professionals from public, private, academic and government settings. It provides a forum to promote and foster the exchange of research, featuring leading discoveries of the year and serving as a catalyst for inspired stem cell research around the world.

 “Hosting the first ISSCR annual meeting to be held in Europe is of the utmost satisfaction to me personally and I trust that this will show Spanish researchers, policy makers and the society at large that their active support of embryonic stem cell research is starting to pay off,“ said Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, director of the CMRB. “It represents a formidable opportunity to showcase the potential of Spanish stem cell research and foster interactions and collaborations with the finest laboratories around the globe.”

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The International Society for Stem Cell Research (www.isscr.org) is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research center set up by an initiative of the Government of Catalonia, with the participation of the University Pompeu Fabra and the Spanish Ministry of Education & Science. The aim of the CRG is to become an international reference point for basic biomedical research. With this purpose, the center has groups working in the area of stem cells and cellular reprogramming in the blood, muscle and skin. It also hosts additional groups in related areas, such as in gene regulation and epigenetics, development and cell biology, systems biology and bioinformatics. More information at www.crg.es.

The Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB) is a nationwide initiative for stem cell research, which is a joint venture between the Spanish Government and the Government of Catalonia.  The CMRB has a research center with basic and applied research programs in developmental biology and regenerative medicine. In addition to its intramural research activities, the CMRB nucleates stem cell research in Catalonia, hosts one of the three nodes of the Spanish National Stem Cell Bank and is the scientific coordinator of the EU-funded European Registry of Human Embryonic Stem Cells. More information at www.cmrb.eu.