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Industry Wednesday Symposia
June 18, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
West Ballroom C/D
Vancouver Convention Centre
Industry Wednesday Symposia are scientific sessions on topical issues in stem cell science framed by industry leaders. These sessions are open to all registered delegates and are included with your registration. No pre-registration is required. This year, Thermo Fisher Scientific will present the Industry Wednesday Symposium.

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Conquering Roadblocks Associated with Stem Cell Differentiation and Disease Modeling

With the recent completion of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s acquisition of Life Technologies, the combined portfolios further our company’s continuous commitment to advancing stem cell research.  In this symposium, we will discuss challenges associated with stem cell differentiation, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine applications.  We will offer solutions and tools to more effectively initiate and manipulate differentiation towards different lineages, demonstrate how genomic editing technologies can be used to specifically modify disease-relevant genes in stem cells.  We also hope to start an intriguing discussion about bridging cutting-edge technologies and downstream applications upon finding a point of compromise in setting standards for industrializing pluripotent stem cells.  Finally, we will explore principles for maintaining cryogenic temperatures to meet the challenges that exist in cold chain logistics for clinical trials.  This symposium provides a unique platform to exchange innovative ideas as well as open-ended questions among researchers who share a common goal about realizing the vast potential of stem cells.  Thermo Fisher Scientific is dedicated to serving the stem cell community by providing information on the technologies and strategies and working hand-in-hand with researchers in this field.  

8:30 am – 8:45 am 
Introduction.  Drs. Cindy Neeley and Mark Powers, Thermo Fisher Scientific  
8:45 am – 9:30 am
Efficient cell specific differentiation systems for iPSC.  Mohan Vemuri, Ph.D., R&D Leader (Cell Biology), Life Sciences Solutions Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific
9:30 am –10:00 am
Thermo Scientific™ Nunclon™ Sphera – a novel surface to support the three-dimensional culture of stem cells in suspension.  Laura Jensen, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Laboratory Consumables Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific
10:00 am – 10:45 am 
Explore standards for industrializing pluripotent stem cells.  Hidemasa Kato, Ph.D., Saitama Medical University, Research Center for Genomic Medicine
10:45 am – 11:00 am
Coffee Break
11:00 am – 11:45 am 
Creation of iPSC-based model systems to study Parkinson’s Disease.  Kurt Vogel, Ph.D., Consultant, Life Sciences Solutions Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
11:45 am – 12:30 pm 
Physics of Failure: How Mother Nature conspires to ruin your clinical trial before you ship your first dose. Dan H. O’Donnell, Director of Cell Therapy Logistics, Fisher BioServices

Learning Objectives 

  • Facing the challenges in iPSC differentiation
  • Circumventing inconsistency in spheroid formation of stem cells and progenitor cells
  • Setting standards in applying stem cell-related technologies toward drug screening and regenerative medicine
  • Modeling diseases using iPSC-derived diseased dopaminergic neurons
  • Maintaining cryogenic temperatures to meet the challenges that exist in cold chain logistics for clinical trials 

Target Audience
Scientists and researchers from academia, industry and government research whose work involves cell biology and stem cell research.

Mohan Vemuri
Dr. Vemuri is the Director of Research and Development for Cell Biology at Thermo Fisher Scientific.  In this capacity, Dr. Vemuri leads R&D activities in stem cell product development in the areas of human iPSC, adult stem cells and lineage-specific differentiation. Prior to this role, DrVemuri served on the faculty at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where his research efforts focused on developing improved methods for fetal transplantation of engineered hematopoietic stem cells for blood and bone marrow transplantation Dr. Vemuri previously served on the faculty at Thomas Jefferson Medical School, where he developed cell screening assay systems for Parkinson’s disease drug discovery. DrVemuri collaborates with researchers in academia and industry, striving towards the successful utilization of stem cells in regenerative cell therapies. He holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Sri Venkateswara University, India and performed his postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health.

Laura Jensen
Dr. Laura Jensen is a Research Scientist at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Roskilde, Denmark. Prior to taking up this position, Laura worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neuronal Survival Unit at Lund University, Sweden, within the area of cell-based regenerative therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Her work involved validating artificial bio-surfaces as tools for dopaminergic differentiation by exposing stem cells to topographical- and chemical cues. Laura obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England. Using in vitro model systems, she investigated the effects of the Alzheimer’s Disease-associated amyloid beta-peptide on intracellular calcium homeostasis. 

Hidemasa Kato
Dr. Hidemasa Kato received his M.D. from Osaka University in 1993 and his Ph. D. degree in 2000.  He was appointed assistant professor at Asahikawa Medical College in 1997 and then was dispatched to The Babraham Institute in UK as a BBSRC fellow where he worked with Dr Nick Allen from 2001 to 2003. From 2004 to 2007, he was principal investigator at Tohoku University (TUBERO) in the biomedical engineering field before serving as a contract officer in the Development department for Nikon (2008-2009).  Since 2009, he is a lecturer at Saitama Medical School, RCGM. Currently his aim of research is to apply iPSC technology in the field of neuroscience to elucidate mechanisms involved in ALS20 and/or mitochondrial diseases.  He builds on his experience to induce specific neural cell types starting from mouse ES cell and in order to apply this to human iPSC setting; he is now focusing on establishing the ideal culture condition for human stem cell.

Kurt Vogel
Dr. Vogel oversees external R&D partnerships for the Cell Biology business unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, focusing on early-stage R&D to develop products that will simplify and streamline all aspects of the stem cell workflow. Prior to this role, Dr. Vogel was Director of R&D for the Discovery Assays and Services business, where his teams developed products and services for drug discovery. During this time, he established external partnerships in the stem cell area that were focused on "disease-in-a-dish" modeling of Parkinson’s disease. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University and performed his postdoctoral work at Stanford University Medical School.

Dan H. O’Donnell
Dan has worked extensively in the development and deployment of logistic strategies for both International and Domestic Phase II and Phase III clinical Trials. He specializes in Cryogenic and ULT product management and distribution with an emphasis on the creation of a project specific 21 CFR part 11 compliant Chain of Custody. Dan is also versed in the validation and qualification of storage and shipping solution for complex biological applications. In addition he has an in-depth knowledge of bio-banking and cold Chain logistics. Previously, Dan served as a Vice President for Disease Management programs with both Baxter Healthcare and United Healthcare where he developed population based healthcare models and coordination of care processes to address high risk patient groups. In addition to healthcare process Dan has worked extensively in the development of reimbursement models for high cost and high risk disease states and therapies.