ISSCR 2018 Annual Meeting Press Program, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre - Media Office, Level 2, Room 217

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Thursday, 21 June, 07:30 – 08:30

Salamanders, Fish, and Flies Advancing Science

Small organisms and insects have long been studied by scientists for the valuable, sometimes groundbreaking insights they provide into human biology and disease. Model systems such as those found in bacteria, flies, worms, fish, and mice, are advancing knowledge of development, disease, and the discovery of potential treatments at a rate and scale that surpasses what is learned from human cells and systems. This panel will talk about how their work is informed by studying other species.

Moderator:     Peter Currie, PhD, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, AU

Speakers:      Andrea Brand, PhD, FRS, FMedSCI, University of Cambridge, UK

                      Elly Tanaka, PhD, The Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, AT

                      Allison Bardin, PhD, Institut Curie, CNRS, FR


Thursday, 21 June, 11:30 – 12:30

Technologies Revolutionizing the Field

CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology has revolutionized scientific research, making it relatively easy to edit and correct the DNA of living cells. 3D-culltured organoids and human body-on-a-chip technologies are providing valuable insights into understanding human tissues and organs and allowing researchers to test and screen for drug therapies. This panel will discuss how technology and big data are being used in the lab and clinic today to better understand disease and develop novel treatments that could save lives.

Moderator:     Alysson Muotri, PhD, University of California, US

Speakers:      Matthias Lutolf, PhD, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, CH

                      Fred Gage, PhD, Salk Institute, US

                      Shuibing Chen, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College, US


Friday, 22 June, 07:30 – 08:30

Next Steps for Cell and Gene Therapies

Since the derivation of the first human pluripotent stem cells 20 years ago, researchers have imagined a future of regenerative medicine where cell and gene therapies can treat a broad array of diseases. In this panel, leading stem cell scientists will discuss recent successes as well as limitations that may create obstacles in the future. What is on the horizon for stem cell therapies, and how will future efforts advance our ability to make cell therapies a clinical reality?

Moderator:     Michael Laflamme, MD, PhD, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, CA

Speakers:      Michele De Luca, MD, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, IT

                      Katherine High, MD, Spark Therapeutics, US

                      Peter Coffey, BSc DPhil, University College London, UK


Friday, 22 June, 11:30 – 12:30

Building Models for Disease and Drug Discovery

Scientists now grow stem cells in the lab that can model human diseases “in a dish.” By obtaining patient-specific stem cells and combining them with cutting-edge gene editing technologies, researchers have achieved patient-specific disease modeling that is propelling precision medicine to the next level. This panel will look at how these advances are changing approaches to disease and development of treatments.

Moderator:     Ricardo Dolmetsch, PhD, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, CH

Speakers:      Hynek Wichterle, PhD, Columbia University, US

                      Andrew Elefanty, MB BS FRACP PhD, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, AU

                      Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine, US