Each year our annual ISSCR meeting showcases for the world the potential of stem cell science and advances already underway that are changing the face of human healthcare. We highlight the latest innovative research and scientific developments that are propelling the field forward in a variety of ways. ISSCR 2019 in Los Angeles is a terrific opportunity to inspire us with research at the leading-edge of scientific discovery.
Arc of Research
An exciting new approach to the annual meeting this year is the focus of each plenary session on a major tissue type, with speakers presenting science from the bench to the bedside. For example, plenary sessions include Mechanisms and Applications of Mesodermal Tissues, Regeneration of Endodermal Organs, Surface Ectoderm and Endocrine Organs, and more, each providing an in-depth look into development and disease.
Concurrent sessions bring an additional focus to topics such as Stem Cells and Cancer, Mechanisms of Transdifferentiation, Epigenetic Regulation of Cell Identity, and more. This year we will feature more speakers than before, with 135 abstract-selected talks, and are very pleased to see so many speakers representing rising young scientists doing compelling research.
New in 2019
ISSCR members make valuable contributions to the field in many ways. Our shared connections around science are profound and provide a great opportunity to learn from one another about many issues, including how we approach challenges, advance our careers, and communicate about our work with different audiences.
On 26 June, the meeting will feature a Science Advocacy and Communications Seminar that features a number of scientists who have been involved in outreach with policy makers and the public. The session also features journalists and stem cell advocates sharing their advice on communications skills and effective outreach to these audiences; the panel will take questions from the audience.
A special luncheon on 28 June, A Seat at the Table: Women at the Leading Edge of Science, is an opportunity to network with colleagues and hear top women in science talk about some of the unique challenges they face in STEM fields. The interactive discussion is meant to foster information-sharing and insights from attendees about gender roles and the experiences of women as they advance in their careers.
The 2019 Workshop on Clinical Translation, in its fourth year, brings together speakers from academia, industry, regulatory agencies and healthcare to discuss approaches to disease modeling and cell therapies. This year, “Advancing Clinical Trials with Stem Cells,” is designed to follow the translational process from pre-clinical modeling toward and through clinical trials. A terrific lineup of speakers is on tap for the 25 June program, including Jun Takahashi from the Center for iPS Research at Kyoto University, Geraldine Hamilton of Emulate, Inc., Peter Marks of the FDA, and Shinya Yamanaka, who will deliver closing remarks.
Career Growth and Networking
The ‘must attend’ stem cell meeting of the year, ISSCR 2019 offers many opportunities to grow professional and personal networks. If you are looking for new career opportunities, or want to scout potential new hires, sign up for the online Job Match program and begin looking for leads even before the meeting begins. You can reach out and set up meetings onsite to vet potential hires or learn more about potential jobs.
Two special opportunities give trainees and early-career research leaders the opportunity to meet with leaders in the field. The Meet the Experts Luncheon, 27 June invites trainees to sit down with well-established scientists to discuss common topics of interest and gain career and scientific advice. On 26 June, the Early Career Group Leader Luncheon invites early-career research group leaders to meet with ISSCR board members around the topic of managing priorities in research and mentoring.
Finally, an excellent series of Focus Sessions the morning of Wednesday, 26 June feature discussions by thought leaders on such topics as the clinical development and commercialization of iPSC-based therapies, stem cell engineering for therapeutic applications, developing an investigational new drug (IND) application, and more. Innovation Showcases on 27 and 28 June are a terrific way to learn about new products, services, tools, and technologies to help you in the lab or your career.
We very much hope you will join us for these and the many other opportunities available at ISSCR2019.
ISSCR President, 2018-2019