News Articles

ISSCR 2017 Highlights New Discoveries in Stem Cell Research & Progress Toward Clinical Therapies

  • 25 April, 2017

CHICAGO, 25 April - Progress in stem cell research and its translation to the clinic will be the focus of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) annual meeting 14-17 June at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Mass. More than 4,000 stem cell scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, and industry professionals from over 50 countries will share and discuss the latest discoveries and technologies within the field, and how they are advancing regenerative medicine. 

The ISSCR annual meeting is the world’s largest meeting focused on stem cell research, with a series of lectures, workshops, poster presentations, and a dynamic exhibition floor with nearly 200 exhibitors. Presentations span the breadth of the field, including topics such as stem cells and cancer, disease modelling and organogenesis, gene editing and gene therapy, and potential breakthrough therapies currently being tested in clinical trials, among others. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the ISSCR annual meeting.

“The annual meeting is an essential forum for all stakeholders in the field of stem cell research,” said ISSCR president Sally Temple. “Discoveries are moving forward quickly, with developments that are changing the way we view and treat disease,” she said. “That has tremendous implications, not only for scientists, but also for regulatory bodies, industry, and patients,” she said.

Prior to the meeting, on 13 June, a Public Symposium organized by the meeting co-sponsor, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), will be held at District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, Mass. “Innovation, Incubation, Investment: The Landscape of Stem Cell Research in Boston, will feature local leaders in the Boston stem cell community. Tuesday, 13 June, 18:00–20:00 EST.

Two pre-meeting sessions on 13 June are specifically targeted toward clinicians and scientists and those interested in bringing new therapies to the clinic:

  • Workshop on Clinical Translation: “How to Get From the Bench to the Clinic: Practical Advice for Completing an Investigational New Drug (IND) Application” will examine the process of preparing an application to clinically test a new cellular therapy; [limited press availability]
  • Clinical Advances in Stem Cell Research will feature three parallel, independent sessions on current and regenerative medicine approaches to neurodegenerative diseases, ocular conditions, and immuno-oncology. [limited press availability]

The Presidential Symposium, the opening plenary session on 14 June recognizes progress in research and clinical application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), with a distinguished lineup of speakers including Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka, discoverer of iPS cells. Additional plenary presentations include noted international speakers focusing on research developments in organogenesis, the making of tissues and organs; stem cells and cancer; chromatin and RNA biology; stress, senescence and aging; tissue regeneration and homeostasis; and the frontiers of cell therapy.

Researchers receiving ISSCR awards will be speaking at several plenary sessions: George Daley (ISSCR Public Service Award); John Dick, (ISSCR Tobias Award); Elaine Fuchs, (McEwen Award for Innovation); Jayaraj Rajagopal, (Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Junior Investigator Award). Other speakers will be honored by presenting named lectures including:  Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz – Anne McLaren Memorial Lecture; Margaret Goodell – McCulloch Lecture; Adrian Thrasher – John McNeish Memorial Lecture.

Programming for the media is scheduled for 15 and 16 June, with news conferences at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Level 2, Room 204A, as follows:

  • Organoids: What is the Science?               Thursday, 15 June            7:30 – 8:30
  • Unproven Stem Cell Therapies                  Thursday, 15 June            11:30 – 12:30
  • Gene Editing and Gene Therapy                Friday, 16 June                  7:30 – 8:30
  • Frontiers of Cell Therapy                              Friday, 16 June                11:30 – 12:30

Media registration is open: http://www.isscr.org/home/annual-meeting/isscr-2017-boston/media/, and the scientific program for ISSCR 2017 is available here: http://www.isscr.org/home/annual-meeting/isscr-2017-boston/program. For more information, please contact the media office at media@isscr.org, or Anne Nicholas at anicholas@isscr.org, 1+847-929-4818 or 1+202-746-0866.