Message from the President
The ISSCR has always had strong female leaders, and many of them are featured in the September and October editions of Stem Cell Reports.Full story
- 10 September, 2018
The ISSCR is soliciting nominations to honor exceptional and innovative research and support for young scientists, through its extensive awards program. It also invites members to nominate candidates to serve on the ISSCR board of directors.Full story
- 23 August, 2018
Harvard University, U.S.
Energizing for Renewed Focus
Many of us find time in the summer to reflect on work and recharge our batteries. Vacations, visits with friends, and time with family all help get away from everyday concerns in the lab and gain some perspective to inform the scientific path for the year ahead.
With renewed purpose and motivation comes challenges and questions. Are we investigating and advancing the most important questions in our field? Have new discoveries or tools suggested we change direction or even curtail our work because it is less relevant than before? These are tough questions as we cycle into a new academic year and envision next steps for our research.
stem cell researchTake a closer look
Gene Therapy: Treating the Cause, Not the Symptom
Gene therapy, CRISPR, and gene editing are all terms that are beginning to appear more frequently in headlines, and the concept of manipulating DNA inside cells – once found only in science fiction – is now reality. In this post, we discuss what gene therapy is, what is new and exciting in the field, and why the technology could change the way we treat certain diseases.
Stem Cells in the News
Media highlights in the field of stem cell research and its translation to the clinic.
20 September, Science News
20 September, SF Gate
5 September, The Scientist
A sampling of recent stem cell research commentaries, articles, and resources.
Featured Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology Article
Establishing an Organotypic System for Investigating Multimodal Neural Repair Effects of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Stem Cells, Thakor, et al (2018).Current Prot. Stem Cell Biology, e58. doi: 10.1002/cpsc.58.
Cell Surface N-Glycans Influence Electrophysiological Properties and Fate Potential of Neural Stem Cells Yale, et al (2018), Stem Cell Reports.
- , Amsterdam
Seeking a job? Have a job opening? the ISSCR Job Board gives members discounts on job postings here and in the monthly Pulse e-newsletter.
Other Stem Cell Events
Opportunities for researchers from around the world to explore the latest discoveries in stem cell science and regenerative medicine.
ISSCR and policy news from around the world.
27 August, The Scientist
US Senate Passes Spending Bill Granting NIH $39.1 Billion
EDITORIAL: Safety Should be Paramount in iPS Cell Clinical Trials
31 July, Regulatory Focus
FDA and EMA to Hold Workshop on Breakthrough and PRIME Designations
Learn about ISSCR colleagues in the stem cell field from around the world.
Chuck Murry, MD, PhD
Jun 11, 2018
Hometown: Bismarck, ND
Current residence: Seattle, WA
Graduate degree: MD, PhD
Current position: Conner Chair in Pathology, Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington Director, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington
What is the current focus of your research, and what do you find most rewarding about your work?
My work focuses on cardiovascular stem cell biology. We explore fundamental mechanisms of differentiation, model cardiac diseases using hiPSCs, and develop cellular therapies to promote heart regeneration. We are currently hot on the trail of mechanisms to increase maturation of pluripotent stem cell derivatives. I am fortunate to have many rewarding aspects of my job, but I particularly enjoy mentoring students, fellows, and junior faculty.
What led you to become a scientist and to stem cell research?
Total serendipity! I entered medical school intending to become a surgeon. I loved science theory, but my undergraduate lab courses were so boring that I could never imagine myself as a professional scientist. Then I did a year of research while in medical school and found out how exciting research was when there is real discovery driving it. I was hooked after that, so I changed directions and became a pathologist for my clinical work and emphasized research. I got into stem cell/regeneration in the mid-1990s as an assistant professor, trying to reprogram with transcription factors and doing cell therapy with primary cells. Once human ESCs were discovered, we pivoted to them and haven’t looked back since.
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
Right now I am really excited about our upcoming plans for clinical trials of human heart regeneration. We are shooting for doing our first patients in 2020, after more than 20 years of preclinical work. Exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking!
What guidance would you share in talking with trainees interested in pursuing your area of research?
Let the science lead you, and never try to force data to fit a preconceived hypothesis. Hypotheses are, to me, just an excuse to do a cool experiment. There is no shame whatsoever in having an incorrect hypothesis. If you follow your data, you will end up on the right side of things.
Do you have any mentors or individuals who have inspired you in your stem cell work?
Gordon Keller and Loren Field have had big influences on me. Gordon because of his wizardry in controlling stem cell differentiation, and Loren because of his vision for cardiomyocyte turnover in the heart. Jamie Thomson and Shinya Yamanaka, because of their demi-god status in the field, also have been hugely influential.
How do you spend your free time?
I love the outdoors, which is part of what has kept me in the Pacific Northwest all these years. I like to camp, hike, ride my bike, ski, listen to live music and explore the Northwest microbrew scene with my buddies. I spend a lot of time with my wife, Rene, my two daughters, Marit and Jessie, and my two dogs.
What is something your peers would be surprised to learn about you?
I really like fireworks. I come from a family with a bit of a pyromania streak.
What do you most value about your membership with the ISSCR?
I was a relative latecomer to the ISSCR, already having well established ties to several professional cardiovascular and pathology societies when the Society was founded. When I came to my first ISSCR meeting, I felt like I had found my people. It is a group of kindred spirits who love science, want to develop new medicines, and who embrace entrepreneurship.