Message from the President
The ISSCR supports research using human-animal chimeras conducted under appropriate review and oversight (ISSCR Guidelines Recommendation 2.1.5) and applauds the new Japanese rules enabling research on chimeric embryos.Full story
- 13 March, 2019
ISSCR has elected its next leadership slate, with leaders beginning their terms after the 2019 annual meeting. On behalf of all members, we extend congratulations to newly-elected officers Melissa Little, vice president; and Kenneth Zaret, treasurer, and re-appointed board members Marianne Bronner, Valentina Greco, and Arnold Kriegstein.Full story
- 11 March, 2019
Harvard University, U.S.
Sharing Excellent Science and Growing Personal Networks
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.
The ‘must attend’ stem cell meeting of the year, ISSCR 2019 also offers many opportunities to grow professional and personal networks.
stem cell researchTake a closer look
How Induced Pluripotency Changed Stem Cell Science
An important achievement in stem cell research was recognized in 2012, when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two scientists who transformed the field: Shinya Yamanaka and John Gurdon. Together, they received the award for “the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.”
The impact of this breakthrough opened myriad possibilities for stem cell research and continues to propel the field forward.
Stem Cells in the News
Media highlights in the field of stem cell research and its translation to the clinic.
27 February, Associated Press
27 February, The Washington Post
19 February, STAT
A sampling of recent stem cell research commentaries, articles, and resources.
Featured Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology Article
Isolation of Neural Stem Cells from Whole Brain Tissues of Adult Mice, Deshpande, et al (2019).Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology, e80. doi: 10.1002/cpsc.80.
Acquisition of Dynamic Function in Human Stem Cell-Derived B Cells, Velazco-Cruz, et al (2019), Stem Cell Reports, doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2018.12.012.
- , Los Angeles
- , Toronto
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.
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Stem Cell CoursesView All
ISSCR and policy news from around the world.
07 March, STAT
Gottleib's Replacement? A Roundup of Likely, Possible, and You-Never-Know Contenders
5 March, STAT
China Creating National Medical Ethics Committee to Oversee High-risk Clinical Trials
5 March, The Japan Times
Japan Relaxes Rules on iPS Cell Research, Potentially Paving Way for Growth of Human Organs in Animals
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.