Message from the President
In written and oral testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, former ISSCR president Sally Temple describes fetal tissue research as essential in studying and developing therapies for cancer, HIV, Zika, tuberculous, and other devastating diseases.Full story
- 13 December, 2018
- 26 November, 2018
ISSCR Comments on Reports of Chinese Scientists Performing Genome-Editing During Fertility TreatmentReports indicate that scientists in China have used CRISPR-mediated genome editing during in vitro fertilization to modify the genetic material of two embryos that were subsequently implanted into a patient, leading to the birth of two babies. As ISSCR and a number of other organizations have previously stated, the use of nuclear genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR, during fertility treatment is premature and should not be attempted at this time.Full story
Harvard University, U.S.
2018 ISSCR Year in Review
Stem cell science and regenerative medicine has made great progress in 2018, with significant clinical trials underway in several research areas, and advances in understanding that are illuminating new research pathways.
The role of the ISSCR in supporting the research and its responsible translation to the clinic has never been more important. I want to highlight for you some of ISSCR’s work throughout the year that I believe helps advance science, gives voice to our members, and sustains this ever-evolving field..
stem cell researchTake a closer look
Scientists Discover Bone-a fide Human Skeletal Stem Cell
If you’ve ever broken a bone, you are not alone. Statistics show that, over a lifetime, the average person experiences 2 bone fractures. For those with osteoporosis, that figure escalates, on average, to one bone fracture every 3 seconds, or nearly nine million fractures a year.
Recently, scientists have discovered a new cell type, human skeletal stem cells, that are providing insights into human skeletal development.
Stem Cells in the News
Media highlights in the field of stem cell research and its translation to the clinic.
12 December, ScienceDaily
4 December, Phys.org
29 November, Medical Xpress
A sampling of recent stem cell research commentaries, articles, and resources.
Featured Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology Article
FACS-mediated isolation of neuronal cell populations from virus-infected human embryonic stem cell–derived cerebral organoid cultures, Janssens, et al (2018).Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology, e65. doi: 10.1002/cpsc.65.
B Cell Replacement after Gene Editing of a Neonatal Diabetes-Causing Mutation at the Insulin Locus, Ma, et al (2018), Stem Cell Reports.
- , Amsterdam
- , Los Angeles
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.
- , Nantes
Stem Cell CoursesView All
ISSCR and policy news from around the world.
13 December, Science
NIH Says Cancer Study Also Hit by Fetal Tissue Ban
10 December, Japan Times
China Gene-Editing Scientist's Project Rejected for WHO Database
4 December, The Irish Times
Italy's Vaccine-sceptic Party Sacks Board of Health Experts
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.