2018 Annual Meeting Highlights
The ISSCR is pleased to announce Douglas A. Melton, PhD, Harvard University, as the incoming president of the ISSCR and its board of directors. Melton assumed the post on 23 June, 2018, immediately following the 16th ISSCR Annual Meeting in Melbourne, Australia.Full story
- 22 June, 2018
The ISSCR has appointed Martin F. Pera, professor at the Jackson Laboratory, U.S., as the next editor-in-chief of Stem Cell Reports, the organization’s open-access journal. Pera will succeed Christine Mummery, who led the journal since its launch in 2013. Pera will assume the post in January, 2019.Full story
- 20 June, 2018
3,000 scientists went "down under" for ISSCR 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo highlights on our Flickr page, on Instagram, and in other social media posts reflect excitement around the meeting. Also check out the daily meeting newsletter!
Are you an ISSCR member? Check out the plenary sessions, available online until 13 August.
stem cell researchTake a closer look
Stem Cells as Anti-Cancer Vaccines?
Vaccines are routinely used to increase immunity against a variety of infectious diseases, such as influenza, measles, and chicken pox, to name a few. Rather than vaccinating against viral infectious diseases, however, imagine a vaccine that could prevent cancer.
Researchers have long been interested in developing a vaccine that can help the body’s immune system and fight abnormal, cancerous cells.
Stem Cells in the News
Media highlights in the field of stem cell research and its translation to the clinic.
17 July, Phys.org
9 July, Interesting Engineering
8 July, The Guardian
6 July, Science Daily
A sampling of recent stem cell research commentaries, articles, and resources.
Featured Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology Article
Derivation of Epithelial-Only Airway Organoids from Human Pluripotent Stem CellsMcCauley, et al (2018).Current Prot. Stem Cell Biology, 45, e51. doi: 10.1002/cpsc.51.
Spatio-temporal Relays Control Layer Identity of Direction-selective Neuron Subtypes in Drosophila. Apitz, H. and Salecker, I. (2018), Nature Communications, 9, 2295.
- , 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.
- , Barcelona
Stem Cell CoursesView All
ISSCR and policy news from around the world.
22 June, Science
Emerging Stem Cell Ethics
20 June, Fierce Pharma
Big Pharma Executives Jump to China Startups for Higher Pay
7 June, Science Business
European Commission Publishes its €94.1B Horizon Europe Proposal
Stem Cell Therapy: Is it the Miracle Cure that it Claims to Be?
Learn about ISSCR colleagues in the stem cell field from around the world.
Chuck Murry, MD, PhD
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.