Advanced Public Policy Engagement – Championed by ISSCR President Sean Morrison of Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern, this new initiative will allow us to be actively engaged in the shaping of stem cell-related public policy around the world. ISSCR Director of Policy Kevin Wilson explains, “As the field of stem cell research develops, with the ultimate goal of developing treatments and cures, it remains critically important that policy makers around the world make the right policy decisions for the right reasons and with the right information.” See regular updates from the Policy Brief newsletter..
Launched an Expanded Public Education Website – Patients and their families can find information on basic stem cell biology, the process by which science becomes medicine, clinical trials and the use of stem cells in understanding specific health conditions such as macular degeneration and multiple sclerosis on www.closerlookatstemcells.org. This newly updated public resource helps them understand your research and to make informed decisions about stem cell treatments, clinics and their health.
Updated Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation – This initiative represents an effort by a Guidelines Revision Task Force led by Dr. Jonathan Kimmelman of McGill University, working on behalf of the ISSCR board of directors and the ISSCR membership, to revise and update our existing guidance documents in response to the evolving scientific landscape and ethical considerations pertinent to the ISSCR’s mission of advancing stem cell science and its application to human disease. Members submitted their feedback during the summer, and the new guidelines will be released in early 2016.
Widened Webinar Series – Members and the public have been viewing more live and on-demand programs this year, including the multi-part regenerative medicine series with contributions from 2015 ISSCR-BD Biosciences Outstanding Young Investigator Award winner Dr. Paul Tesar of Case Western Reserve University. We also continued the popular series Cancer and Stem Cells, Stem Cells as Tools, Translational Know-How, and Building Organs with Stem Cells, as well as annual meeting and international symposia highlights on ISSCR Connect.
Introduced Workshop on Clinical Translation – This new one-day workshop featured speakers with real-life clinical translational projects who shared important aspects of the translational pathway in a small group setting followed by a networking reception. The highly interactive event was very well received and we look forward to continuing the workshop at the ISSCR 2016 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, U.S.
Held Widely Attended Annual Meeting in Stockholm – The delegation of nearly 3,700 participants from more than 60 countries attended over 130 scientific talks during the four-day meeting. The program committee, chaired by Dr. Leonard Zon of Boston Children's Hospital, developed a diverse scientific program that showcased the latest in basic and translational stem cell research and its progress toward the clinic.
The exhibition hall was the site of much of the activity with 105 exhibiting companies showcasing the latest technology and nearly 1,800 posters presentations. Among many highlights of the meeting, top posters were honored from young scientists, graduate students and post-docs, including: Jiho Choi - Harvard University; Hannah Litwin - Karolinska Institutet; Stephanie Protze - McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine; Tammy Ryan - University of Guelph; Julius Steinbeck - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.