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Seven plenary sessions make up the core of ISSCR 2020 Virtual, and focus on key areas of stem cell research and its application. Plenary sessions showcase speakers who can inspire and invigorate attendees with their cutting-edge research and ideas. Award lectures and other featured lectures are also presented in the plenary sessions. Selected abstract speakers will be included in the plenary program. Organized by the ISSCR Annual Meeting Program Committee. View the Full Schedule for dates and times of Plenary Sessions.


Featured Speakers

Sekar Kathiresan

Sekar Kathiresan
Verve Therapeutics, USA
Keynote Address


Alta Charo
University of Wisconsin, USA
Anne McLaren Memorial Lecture

Brian Wainger

Brian Wainger
Harvard University, USA
John McNeish Memorial Lecture


Presidential Symposium

Watt additional photo_2019

Fiona Watt
King's College London, UK
Ernest McCulloch Memorial Lecture

Finkbeiner photo_2020

Steven Finkbeiner
Gladstone Institutes, USA

Eric Olson

Eric Olson
University of Texas Southwestern, USA

Casey Atkins

Aviv Regev
Broad Institute, USA

COVID-19 Special Session

Special Address

Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA


Jennifer Doudna, University of California, Berkeley and HHMI, USA
Benjamin tenOever, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
Jayaraj Rajagopal, MGH/Harvard Medical School, USA
Moderator: Deepak Srivastava, Gladstone Institutes, USA

All Plenary Sessions and Plenary Invited Speakers

Plenary I: Presidential Symposium
Sponsored by: Fate Therapeutics

Ernest McCulloch Lecture:  Fiona Watt, King's College London, UK
Steven Finkbeiner, Gladstone Institutes, USA
Eric Olson, University of Texas Southwestern, USA
Aviv Regev, Broad Institute, USA

Plenary II: Machine Learning and Computational Approaches

Sponsored by: T-CiRA Joint Program

ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award Lecture:Allon Klein, Harvard Medical School, USA
Trey Ideker, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, USA
Ajamete Kaykas, insitro, USA
Hiroaki Kitano, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Emma Lundberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Plenary III: Embryogenesis and Development

Sponsored by: Vertex Cell and Gene Therapies

Benoit Bruneau, Gladstone Institutes, USA
Elaine Fuchs, HHMI, Rockefeller University, USA
Ken Zaret, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA
Kathy Niakan, The Francis Crick Institute, UK

Plenary IV: Dissecting Organogenesis

Sponsored by: Vertex Cell and Gene Therapies

ISSCR Momentum Award Lecture: Mitinori Saitou, Kyoto University, Japan
Miki Ebisuya, EMBL Barcelona, Spain
Madeline Lancaster, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
Hans Snoeck, Columbia University Medical Center, USA

Plenary V: Stem Cells and Aging

ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture: Margaret Goodell, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
Guanghui Liu, Institute of Zoology, CAS, China
Emi Nishimura, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan
Michael Rudnicki, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada
Beth Stevens, Boston Children's Hospital, USA

Plenary VI: Reprogramming and Regeneration

Sponsored by: FUJIFILM

ISSCR Achievement Award Lecture: Fred H. Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
Anne McLaren Lecture: Alta Charo, University of Wisconsin USA
Botond Roska, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Switzerland
Li Qian, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
Shinya Yamanaka, Center for iPS Cell Research & Application, Japan

Plenary VII: Clinical Innovation and Gene Editing

Sponsored by BlueRock Therapeutics

Patient Advocate Address: Matthew Might, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
John McNeish Lecture: Brian Wainger, Harvard University, USA
Katherine High, Rockefeller University, USA
Michel Sadelain, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA
Keynote Address: Sekar Kathiresan, Verve Therapeutics, USA