Focus Sessions provide in-depth coverage of specific topics of interest and are presented by interested academic and industry groups. Held on Wednesday, 15 June, from 8:30 to 11:30 am, these educational opportunities in science, society, and education are organized by members and open to all in-person meeting attendees.
Organized by Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF)*
In this Focus session, join leaders in the field from Maryland, USA to explore the latest breakthroughs and advances in stem cell disease modeling and tissue engineering approaches. Also learn the key considerations to commercialize your discoveries, including insights on manufacturing and progressing to clinical trials. The topics will cover cutting-edge discoveries in cardiovascular, neurological and retinal disease as well as cell therapies for skin, bone and soft-tissue restoration. We will also hear how these ideas were validated and commercialized. The cell-based technologies discussed include ES, iPS, MSCs and fibroblast-based approaches. Hear from experts on creating, manufacturing and delivering cell therapies to patients with unmet medical needs.
*This Focus Session will be available on the virtual meeting platform.
A critical promise of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is the ability to generate unlimited starting material for autologous, or patient-specific, stem cell-based therapies. Compared to allogeneic cell therapies, autologous cell therapies have the safety advantage of enabling transplants without requiring patients to undergo immunosuppression. However, there is currently more development in the allogeneic iPSC-derived cell therapy space than the autologous iPSC- derived cell therapy space, because of the perceived cost and complexity of manufacturing patient- specific cell therapies. In this focus session, we highlight the work of several leaders pioneering the development of autologous iPSC-derived cell therapies, as well as the importance of transitioning from the current manual processes to a more automated approach. Our goal with this session is to share relevant learnings that benefit the iPSC-derived cell therapy field at large.
Organized by the ISSCR Industry Committee
Career paths and the role and contributions of industry within the stem cell and regenerative medicine field are experiencing an unprecedented wave of change. Once-narrow career trajectories are fundamentally changing to give rise to new and flexible paths towards and within industry, providing opportunities to contribute towards the development of new technologies and products that will have meaningful impacts on scientific progress and emerging new therapies. This Focus Session will explore the shifting landscape of careers in industry through the lens of those that have navigated them and how their career paths have intertwined with opportunities to enable the translation of stem cell research and regenerative medicine..
Organized by Novo Nordisk
Stem cell-derived cell therapies are moving into the next era of development with several novel product candidates in clinical trials. The field is facing several interesting challenges and opportunities, such as defining the final cell product, mastering product formulation, and efficient integration of cell product and medical device development. The field also needs to gain a better understanding of the use of immuno-suppression and the potential of immune evasive cell lines. In this session we would like to shed light on some of these challenges and opportunities, and how these are viewed upon by experts in the field. All with the intent to overcome the hurdles to allow for the next generation of novel cell therapies. Our examples will include the development of stem cell-derived therapies for type 1 diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
Organized by Stem Cell COREdinates
Supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific and STEMCELL Technologies
Stem Cell COREdinates (www.COREdinates.org) is an international consortium of human pluripotent stem cell-focused core facilities that share expertise with protocols, reagents, and technological advancements to establish “best practices" in the maintenance, derivation, differentiation and genetic manipulation of human pluripotent stem cells. Each of our member cores plays an important role in the research and educational missions of their respective institutions. The first part of our Focus Session will have selected presentations from Stem Cell COREdinate members and our sponsors. These presentations will cover a number of different areas of expertise including stem cell culture, gene editing and disease modeling. The second part of the session will feature invited speakers with a focus on advances in stem cell therapies and hypo-immunogenic PSCs for “off the shelf” applications.
Organized by the ISSCR Ethics Committee
Public engagement is increasingly recognized as being integral to basic and translational research. It is especially critical in research that potentially raises ethical concerns, for example, research involving embryos, germline genome editing, stigmatized conditions, and with marginalized communities. In such research, public engagement can help to identify issues that must be addressed in order for it to be ethically sound. While there have been prominent recent calls for public engagement in the emerging sciences, there is arguably little agreement about how this should be done and the best ways of doing so. This focus explores some of the recent calls for public engagement in the emerging sciences and ways that public engagement can help inform and address the ethical aspects of emerging science.