Details of ISSCR 12th Annual Meeting

  • 10 March, 2014

The International Society for Stem Cell Research Announces Details of the

12th Annual Meeting, June 18-21, 2014 in Vancouver

CHICAGO — The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 12th Annual Meeting will take place June 18-21, 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The meeting will bring together approximately 4,000 stem cell scientists, bioethicists, clinicians and industry professionals from over 50 countries to present and discuss the latest research and technologies within the field.

“The ISSCR is thrilled to bring the 12th Annual Meeting to Canada, the birthplace of some very early and important stem cell discoveries and an important ongoing contributor to the field,” ISSCR President Janet Rossant, Ph.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.C., said.

The meeting will open with the Presidential Symposium on June 18 from 1:00 p.m.-3:20 p.m. local time. A prestigious lineup of speakers will present the cutting-edge in stem cell research, from its underpinnings in developmental biology through to its potential therapeutic applications. The symposium is also the stage for the formal recognition of the 2014 recipients of the McEwen Award for Innovation and the ISSCR Public Service Award. Another prestigious award, the ISSCR-BD Biosciences Outstanding Young Investigator Award, will be presented during Plenary V, followed by an award lecture.

“This year’s Presidential Symposium goes back to basics with a focus on the developmental biology underpinning current research,” Rossant said. “Understanding the players and pathways that give rise to complex tissues or organisms is crucial to unlocking the power of stem cells and we will hear some remarkable stories of how this is happening in this session and throughout the meeting.”

Presidential Symposium speakers include:
Brigid Hogan, Ph.D., F.R.S., Duke University Medical Center, U.S.
Gordon Keller, Ph.D., McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University Health Network, Canada
Olivier Pourquie, Ph.D., Strasbourg University Medical School, France
Lorenz Studer, M.D., Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, U.S.

The McEwen Award for Innovation (Presidential Symposium)
Azim Surani, Ph.D., Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, U.K.

The ISSCR Public Service Award (Presidential Symposium)
Paolo Bianco, M.D., Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Elena Cattaneo, Ph.D., University of Milan, Italy
Michele De Luca, M.D., University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

The ISSCR-BD Biosciences Outstanding Young Investigator Award (Plenary V)Valentina Greco, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine, U.S.

“The ISSCR is thrilled to present the prestigious McEwen Award for Innovation to Azim Surani,” Rossant said. “His pioneering research, which has changed the face of epigenetics and advanced the field of stem cell biology, is a rare and significant contribution from a single individual.”

The 2014 Annual Meeting Program Committee is chaired by Fiona Watt, F.R.S., F.Med.Sci., King’s College London. Watt and the committee have worked together over the last year to assemble a diverse program and an international contingent of stem cell researchers, clinicians and industry professionals to share the newest research, technologies and clinical advancements. Speakers will continue to be selected from submitted abstracts to add further depth to the planned program.

“Each year, the ISSCR endeavors to bring together established, emerging and future leaders in stem cell research to explore a broad range of important topics in our field,” Watt said. “This year is no exception, and we look forward to hearing from the recipient of the ISSCR-BD Biosciences Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Valentina Greco, who has made significant early-career contributions to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.”

Plenary topics include: Concurrent topics include:
Bioengineering Aging and Metabolism
Cell Heterogeneity Asymmetric Cell Division
Epigenetics and Pluripotency Cancer Plasticity
Inflammation and Tissue Repair Control of Pluripotency
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Diabetes
Therapies in the Clinic Epigenetics
Epithelial and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Germline Biology
Modeling Disease with iPSCs
Monitoring and Modulating the Niche
Neural Differentiation
Neural Stem Cells and Development
Road to the Clinic: Challenges Ahead
Sensory Systems Repair
Stem Cells and Cancer
Stem Cells in Model Organisms
Systems Biology of Stem Cells

This year’s “Therapies in the Clinic” plenary session will feature cutting edge gene and cell therapy approaches to blood and neurodegenerative disorders, in addition to James Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.S.C., from the University of Alberta, who led the clinical team that developed the Edmonton Protocol, the first method to achieve consistent insulin independence in a series of islet transplant recipients with Type 1 diabetes.

In the “Road to the Clinic: Challenges Ahead” concurrent session, invited speaker Christopher Breuer, M.D., of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will present his experience with driving a treatment into a clinical trial and explore the challenges he sees ahead. He developed a tissue-engineered vascular graft for pediatric congenital heart surgery and will take his findings back to the laboratory to better understand what is observed clinically.

The “Sensory Systems Repair” concurrent session will feature a presentation from Albert Edge, Ph.D., of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, senior author of a recent Stem Cell Reports paper on the regeneration of sound-sensing cells in the ears of mice with hearing damage. Previously, scientists believed sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear were not replaced once lost but this new research shows that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice, which may lead to ways to the eventual stimulation of cell replacement in adults and treatment strategies for people suffering from deafness due to hair cell loss.

The 2014 Annual Meeting will feature over 1,600 posters from meeting participants all over the world. Selected posters, highlighting exceptional abstracts, will be briefly presented as part of each concurrent session. These and other posters offer a first look at new work from both emerging and established professionals, which may be further explored during evening receptions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

“The poster sessions are where a lot of the great scientific exchange between meeting attendees takes place,” Watt said. “Networking is one of the most valuable components of the ISSCR Annual Meeting, and attendees frequently cite the poster sessions as the genesis of great ideas and collaborations.

ISSCR Annual Meeting registration dates and costs are as follows:

  • Advance registration deadline: June 12 ($815 member / $1,115 nonmember)
  • Regular registration deadline: June 21 ($940 member / $1,240 nonmember)

Additional registration information and instructions are available on the meeting website along with the meeting schedule at Member trainee and one day-only rates are also available.

The ISSCR 12th Annual Meeting is co-sponsored by STEMCELL Technologies.

10 March 2014

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research (
The International Society for Stem Cell Research is an independent, nonprofit membership organization established to promote and foster the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas relating to stem cells, to encourage the general field of research involving stem cells and to promote professional and public education in all areas of stem cell research and application.

Michelle Quivey, Senior Communications Manager
International Society for Stem Cell Research

Interviews with Watt are available upon request