If you’re an enterprising stem cell scientist with exciting work to publish this year, the ISSCR annual meeting in Los Angeles, 26-29 June, is the place to take the stage and showcase your science to colleagues and the field. We’ve developed a new program structure this year that dedicates 15 plenary speaking spots to abstract-selected speakers, to showcase the talents of the next generation of scientists.In addition, with about 135 abstract-selected talks overall, the meeting will feature the work of junior scientists more than ever before. If you haven’t already, submit your abstract before 13 February to be considered for a slot and a travel/merit award. Abstracts submitted during the late-breaking period from 19 February through 10 April, 2019 will be considered for poster presentations only.
Remarks by Nobel laureates John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka will open and close the meeting, with Gurdon delivering keynote remarks at the Presidential Symposium and Yamanaka speaking at the closing plenary. Gurdon’s work on nuclear transplantation exemplifies that transformative experiments can happen at any career stage; he was a graduate student when he began the work that has reshaped how we think about development and cell identity—work that continues to inform how we envision opportunities for regenerative medicine.
The plenary sessions feature scientists who have transformed their respective fields including Hans Clevers, Paola Arlotta, Austin Smith, Sangeeta Bhatia, and Clodagh O’Shea to name but a few. And we expect to hear, as before, on significant advances in understanding the basic biology of stem cells, technological innovations, and potential new treatments for human disease.
We very much hope to hear from innovative junior and senior scientists throughout the meeting who are undertaking bold experiments.
Focus on Communicating Science
With more than 100 abstract-selected talks set for Los Angeles, we are looking for the best and most innovative abstracts from a large pool of abstract submitters. Two abstract reviewers, Christopher Sturgeon and Andrea Ditadi, provided their insights in Let Me Speak! A Reviewers' guide to Writing a Successful Meeting Abstract, published in Stem Cell Reports. Importantly, they encourage clear, concise writing that is short, explains the problem and what is unknown, addresses the knowledge gap, and provides results and conclusions. Their recommendations are worth reading, to enhance the chances you will be selected to present your work.
Additional tips and tools for writing and submitting an abstract are available on the ISSCR website, along with detailed submission instructions, and information about travel, merit, and poster awards. It should only take 20 minutes to submit an abstract, especially if you pre-format the submission after reviewing the abstract checklist details.
New Program Format
ISSCR annual meetings are known for highlighting the latest developments in the field—new findings and innovative technologies that advance the field in both basic and clinical research. This year’s Program Committee, chaired by Marius Wernig, put together a scientific program that specifically underscores the continuum of research between the lab bench and clinical application.
Each plenary session in Los Angeles will be organized around tissue type and will feature speakers who approach each lineage or its derivatives from a variety of angles. For example, researchers looking at the molecular mechanisms of cardiac development might share the stage with those trying to treat coronary heart disease. By connecting the different disciplines, we hope to showcase the breadth of research for the audience and speakers alike.
The new format also embraces and highlights the diversity of the ISSCR constituency and allows increased interdisciplinary interactions, which we hope will foster meaningful discussions. The talks will be shorter to accommodate more speakers and to encourage speakers to present more focused stories. Attendees from diverse specialties will see and appreciate the arc of research from bench to bedside in all major tissue types.
The Leading Edge of Biomedicine
Stem cells are and will be a powerful tool for understanding human development and treating disease for the foreseeable future. At the Los Angeles meeting we hope to ignite inspiration, renew energy, and motivate collaborations. Join us with the more than 4,000 researchers from across the globe who will gather to explore the clinical applications and fundamental science of stem cells.
ISSCR President, 2018-2019