The Keck School of Medicine is a co-organizer for the upcoming World Stem Cell Summit, an international gathering of scientists, advocates, government representatives, and other stakeholders involved with stem cell research.
The summit, held for the seventh year, is scheduled Oct. 3–5, 2011 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif. More than 170 prominent scientists, business leaders, regulators, policymakers, advocates, economic development officers and experts in law and ethics will discuss the latest scientific discoveries, business models, legal and regulatory solutions and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 2,000 attendees from 25 nations, 60 exhibitors and more than 150 endorsing organizations and media partners.
“We’re excited to be part of the World Stem Cell Summit’s first meeting in Southern California,” said Keck School Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, who is also a member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) governing board. “Last year, when we opened the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, we envisioned being part of an ongoing dialogue on stem cell research that knows no borders. This is an important opportunity to be part of that conversation.”
Keck School co-chairs are Elizabeth Fini, vice dean for research and professor of Cell and Neurobiology, and Mark Humayun, professor of Ophthalmology, professor of Biomedical Engineering and Cell and Neurobiology and associate director of Research at the Doheny Retina Institute at USC.
“This event will bring us together with colleagues and with advocates and patients who are awaiting the results of our research,” said Fini. “We are beginning to see many positive outcomes from the research, and we hope this event will help keep the momentum going.”
Fini is also director of the USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, where she oversees faculty, administration and programs, including stem cell research.
Humayun is best known for his research on the Argus II retinal implant, which is restoring limited sight to patients affected by retinitis pigmentosa. Humayun is principal investigator on the California Project to Cure Blindness, a collaborative research project designed to develop a stem cell-based treatment for age-related macular degeneration, funded in late 2010 with a $16 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.
“In 2004, California voters declared at the ballot box that stem cell research was important to them,” Humayun said. “It’s fitting that the World Stem Cell Summit is back in California, and we look forward to working together with GPI and the other co-organizers on making this a successful event.”
The summit is co-organized by the nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute, dedicated to promoting stem cell research, the Keck School, and several other California institutions including CIRM, City of Hope, Cedars Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, and Caltech.