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LSI to host May symposium: Frontiers in Stem Cell Biology

DATE: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 9, 2007.

EVENT: Top researchers specializing in stem cell biology will discuss their latest findings at the Life Sciences Institute's sixth annual symposium: Frontiers in Stem Cell Biology. The symposium is co-sponsored with the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Dr. Stuart H. Orkin, the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and chair, Department of Pediatric Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, will kick off the meeting as the honorary Mary Sue & Kenneth Coleman Life Sciences Lecturer.

Dr. Orkin's research focuses on the development and function of the blood system, the relationship between cancer and stem cells, and the mechanisms responsible for self-renewal of stem cells. His efforts are directed toward understanding the nature and function of genes that control these processes and how disturbances in gene networks may lead to cancer. He will be introduced by Stephen Forrest, vice president for research at U-M.

Dr. David T. Scadden, professor of medicine at Harvard University, and Dr. Robert Lanza, vice president of research and scientific development for Advanced Cell Technology, well also be featured.

Scadden studies how stem cell therapies may regenerate immunity in cancer and AIDS. These studies are critically important in understanding how stem cells develop and how they may function in regenerative processes in many organs.

Lanza's research focuses on the use of stem cells and regenerative medicine including nuclear transfer and stem cells in human transplantation. His recent published work describes the rescued visual function in animals using retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells and a method for deriving stem cells using a single-cell approach that does not harm embryos.

The full-day program also includes talks from noted scientists Judith Kimble, Vilas Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin; Amy Wagers, assistant professor of pathology, Harvard Medical School; and Alejandro S