World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science have convened at NUI Galway last night and again todayfor the Galway International Stem Cell Conference which will focus on the latest developments in basic science and translational aspects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC ) research in Ireland, the UK and worldwide.
A type of adult stem cell, Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs, have shown huge potential for use in many medical therapies.In addition to plenary talks from internationally renowned speakers, the programme is structured to include oral paper presentations selected from submitted abstracts. With Ireland hosting the event this year, there will be a particular focus on some of the ground breaking research taking place here.
The latest plans from researchers at NUI Galway for stem cell trials in Galway, focusing on arterial disease in the lower leg and osteoarthritis in the knee will be discussed.
According to Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “The impact of this conference will be high because it focuses on those aspects of basic science and clinical evaluation which represent obstacles to translation. New biological insights have emerged recently about stem cells and their clinical potential has been demonstrated. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge in the field, such as how we can standardise the mass production of stem cells in facilities around the world.”
As of 2014, Ireland now boasts its own specialist facility which can ‘grow’ stems cells for use in such clinical trials in humans. Located at NUI Galway, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI ) is a custom-built facility certified to the highest EU manufacturing standards and criteria. The CCMI at NUI Galway is the first ever facility on the island of Ireland to receive a licence from the Irish Medicines Board, and firmly positions the country as a global player in the regenerative medicine field.
Alongside Professor Frank Barry, other key speakers include: Javier Garcia-Sancho, Institute for Molecular Biology and Genetics (IBGM ), University of Valladolid & Spanish Research Council, Valladolid, Spain; Silviu Itescu, Mesoblast, Melbourne, Australia; Sue Kimber, Tissue Regeneration and Stem Cell Network, University of Manchester; Ian McNiece, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Mark Pittenger, University of Maryland, USA; and Darwin Prockop, Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M, USA.