International stem cell meeting in Kobe, Japan

08/30/05

Asian, European and American scientists participate in high-level workshop on 'Stem Cells in Reproduction and in the Brain'

A critical mass of leading experts will meet from 1st to 3rd September in Kobe, Japan, to discuss and summarize the current status in the highly contentious field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine. It is expected that the meeting will help to clarify the potential and remaining challenges of this promising research area. The workshop is jointly organized by the Ernst Schering Research Foundation (Germany), the Max Planck Society (Germany) and the Riken Center for Developmental Biology (Japan) as part of the "Germany in Japan year".

Regenerative medicine is one of the frontiers in biomedical and clinical research. Its aim is to restore or improve the functioning of organs and tissues afflicted with congenital conditions or the ravages of injury, disease or age. It is a dynamic research field with great promise and hopes, delivering many new and, at the same time, provocative insights.

The aim of the workshop is to review the current understanding of the recent achievements made in this fast moving research area and to discuss the future potential of this field of research, bringing together leading experts from the rapidly growing fields of stem cell biology and developmental biology.

The workshop focuses on the following main topics:

  • Stem cell properties
  • Transdifferentiation and fusion of stem cells
  • Identification of stem cells
  • The role of stem cells in reproduction
  • Neural stem cells

The goal is to cover the full spectrum of stem cell research from basic to applied research with a view to potential therapies. The meeting is expected to provide participating scientists from all over the world with the opportunity to accumulate and enhance their knowledge as well as provide a platform for scientists to network with fellow scientists.

Workshop organizers:
Ernst Schering Research Foundation
Max Planck Society
RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology

The Ernst Schering Research Foundation (ESRF), Berlin, Germany was founded in 1991 by Schering AG, a pharmaceutical company located in Berlin, Germany. It is the aim of the ESRF to build bridges between basic and applied research. To fulfill this goal, the ESRF organizes international scientific workshops on hot topics in biomedical research. 60 workshops have been organized so far and published by the renowned scientific publisher Springer, Heidelberg.

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization in Germany. It was founded on February 26, 1948, and is the successor organization to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, which was established in 1911. The 78 research institutes of the Max Planck Society perform basic research in the interest of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The variety of topics in the natural sciences and the humanities at Max Planck Institutes complement the work done at German universities and other research facilities in important research fields. In certain areas, the institutes occupy key positions, while other institutes complement ongoing research. Moreover, some institutes perform service functions for research performed at universities by providing equipment and facilities to a wide range of scientists, such as telescopes, large-scale equipment, specialized libraries, and documentary resources.

The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) was launched in April 2000 under the auspices of the Millennium Project research initiative that was established to drive research in the fields of information technology, environmental science and the study of aging, areas of vital importance to both Japan and the world in the 21st century. The drafters of this plan recognized the great potential for contributions by developmental and regenerative biologists in addressing the health challenges confronting an aging society, and so the concept of a national center for developmental biology was born. Through its broad research program, the CDB seeks to explore the mechanisms by which cells divide and differentiate, communicate and move throughout the body to give rise to the great diversity of animal life, as well as to trace back the means by which some animals are able to regenerate cell, tissues, limbs and organs they have lost to aging, injury or disease. The knowledge gained from such fundamental studies already shows great promise in clinical applications as well, and the CDB will continue to work toward fulfilling its dual mission: to shed light and offer hope through basic biological research.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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