Stem cell researchers, advocates to share lessons learned

March 6 conference at Rice U. will look at implications for Texas' research policy

Scientists and other leaders from around the nation and the United Kingdom who have done or advocated embryonic stem cell research will share lessons learned from their experiences during a free public lecture at Rice University March 6.

"The goal of this conference is to introduce a new and more-effective dialogue regarding safeguards again reproductive cloning and other unethical practices while advancing research in Texas," said conference organizer Kirstin Matthews, science and technology postdoctoral research associate for Rice's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Among the speakers will be:

  • Stephen Minger, director of King's College London Stem Cell Biology Laboratory in London, U.K., who will discuss the regulatory climate in the U.K. regarding human embryonic stem cell research, his own and others' work using human embryonic stem cells, and the potential impact of South Korean research on somatic cell nuclear transfer ("therapeutic cloning") which may have been fabricated.
  • Texas State Rep. Beverly Woolley, who will discuss her efforts to submit a bill this past session to fund research in Texas but which did not pass
  • Arlene Chiu, director for scientific programs and review for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), who will present an overview of the hurdles and challenges the CIRM faced, including the lawsuit with stalled funding
  • Mark Bale, from the U.K.'s Department of Health, who will outline the U.K.'s Stem Cell Initiative, a 10-year research initiative established by the British government in 2005 to ensure that the U.K. remains one of the global leaders in stem cell research; he will also outline the latest developments in U.K. stem cell regulation and policy.

The conference, titled "Stem Cells: Saving Lives or Crossing Lines? - Part II, Lessons Learned," is being hosted by the Baker Institute and the U.K. Science and Technology Section of the British Consulate General. The conference, which is the second major stem cell conference in the Baker Institute's Science and Technology Policy Program under the direction of Neal Lane, will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in Baker Hall, with a reception afterward.

News media who plan to attend should R.S.V.P. to B.J. Almond at balmond@rice.edu or 713-348-6770 by March 2.

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