Challenges in Stem Cell Differentiation and Transplantation

EuroSTELLS Workshop "Challenges in Stem Cell Differentiation and Transplantation"

From: Lazzari G, et al. Stem Cells. 2006 Nov; 24(11):2514-21. Epub 2006 Aug 24.

Milan, Italy, 30 Sep-03 Oct 2007








This goal of this workshop was to provide an overview of recent advances in stem cell biology, focusing on differentiation, transplantation and safety issues, as well as some of the practical hurdles that need to be overcome for a successful therapeutic application of stem cells. There were six sessions: I) Embryonal Stem Cells: Differentiation and Therapeutic Prospectives; II) Large Animal Models; III) Cell Signalling Pathways; IV) Stem Cell Differentiation for Therapeutic Aims; V) Adult Stem Cell Therapy; and VI) Practical Applications. Presentations featured comparative analyses of different tissues including neural, muscle, bone and skin. Presenters included Dr. Lorenz Studer (Sloan-Kettering Institute, USA) on the applications of neural stem cells in neural development and disease, Dr. Michel Pucéat (Inserm, Evry University, France) on the use of embryonic stem cells for treatment of myocardial infarction in large animal models, and Dr. Tariq Enver (EuroSTELLS; The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, UK) on the molecular regulation of normal and leukaemic stem and progenitor cells. The plenary speaker was Professor Inder Verma (The Salk Institute, USA), who provided an overview of the challenges of gene and stem cell mediated therapy of human diseases.

Media coverage:

Stem cell research marches on

Stem cell research proceeds apace, but many challenges lie ahead. Significant strides are being made in fundamental stem cell research in laboratories across the world, but many hurdles remain to be overcome before stem cells are routinely used to treat diseases.

New stem cells by reprogramming

By ‘de-programming’ existing specialised cells it might be possible to create cells which resemble embryonic stem cells, bypassing many of the ethical and moral objections to using human embryos. Researchers are discovering new ways to help ‘de-program’ specialised cells so that they can be re-programmed to form a range of different types of tissue, an international meeting of stem cell biologists was told.

An eye for an eye: using stem cells to treat damaged eyes and a rare skin disorder

Stem cells can be used to grow new corneal tissue and, together with gene therapy, treat a rare genetic skin disorder. Doctors and scientists in Italy have shown how stem cells can be used to treat damaged eyes and, in combination with gene therapy, a rare and debilitating skin disease.



Last Updated January 2008