Nov. 19, 2015

World Stem Cell Summit comes to Atlanta

The Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM) research center, a collaboration among three of Georgia's top research institutions, will not only have a front row seat for the World Stem Cell Summit, Dec. 10-12, in Atlanta – it is playing a lead role in facilitating the world's largest interdisciplinary gathering of professionals engaged in stem cell science and regenerative medicine.

REM, a sponsor of the summit, is a research partnership including Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Georgia (UGA), and is focused on transforming the treatment of diseases and injuries.

Scientists, students, clinicians, venture capitalists, investors, industry leaders, philanthropists, policy makers, experts in law and ethics, patient advocates – an array of stakeholders in stem cell science and regenerative medicine – will convene at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta for the summit.

Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, director of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and a co-chair of the summit, says, "we are pleased to be a co-sponsor of the upcoming World Stem Cell Summit. REM is a fantastic example of tri-institutional cooperation to promote the development of regenerative medicine in Georgia. REM has helped support new biotech companies that are creating jobs in the state and developing new therapies for patients with chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries."

Summit attendees will have a choice of more than 200 international speakers and 65 hours of in-depth programming arranged around thematic tracks that include: "Discovery, Translation & Clinical Trials," "Regenerative Services & Restorative Medicine," "Innovation Showcase for Cell Manufacturing," "Regenerative Engineering & BioBanking," "Hot Topics & Emerging Trends," and "Ethics, Law and Society."

In addition to compelling keynote speeches, plenary sessions and focus sessions, the three-day event includes the "Conversations with Experts" luncheon, roundtable discussions, a centrally located exhibit hall, the poster forum, and an awards dinner.

One of the honorees is Dr. Robert Nerem, who led the launch of the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues, which has evolved into REM. Nerem, founding director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech, is being honored with the Leadership Award.

Nerem is slated to offer comments during the morning session of the first day, Thursday, Dec. 10, leading off the list of speakers from the three REM institutions, including REM directors Waller, Steven Stice, PhD, who also leads the Regenerative Bioscience Center (UGA) and Johnna Temenoff, PhD. (Georgia Tech).

Attendees of the World Stem Cell Summit also have an opportunity to attend the RegMed Capital Conference, a co-located meeting committed to advancing commercialization and investment opportunities for companies targeting cures. This could be particularly useful for the 18 start-up companies that have emerged from the research of REM lab members.

Currently, REM has more than 70 faculty members from its three institutions working to develop innovative treatments for a variety of diseases in the areas of cancer, neurology, cardiology, orthopedics, and pediatrics. Since 2000, REM has garnered almost $121 million in total funding and its researchers have licensed 25 technologies.

The World Stem Cell Summit and RegMed Capital Conference serve as the flagship gathering of the international stem cell and regenerative medicine community, with the aim of accelerating the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies and bringing together stakeholders to solve global challenges.

In addition to REM, other organizing partners are the Genetics Policy Institute/Regenerative Medicine Foundation (producer of the event), the Mayo Clinic, the Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, BioBridge Global, the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

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