Nearly 75 faculty, students and staff affiliated with UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center joined more than 1,000 attendees representing over 35 international scientific communities at the 11th annual World Stem Cell Summit 2015 in Atlanta last month.
The three-day summit, hosted by the Genetics Policy Institute and Regenerative Medicine Foundation, was sponsored in part by the Regenerative Engineering and Medicine research center, a joint research collaboration group between UGA, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Research professionals, clinicians, investors, industry leaders and government officials converged on REM’s Southeast home turf to cover topics ranging from neurological disease and cancer to orthopedic sports injury.
One of the most talked-about sessions was “Frozen Jurassic Park and Cloning the Mammoth” with speaker Franklin West, an assistant professor in the animal and dairy science department at UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In the session, West presented his highly publicized research involving stem cell development and raising funds to save endangered species like the threatened Sumatran tiger.
Another spotlight event, which drew many selfies with UGA football player Malcolm Mitchell, was “The Use of Stem Cells in Sports Medicine.” Ron Courson, UGA’s senior associate athletic director and director of the sports medicine program, presented, as Mitchell recounted suffering an ACL tear during a touchdown celebration and the benefits of regenerative medicine in his recovery.
Other presenters at the event were Samuel P. Franklin, John Peroni, Shanta Dhar and RBC director Steven Stice.
“I was very pleased that UGA was so well represented,” said Stice, who credited David Lee, UGA’s vice president for research, and Pamela Witten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, for sponsoring the event through funding of the Regenerative Engineering and Medicine fund at UGA.
A large number of students working in the RBC labs were able to attend the summit. Anil Kumar, a postdoctoral researcher in Dhar’s lab, won a best poster award for his work “Conditioning of Injury Site Using Nanoparticle Delivered Neuroprotectants for Regenerative Therapy of Stroke.”
The summit was designed to engage students in meaningful discussions on regenerative medicine and provide a shared learning experience to encourage students and early-career investigators in collaborative translational research.