UGA to host Spinal Cord Workship for medical professional and scientists

UGA to host Spinal Cord Workshop for medical professionals and scientists

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will be the host site for the Spinal Cord Workshop, a day-long event that brings together leaders in neurosurgery, neurology and basic science, to identify current barriers and solutions to restoring spinal cord function following injury.

The workshop, titled “Spinal Cord Injury: What Are The Barriers To Cure?,” will be held March 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences on the UGA campus.

The Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation, the UGA Regenerative Bioscience Center and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, will organize and conduct the event.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together medical and scientific expertise to identify barriers to reversal of the neurologic damage that follow spinal cord injury and describe what is needed to overcome those barriers. The emerging field of stem cell therapy may hold special promise, but specifics about cell differentiation, method of delivery and outcome measures need to be developed.

During the afternoon session, the faculty will focus on summarizing and targeting the current barriers in each area. At the end of the day, all these presentations will culminate in a list of these barriers and discussion of next steps for moving the research forward.

The workshop will produce a “facts and needs” positions paper for education with emphasis on specific resources to cure spinal cord injury, sooner rather than later.

Workshop faculty include:
· Hans Keirstead, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology, University of California at Irvine, Reeve-Irvine Research Center;
· Naomi Kleitman, Ph.D., program director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health;
· Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, and director, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience;
· Steven L. Stice, Ph.D., professor, GRA Eminent Scholar, director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center at University of Georgia and CSO, Aruna Biomedical Inc.;
· Jose Cibelli, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor, Department of Animal Science and Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, and director, Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory;
· Ann A. Kiessling, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School, and director, Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation.

Created in 1996, the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation is a Massachusetts-based public charity and biomedical institute that exists to conduct stem cell and related research for diseases and conditions that currently have no cure.

The UGA Regenerative Bioscience Center merges the University of Georgia’s expertise, resources and accomplishments in human embryonic stem cell research, while contributing to the educational and outreach mission of the University through enhanced student research experiences and public lectures, symposia, and workshops communicating the benefits and risks of regenerative bioscience.

Shepherd Center in Atlanta is one of the nation’s leading hospitals specializing in the medical and rehabilitation treatment of people with spinal cord injury and disease, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders and urological problems. Shepherd Center is a Model Center in spinal cord injury, and an official Multiple Sclerosis Center, designated by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Georgia Chapter. Founded in 1975, the 120-bed not-for-profit hospital offers a continuum of health care services, from intensive care through inpatient medical surgical care, rehabilitation, day program, and outpatient and residential services.

Additional information, including registration information is available online at http://www.bedfordresearch.org/spinalworkshop.