Scientists Discuss Future of Stem Cell Research at CIRM Conference
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco organized a conference to help direct decisions on awarding grants for stem cell research under Proposition 71, the Sacramento Bee reports (Lau, Sacramento Bee, 10/3).
Researchers and stem cell scientists recommended the creation of a subcommittee of the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to develop a strategic plan for research priorities (Hall/Stolze, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/2). Conference attendees recommended CIRM fund research to:
- Control the development of stem cells into mature cells, including cardiac cells in the heart, neurons in the brain and islet cells for the pancreas;
- Maintain stem cells through the longterm in adequate numbers;
- Prevent stem cells from becoming detrimental and producing tumors; and
- Test the ability of cells to travel to the part of the body that needs repair and to actually make the repair (Sacramento Bee, 10/3).
Paul Berg -- a Stanford University biochemist, Nobel winner and pioneer in gene splicing -- said, "You can see ways to go but also big blocks of ignorance we have to solve before we make headway" (Sacramento Bee, 10/3).
Robert Negrin, chief of the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Stanford, said, "Our problem is really how we translate these concepts" into therapies (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/2).