The Vatican 2nd Stem Cell Meeting starts tomorrow and by the looks of the schedule, which was just recently posted, it should be a very interesting adult stem cell meeting.
The range of speakers runs from patients to celebrity advocates such as Meredith Vieira to Nobel Laureate Dr. John Gurdon to stellar cancer researcher, Ron DePinho, to many industry speakers. Some great speakers. Some other puzzling choices though.
The Catholic New Agency (credit for picture at right) says that a key message is to overcome:
the “prejudice and antagonism” against adult stem research that can be found in the medical field.
My own belief is that there is no prejudice and antagonism against adult stem cell research. Doctors and scientists, including me, are extremely excited about adult stem cells.
In fact, adult stem cells are awesome and will undoubtedly help millions of people, but we need all major kinds of stem cells to help the most people.
I will be very curious to hear (I hope we find out) what Dr. Gurdon has to say and whether he advocates for adult, embryonic, and iPS cell research or plays it safe.
I wish that this 2nd Vatican Stem Cell Meeting had a wider diversity of speakers as were lined up for the ill-fated original 2nd Vatican Stem Cell Meeting that sadly got cancelled last year.
Let’s see how this one goes. I’m hoping we can get some peaks inside and it is a positive meeting.