The 2009 World Stem Cell Summit kicked off at the Baltimore Convention Center September 21, 2009 with a public symposium on stem cell research, and a keynote address by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. The purpose of the summit is to share the latest developments in stem cell research and create momentum that could lead to new treatments for injury and disease.
“It is great to be in the company of so many people who are unlocking the science of healing, who are proud to able to care about one another and make the choices necessary to make our world a better place,” said Governor O’Malley. “I would like to recognize all of you for coming together here to do your part to help heal this world.” The three-day summit is being led in part by Curt Civin, MD, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Students from the School of Medicine were among the ambassadors who made themselves available to visitors to answer questions following the public symposium, called “Stem Cell Science and Medicine 101.” E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Dean of the School of Medicine, welcomed the attendees, who included scientists from around the world, as well as medical personnel, local college and high school students, and members of the general public interested in this area of research. “Stem cell research is so important in our medical and scientific disciplines, because of its potential to do such a tremendous amount of good,” Dean Reece said. “I believe this meeting will have immediate as well as long-term implications within the field.”
The summit, which continues through September 23rd, is being sponsored, in part, by the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). “Bioscience is one of the backbone economies of Maryland,” said David Ramsay, DM, DPhil, president of UMB. “Bio companies big and small are realizing that they have to harness not only what the universities are doing but what is coming out of NIH, the FDA and the other federal facilities that form the backbone of our life sciences industry.”
In addition to workshops on stem cell developments, the summit also featured poster presentations of the latest innovations in stem cell research. Of the 240 posters being highlighted, nearly 100 were the result of work done by Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund grant recipients. This local funding was integral to research during the Bush administration, when federal funds were unavailable for most embryonic stem cell research. For his role in creating Maryland
’s Life Science Advisory Board and securing $59 million in funding for bio-initiatives over the last three years, despite the state’s budgetary limitations, Governor O’Malley was presented with the Genetic Policy Institute’s National Leadership Award.
School of Medicine faculty due to speak at the summit along with Dr. Civin and Dean Reece include Larry Anderson, PhD, professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology; Angela Brodie, PhD, professor of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics; Kevin Cullen, MD, Professor of Medicine; Alan Faden, MD, professor of Anesthesiology and director of the Center for Shock, Trauma & Anesthesiology Research (STAR) and the National Study Center for Trauma and EMS; Stuart Martin, PhD, associate professor of Physiology; Adam Puche, PhD, associate professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology; Terry Rogers, PhD, professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Thomas Scalea, MD, professor of Surgery; Michael Shipley, PhD, professor and chair of Anatomy & Neurobiology; Alan Shuldiner, MD, professor of Medicine; and William Weiner, MD, professor and chair of Neurology.