One of the world’s most prominent spinal cord research workshops is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9 at the Henderson House in Weston, Mass., for the fourth year sponsored and hosted by the prestigious non-profit Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation.
The Spinal Cord Workshop will feature international leaders in surgery and basic science including Keith Tansey, Hans Keirstead, Wise Young and Ed Wirth.
“They will debate and discuss the compelling questions regarding stem cell research and the barriers to curing spinal cord injuries,” said Foundation Director Dr. Ann Kiessling, who also a retired associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Since we started this workshop in 2008, the landscape for spinal cord injury treatments, particularly involving stem cells, has shifted dramatically. Many of our predictions have come true and this year’s workshop comes right on the heels of some very interesting new publications.”
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, about 270,000 Americans are currently living with spinal cord injuries.
This year’s workshop speakers include:
Philip Horner, Ph.D., University of Washington. His research focuses on regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) with an emphasis on stem cell and progenitor cell biology. He will speak about stem cell transplantation and the molecular factors in cell integration.
Hans Keirstead, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, Reeve-Irvine Research Center. Dr. Keirstead created neurons for the recently publicized Geron trials and will speak about his work translating his science into clinical practice.
Ann Kiessling, Ph.D., is director the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation and retired associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kiessling will moderate the workshop.
Brian Kwon, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.S.C., Canada, Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research; Career Scholar Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of British Columbia. Dr. Kwon specializes in the surgical management of adult spinal disorders.
Keith Tansey, M.D., Ph.D., director of SCI Research and Restorative Neurology at Shepherd Center, Departments of Neurology and Physiology at Emory University School of Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Dr. Tansey will speak about neural plasticity and repair in spinal cord injury.
H. Richard Winn, MD,. director of Neurosurgery, Lenox Hill Hospital and Professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Society of Neurological Surgeons established the Winn Prize, to honor Dr. Winn’s outstanding contributions to the field of neurosurgery and to encourage other surgeons to do research in the neurosciences.
Ed Wirth, M.D., Ph.D. was the chief medical officer at Geron for part of spinal cord trial and led the team at the University of Florida that performed the first human embryonic spinal cord tissue transplants in the U.S. He will give a talk titled, “Cell-Based Therapies for SCI: Lessons Learned in Planning and Conducting Two Phase 1 Safety Trials Over the Past 18 Years.”
Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., Rutgers University. Dr. Young was part of the team that discovered and established high-dose methylprednisolone (MP) as the first effective therapy for spinal cord injuries. Dr. Young just returned from China with new data from the first multi-center spinal cord injury clinical trial in that country. He will give a talk titled, “Umbilical cord blood and lithium treatment of chronic spinal cord injury.”
About the Workshop
The Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation’s Spinal Cord Workshop will be held on Friday, November 9, 2012 from 9 AM to 4 PM EST (2 to 9 PM GMT) at the Henderson House, 99 Westcliff Road in Weston, as well as live online via Ustream.tv with a forum to ask questions. Anyone is welcome to attend the workshop. It is $25 to watch it online, $120 for corporations and general public to attend in person and $35 for non-profits, students, scientists and educators to attend in person. Register at www.spinalcordworkshop.org and enter FACINGD15OFF to watch for $10.
About the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation
The Foundation was formed in 1996 as a Massachusetts Public Charity to support research that could not be done in major biomedical research institutions in Massachusetts for political reasons. By the year 2000, the need for the Foundation’s independent, non-federally funded research laboratory expanded to include human stem cell research. For more information, visit www.bedfordresearch.org.