BALTIMORE, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, the State of Maryland continues to lead advancements and best practices in U.S. stem cell research through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). To celebrate and share the most current research coming out of the state, more than 350 scientists, researchers, bioethicists, patient advocates, government officials and members of the public came together today to attend the Sixth Annual Maryland Stem Cell Research Symposium at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Campus in Baltimore. Hosted by The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission (Commission), the event delivered plenary sessions, concurrent presentations, more than 100 poster exhibits and 20 comprehensive scientific presentations on stem cell studies presented by Maryland researchers.
During the Symposium, researchers discussed how to translate cell therapy basic research and technologies, from the lab to pre-clinical and commercialization. This year's Symposium featured many stem cell topics such as Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) technology for liver diseases and drug toxicity, Gaucher Disease-specific hematopoietic progenitor cells, regenerative medicine to treat genetic and autoimmune diseases, and hydrogel and vascular stem cells to augment diabetic wound healing.
"One of our high priorities has always been to educate the public on the importance of stem cell research and our annual Symposium highlights pioneering projects and findings from Maryland's top stem cell researchers," said Rabbi Avram Reisner, Chair of the Commission. "Stem cell research is always evolving and our Symposium provides an opportunity for the research community and the public to come together for workshops and networking opportunities to facilitate collaboration and promote best practices."
Highlights of the Symposium included The John L. Kellermann III Memorial Lecture which was presented by Rita Perlingeiro, Associate Professor and Lillehei Endowed Scholar at Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota. Her keynote address discussed the potential for gene correction and therapeutic application with iPS cells to skeletal muscle precursors. Other speakers included representatives from the MSCRF, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore, the Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. For a full agenda visit www.mscrf.org/content/events/annual.cfm.
About the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) was established by the State of Maryland under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 to promote State-funded stem cell research and cures through grants and loans to public and private entities in the State. Administered by The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the MSCRF is overseen by an independent Commission that sets policy and develops criteria, standards and requirements for applications to the Fund. The current MSCRF budget for FY2014 is $10.4 million. For more information about the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund and a list of Commission members, please visit www.mscrf.org.
SOURCE The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund