Wadsworth Center Lecture Series Explores the Science and Promise of Stem Cells

Stem Cell Research is Topic of 15th Annual Public Lecture Series

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 29, 2009) - Scientists from the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Center will explore the different types of stem cells and explain their unique characteristics and value for biomedical research in a series called Stem Cells 101: The Basics & Beyond.

Beginning Wednesday, April 29, the four free lectures will be held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the David Axelrod Institute, 120 New Scotland Avenue, in Albany.

"This is a unique opportunity for the public to hear from experts on stems cells right in their own backyard," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Stem cell science is a rapidly evolving field that can help us better understand human development and potentially treat debilitating diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and paralysis."

This year's speakers and topics are:

  • April 29 – "Stem Cells' Potential: Vive la Differentiation!" with Matthew Kohn, Ph.D.
  • May 6 – "Programming Stem Cells: Dressed to Express (or Repress)," with Randall Morse, Ph.D.
  • May 13 – "Found in Translation: Stem Cells from Bench to Bedside," Kathy Chou, Ph.D.
  • May 20 – "Cancer Stem Cells: When Longevity is Counterproductive," Stewart Sell, M.D.

Few scientific advances have captivated biomedical researchers and the public as have stem cells, which hold great promise for the future of medicine. Scientists in New York and around the world are working to unlock the secrets of stem cell biology and find reliable ways to turn these master cells into replacement tissues and organs to treat diseases. Stem cells also provide a new avenue for drug development as disease-specific cells allow researchers to study how candidate drugs might cure diseases or alter their progression.

"With so much interest about stem cells in the state, the nation and the world, this is a timely topic for our 15th annual public lectures, which aim to educate and engage the community about the science behind public health issues," said Wadsworth Center Director Lawrence S. Sturman, M.D., Ph.D.

Lectures will cover the types and sources of stem cells, their defining characteristics of self-renewal and differentiation; the molecular signals that control these processes; the collaboration among scientists in various disciplines involved in tissue engineering; and the therapeutic implications of the stem cell theory of cancer.

There is no advance registration, but a photo ID will be required at admission. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.wadsworth.org/educate/lecture_series/2009.html