Schedule is up for Vatican Stem Cell Meeting plus some perspectives

The Vatican’s 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.

Vatican stem cell meeting

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.

4 thoughts on “Schedule is up for Vatican Stem Cell Meeting plus some perspectives


  1. Yes, the number of celebrities involved makes me think this is geared more toward PR than substantive debate about the different branches of research in the field.


  2. I agree with you that there is no prejudice and antagonism against adult stem cell research. Most publications are on adult stem cells and most funding goes to adult stem cell research. To say otherwise either shows ignorance or a desire to pretend to be the underdog. The same people will play the “controversial” card, which basically means “I am making it controversial because I am against it no because it is really inherently controversial”, as they do with global warming, etc. By my estimate, adult stem cell research has been well funded for at least 70 years. Of course in the beginning it wasn’t called that. It was primarily radiation biology that opened the field (Jacobson, Loutit, Till, McCulloch to name a few of the pioneers). When one considers that the first “stem cell transplant” (Thomas) was performed nearly 60 years ago, is it surprising that there are so many clinical applications of adult stem cells?

    Thank you for letting me vent about one of my pet peeves – those who cry about the poor unrecognized adult stem cell research field.

  3. Pingback: Cells Weekly – April 14, 2013 | Stem Cell Assays


  4. I agree with Jim and John the ((“prejudice and antagonism” against adult stem research that can be found in the medical field.)). This is a false perception and statement. People in the field are not finding this. I work and train with medical people on 4 continents and none of them are against adult or any form of real stem cell research.

    I admired the quiet dignity of the embryonic and iPS scientist and the World Stem Cell Summit. It was the first I learned of the extent of prejudice and persecution they faced in the early days. It was not a topic for PR but came up in conversations because this is what they lived with for many years. Many of them also sought out private funding and backed themselves.
    I think the people making these statements spout what they are told and have not taken the time to seek accuracy on this matter. It is not worthy of our attention

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