Dr. Amritha Jaishankar is the Executive Director of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). She is a scientist by training who has devoted her career to developing cures for debilitating and life-threatening conditions of our time and to advancing this field, through various roles in federal, university, and industry settings. She talks about the history of the MSCRF, its programs to promote the commercialization of stem cell-based technologies, and its role in the Maryland stem cell research ecosystem.
Dr. Ophir Klein is the inaugural Executive Director of Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s and the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health. He discusses his work on intestinal epithelium regeneration, which he will present at the “Tissue Fibrosis and Repair: Mechanism, Human Disease, and Therapies” Keystone Symposium taking place from June 12-16th in Keystone, Colorado. He also talks about mechanisms of tooth development, analyzing three-dimensional facial images to diagnose genetic syndromes, and how parasitic infections affect the intestinal stem cell niche.
Dr. David Hay is the Chair of Tissue Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, where his group is defining novel ways to produce liver tissue from PSCs. They use in vitro derived tissue to better model human liver physiology and to develop supportive cell based therapies for disease. Dr. Hay also founded Stimuliver, a company that is developing a disruptive liver implant to treat critically failing liver function in humans. He talks about hepatocyte differentiation, liver disease modeling, and automating the production of cell therapies.
Dr. Agnete Kirkeby is an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and a Group Leader at Lund University. The Kirkeby group studies the factors involved in human neural subtype specification in order to enable production of specific neurons for understanding and treating neurological diseases. They apply advanced human stem cells models to understand how hundreds of human neuronal subtypes are formed during embryo development. She talks about moving stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease from animal models to clinical trials, modeling neural tube development, and developing treatments for narcolepsy.
Dr. Melissa Little is the President, Keith Alm is the CEO, and Dr. Amander Clark is the Vice President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). They discuss what they’re looking forward to at the upcoming ISSCR 2022 meeting, and the future of the organization and the stem cell research community.