ISSCR 2019: editor’s picks

Written by Freya Leask

Here are my tips for what talks and events are not to miss from this year’s International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting (26-29 June, Los Angeles, CA, USA)

What is the ISSCR?

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is an “independent, nonprofit organization established to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health”. Their annual meeting is the largest international meeting for stem cell research and brings together around 4000 attendees from around the world to present and discuss the latest developments in the field.

This year’s meeting is being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA, USA) from 26-29 June, 2019.

What should I look out for?

Once again, Shinya Yamanaka will be finishing the meeting with a presentation on recent progress in iPS cell research and application (Saturday, June 29, 6:17pm). However, following on from some early research presented at ISSCR 2017, I’m more excited to learn about recent progress with organoid technology: how can we generate them in an efficient manner, what questions can they help us answer, and will we ever go from organoids to organs?

  • From hair cells to hair follicles: generation of sensory organoids from pluripotency (Wednesday, June 26, 2:20pm) — Karl Koehler (Indiana University School of Medicine, IN, USA) is speaking in the Presidential Plenary.
  • Modeling ovarian cancer using BRCA1 mutant iPSC-derived 3D human fallopian tube (Friday, June 28, 2:13pm) — Nur Yucer (Cedars-Sinai Health System, CA, USA) will discuss applications and avenues for potential insights.
  • Generation of functional organs via interspecies blastocyst complementation (Saturday, June 29, 9:20am) – Hiromitsu Nakauchi (Stanford University, CA, USA and University of Tokyo, Japan) is speaking in the fourth plenary session.

ISSCR is a great place to learn about the hottest basic research utilizing stem cells, so I’m looking to learn more about some new ideas with real translational potential.

  • Emergence of pluripotency and control of tissue size: a dynamic balancing act played out in the mammalian blastocyst (Wednesday, June 26, 4:20pm) – Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, USA) will be getting back to basics.
  • Human basal progenitor cell diversity and involvement in lung remodeling (Thursday, June 27, 1:51pm) – Gianni Carraro (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, CA, USA) will be breathing life into this topic.
  • Development of turbulence-based production of iPSC-derived platelets towards clinical application and beyond (Saturday, June 29, 1:20pm) – Koji Eto (Center for IPS Cell Research and Application (CIRA), Kyoto, Japan) will be sharing his expertise.

Finally, I always enjoy the robust discussion and great participation with difficult ethical and policy questions at ISSCR. With recent developments in human CRISPR as well as use of fetal tissue in research, I’m looking forward to hearing some different perspectives.

  • Current policy frameworks across the globe, including the ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation, and discussion around fit for purpose (Wednesday, June 26, 10:35am) — Geoff Lomax (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, CA, USA) will be tackling this thorny topic.
  • Stakeholder views — how scientists and various publics’ view human embryo research and who should be making decisions on its regulation (Wednesday, June 26, 10:45am) — Kristin Matthews (Rice University, TX, USA) will be clarifying this debate.
  • Educating patients about unapproved stem cell treatments: evaluating a regenerative medicine consultation service (Friday, June 28, 1:40pm) — Zubin Master (Mayo Clinic, MS, USA) will be sharing more about the Mayo Clinic’s work in this area.

Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Regenerative Medicine Consult Service (RMCS) in our interview with Zubin here>>

Read the full agenda here>>

How can I meet the RegMedNet and Regenerative Medicine team?

Adam Price-Evans (managing commissioning editor, Regenerative Medicine) and I will be present at ISSCR and we’d love to meet as many members and authors as possible. Email me or stop by booth #724 to meet us, discuss potential manuscripts, share your ideas for what you’d like to see on RegMedNet as well as pick up your hard copy of the latest Glossary for Cell & Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine!