Stem cell society meets at NUI Galway to advance research into medical treatment

Monday, 14 May 2007

Challenges impeding the field of gene and stem cell therapy will be addressed at the inaugural conference of the Irish Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ISGCT) at NUI Galway on Friday, 18 May 2007.

Initiated by the directors of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, Professor Timothy O'Brien and Professor Frank Barry, the ISGCT was established to advance gene and cell therapy research in Ireland. The aim of the society is to promote advances in gene and cell therapy research for the development of novel therapies to relieve pain and suffering.

"What is significant about this conference is the bringing together of leading scientists and clinicians to speed up progress in gene and cell therapy towards clinical trials," said Prof. O' Brien, who leads the gene therapy research programme at REMEDI, and is Professor and Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway.

"Stem cell and gene therapy have enormous potential for the treatment of many incurable diseases including heart disease, arthritis and neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. This new society will interact with regulatory agencies to translate advances in this research area into clinical treatment options for patients, with patient safety as the primary motive," he added.

Among the keynote speakers at the conference include; Dr Robert Montgomery, Senior Investigator, Blood Research Institute, Blood Centre of Wisconsin, USA; Prof George Dickson, Director of Research & Chair of Molecular Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of London; Dr Aideen Sullivan, Dept of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork; Dr Jane Farrar, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Gabor Rubanyi, Chief Scientific Officer, Cardium Therapeutics Inc., a medical technology company based in San Diego, California.

REMEDI is the leading centre in Ireland conducting stem cell research and one of a limited number of centres in Europe combining the technologies of stem cell and gene therapy to regenerate and repair tissue. The ISGCT inaugural conference is being hosted by REMEDI and includes presentations from some of the most talented and innovative investigators working in the field.

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