Stem cell biotechnology start-up company Asymmetrex and not-for-profit scientific conference developer Zing Conferences have teamed up to provide a unique scientific forum for identifying and solving challenging problems that currently limit progress in stem cell biomedicine. Scheduled for February 18-21 in San Diego, California in the United States, the conference will feature invited presentations from prominent experts in the fields of stem cell biology and stem cell biomedicine and talks selected from abstracts for multidisciplinary research and clinical studies submitted by November 21.
Asymmetrex and Zing Conferences Partner to Address Progress in Stem Cell Medicine
At a recent pharmaceutical industry conference, the founder and director of biotech start-up Asymmetrex, James L. Sherley, asked a panel of noted investors, who were reviewing promising new pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies for investment, “What are the stem cell medicine companies on your radar screen for investment?” Silence followed. The silence was a telling indicator of the state of progress in stem cell medicine.
Although there are many companies and institutions seeking to develop therapeutics based on stem cells, new effective stem cell therapies are yet to join the half century of success by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapy, which includes bone marrow, cord blood, and mobilized peripheral blood treatments. Instead, there is a growing mountain of failed efforts, which in many cases have occurred after significant hype.
Many important discoveries in stem cell biology have occurred in the last two decades, but, so far, they have not translated into effective new approved therapies. In more recent years, reports of stem cell treatments in private clinics have mushroomed, but the general applicability of these procedures is uncertain, at best; and possibly, they may not be reliable at all. In both cases, approved and unregulated, many basic barriers preclude faster progress in stem cell medicine. Examples of barriers include deficient biological knowledge, stem cell technical barriers, treatment logistics barriers, regulatory barriers, and financing barriers.
During nearly nine years of leading adult tissue stem cell bioengineering research as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Asymmetrex director Sherley’s focus was engineering solutions for difficult problems in stem cell biomedicine. Asymmetrex’s technologies that address the technical challenges of identifying, counting, and producing adult tissue stem cells reflect this bearing and expertise. Sherley believes that “success in solving tough problems in science and medicine begins with first recognizing problems and then facing the essentiality of solving them.”
In April 2015, Sherley was approached with an opportunity to share his focus on problem solving more widely with the field of stem cell medicine. Jane Hill, CEO of Zing Conferences invited him to organize a conference in the discipline of stem cell biomedicine. “Challenges, Solutions, and Progress in Stem Cell Medicine” is the product of that invitation.
Fifteen noted experts in diverse scientific, engineering, and medical disciplines relevant to stem cell medicine accepted invitations as featured speakers for the conference. Together, they will set the agenda for recognizing, facing, and discussing possible solutions for long-standing problems in stem cell biology and stem cell medicine. The preeminent hematopoietic stem cell physician scientist Peter Quesenberry, M.D. will intrigue conference goers with a keynote address emphasizing that even the paragon of stem cell transplantation medicine, bone marrow transplantation, still has unsolved problems that keep it from its full potential.
In addition to the invited presentations, many talks will be selected from submitted abstracts of attendees that detail important problems and solutions. These presentations are anticipated to resonate with the invited topics, as well as introduce new insights that may have not yet entered the broader consciousness of the field. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 21.
Unlike many scientific conference production companies that have emerged in the past twenty years, Zing Conferences recently became a not-for-profit. Proceeds from the conference organized with Asymmetrex will be used to support conference speaker travel needs, be applied to assist in increasing the demographic diversity of conference participants, and provide funds for biomedical research. In their partnership, both Asymmetrex and Zing Conferences achieve their goal of developing a unique scientific forum that will mingle investigators of diverse background and discipline towards an integration that may prove essential to achieving more rapid advances in stem cell medicine.
Asymmetrex, LLC is a Massachusetts life sciences company with a focus on developing technologies to advance stem cell medicine. Asymmetrex’s founder and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the unique properties of adult tissue stem cells. The company’s patent portfolio contains biotechnologies that solve the two main technical problems – production and quantification – that have stood in the way of successful commercialization of human adult tissue stem cells for regenerative medicine and drug development. In addition, the portfolio includes novel technologies for isolating cancer stem cells and producing induced pluripotent stem cells for disease research purposes. Currently, Asymmetrex’s focus is employing its technological advantages to develop and market facile methods for monitoring adult stem cell number and function in stem cell transplantation treatments and in pre-clinical assays for drug safety.
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