October 2 marked Stem Cell Awareness Day this year. Co-ordinated by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, it's "a day to celebrate the scientific advances made to-date and be hopeful of what is yet to come".
In our recent stem cell non-fiction writing competition, authors told their stories about stem cell science using imaginative writing, poetry and graphic non-fiction. On 23rd October, we'll be celebrating the winning entries and exploring how science and the written word meet. Our Brave New Worlds event in Edinburgh brings together an exciting panel of authors and scientists to get our discussion going. You can sign up for a free place on the event website, or read on to find out more about the panel and some of the things we might discuss. If you can't make it to Edinburgh, join in on Twitter - follow @eurostemcell.
Dr. Connie Eaves was a co-founder of the Terry Fox Laboratory in 1981, and has served both as its Deputy Director and Director. During her PhD studies in the late 1960’s, she discovered that two groups of cells contribute to the generation of antibody responses, heralding the subsequent recognition of two important types of immune cells: B and T cells. She has since contributed many seminal advances to our understanding of stem cells involved in blood formation and how they work in both health and disease. Over the last decade, she has also become an expert in breast stem cells. She has published more than 440 papers and received numerous scholarships and awards over the course of her career and is also a major protagonist of excellence in training.
Medical doctor and PhD student Jessica Schreiter talked to Connie to find about her career, what motivates her and what advice she has for young scientists today.
REDDSTAR, an EU project co-ordinated by NUI Galway, has partnered with eight other collaborators to deliver the All-Ireland schools’ science debate competition, Debating Science Issues, DSI. Now in its seventh year, Part of the EuroStemCell toolkit, DSI involves a workshop series and debate competition and involves 36 schools across the island of Ireland.
At the very beginning of Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide, Dr Paul Knoepfler promises us that “In the end, you will truly be in the know about stem cells” and he does not disappoint. He takes us on a tour through the world of stem cells, including the basics of what constitutes a stem cell and the different types of stem cells; he explains what happens in a stem cell laboratory and delves into the potential, limitations and ethical challenges posed by stem cell treatments.
The answer…Hydra IX, the ninth European Summer School on stem cells, which ran from 7-14 September through funding and support by European Commission FP7 funded projects - EuroStemCell, OptiStem, MARRIAGE and CSCTraining.
In a renovated sea sponge factory on the beautiful island of Hydra, Greece, 60 delegates and over 25 prominent stem cells scientists from Europe and beyond, gathered to learn about and discuss stem cell science. Stem cell paradigms, regulation, disregulation, clinical applications and current challenges were explored. In addition, delegates had the unique opportunity to speak with faculty members in informal, small groups to allow deeper discussions about the science.
Our partners have been a busy bunch this month - you may have read about some of them in the news!
Elena Cattaneo appointed senator for life
First and foremost, we would like to congratulate Elena Cattaneo on her appointment to the Italian senate. We can't think of a more deserving recipient for this honour!
We're sure that Elena will be, as President Giorgio Napolitano stated in announcing the appointment, "an encouragement for many Italians of the new generations who commit themselves, amid difficulties, to scientific research”.
"Regeneration is a swift but volcanic experience, a sort of violent biological eruption in which the body cells are displaced, changed, renewed and rearranged."
- Doctor Who