Stem cell summit to convene in Madison

March 12, 2008 By Jordana Lenon

Researchers, business representatives, philanthropists, bioethicists and educators from around the world will be invited to Madison for the World Stem Cell Summit at the Alliant Energy Center on Sept. 22-23, 2008.

Gov. Jim Doyle, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) General Counsel Michael Falk, University of Wisconsin–Madison stem cell scientist Clive Svendsen and Genetics Policy Institute founder Bernard Siegel spoke about the upcoming event at a press conference Wednesday (March 12) at the State Capitol. Leaders from UW–Madison, the WiCell Research Institute, and other partners are planning the summit.

The event will coincide with the 10-year anniversary of UW–Madison scientist James Thomson becoming the first to successfully isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells. Thomson plans to speak at the summit about his lab’s new technique through which ordinary skin cells can be turned into stem cells. The summit organizing committee has already received confirmation from several speakers, including a number of researchers and high-profile patient advocates, according to WiCell Operations Director Susan Carlson.

She adds that the organizers also have strong support from the Wisconsin community at the state, education and business levels.

The event will highlight many aspects of stem cell research from across campus and around the world, according to Svendsen.

"UW-Madison remains at the heart of stem cell research," he says. "That we were chosen to co-host this event makes us proud to be part of the Wisconsin community that includes industry, academia and the general public."

Svendsen also expressed gratitude to Promega Corporation for being one of the first platinum sponsors for the summit.