Symposium to focus on reprogramming, stem cell fate

April 21, 2011

The sixth annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium, Reprogramming and Controlling Stem Cell Phenotype, will be held April 27 at Madison’s BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute.

Talks by leaders in the area of cellular reprogramming will focus on using cellular cues to manipulate gene regulation and control the ability of stem cells to differentiate into various types of cells.

Featured presenters include: Kristi S. Anseth, of the University of Colorado-Boulder; Helen M. Blau of Stanford University; Sheng Ding of the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif; John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif; Stuart H. Orkin of Harvard University; and Laura Kiessling and James A. Thomson of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Questions to be addressed include:

• How can we understand and manipulate gene regulation to control stem cell self-renewal and differentiation to specific types of cells?

• What are the signaling mechanisms that are shared among multiple stem cell types?

• What are the key mechanisms by which natural stem cell niches influence phenotype?

• Can components of natural stem cell niches be effectively mimicked to control stem cell phenotype?

• How can somatic or adult stem cells be reprogrammed to pluripotent phenotype using intracellular or extracellular cues?

This public symposium is co-coordinated by the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center and the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute. These organizations, along with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, EMD Millipore Corp., Promega Corp. and the WiCell Research Institute, are serving as platinum sponsors of this year’s symposium.

The daylong symposium, which is open to the public with a registration fee of $90, will be held at Promega Corporation’s BioPharmaceutical Technology Center, 5445 E. Cheryl Parkway in Fitchburg.  For more information, visit