Exceptional stem cell science on tap for ISSCR 2020 Virtual June 23-27, 2020

Exceptional stem cell science on tap for ISSCR 2020 Virtual June 23-27, 2020

Skokie, IL – The International Society for Stem Cell Research has transformed its annual scientific meeting into a virtual experience, bringing the global stem cell community together to share knowledge, collaborate, and network. Attendee registration and complementary media registration are open!

The ISSCR 2020 Virtual Meeting, cosponsored by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), will deliver a comprehensive scientific education program that includes plenaries featuring world-renowned scientists in the field. Following are some highlights of the program:

New Session: ISSCR Response to COVID-19

Featuring Opening Address by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA

The COVID 19 pandemic has mobilized the global scientific and clinical communities from across disciplines. This collective effort is essential to understand the biology of the novel coronavirus infection process, the resulting clinical pathology and develop potential treatments, including a vaccine. In this session, the ISSCR brings together leading scientists to discuss the latest research and clinical findings in this rapidly moving field. Speakers to be announced soon!

Clinical Innovation and Gene Editing

Sponsored by BlueRock Therapeutics

Patient Advocate Address: Matthew Might, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

John McNeish Lecture: Brian Wainger, Harvard University, USA

Katherine High, Spark Therapeutics, USA

Michel Sadelain, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA

Keynote Address: Sekar Kathiresan, Verve Therapeutics, USA

Which new cell therapies will progress to the clinic this year? Learn about the cutting-edge advances propelling regenerative medicine forward. Leading scientists will share their latest data on the use of stem cells to treat diseases from ALS to heart disease, and from blindness to cancer. This session will explore the stem cell engineering, gene editing, and precision medicine approaches that are advancing stem cell therapies.

Presidential Symposium

Sponsored by: Fate Therapeutics

Ernest McCulloch Lecture: Fiona Watt, King’s College London, UK

Steven Finkbeiner, Gladstone Institutes, USA

Eric Olson, University of Texas Southwestern, USA

Aviv Regev, Broad Institute, USA

Each year the current ISSCR president assembles speakers who highlight some of the most exciting work in stem cell biology. In this year’s Presidential Symposium, Deepak Srivastava brings together researchers that span many key topics in the field. Attendees will explore foundational topics such as self-renewal, lineage commitment, transcriptional regulation, and tissue maintenance as well as multi-disciplinary topics such as how biological circuits function and evolve or how neuronal activity leads to memory.

Machine Learning and Computational Approaches

Sponsored by: T-CiRA Joint Program

ISSCR Dr. Susan Lim Outstanding Young Investigator Award Lecture: Allon Klein, Harvard Medical School, USA

Trey Ideker, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, USA

Ajamete Kaykas, insitro, USA

Hiroaki Kitano, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan

Emma Lundberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Machine learning and computational approaches are revolutionizing all fields of biology. These constantly evolving technologies provide new windows into stem cell population dynamics, heterogeneity, and clonality. Researchers also use computational modeling to improve the translation of stem cell science, including methods to investigate disease states, predict drug targeting, and develop the proper conditions for stem cell expansion and differentiation. Discover the newest techniques and approaches are applied to stem cell science and gain insights that you can adapt to your research.

Embryogenesis and Development

Sponsored by: Semma Therapeutics

Benoit Bruneau, Gladstone Institutes, USA

Elaine Fuchs, HHMI, Rockefeller University, USA

Ken Zaret, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA

Kathy Niakan, The Francis Crick Institute, UK

Stem cell scientists constantly unravel and expose the mysterious embryo development process. Leading innovators will dissect the earliest decisions in the mammalian embryo, decode the genetic regulation that leads to specific cell and tissue identity, and uncover what happens when these developmental programs go awry. These presentations will explore developmental principles that are fundamental to all parts of stem cell biology.

Stem Cells and Aging

ISSCR Tobias Award Lecture: Margaret Goodell, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

Guanghui Liu, Institute of Biophysics, CAS, China

Emi Nishimura, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan

Michael Rudnicki, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Canada

Beth Stevens, Boston Children’s Hospital, USA

Stem cell function often is dramatically affected during aging. Understanding these processes may help scientists determine how to prevent degeneration. Through the presentations, the decline in stem cell frequency and function that often accompanies the aging process will be explored. Attendees will gain new knowledge about principles unique to specific tissues, or common between all, and how misregulation of stem cells plays a key role in aging and disease.

Dissecting Organogenesis

Sponsored by: Semma Therapeutics

ISSCR Momentum Award Lecture: Mitinori Saitou, Kyoto University, Japan

Miki Ebisuya, EMBL Barcelona, Spain

Madeline Lancaster, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK

Hans Snoeck, Columbia University Medical Center, USA

Novel techniques allow scientists to examine mechanisms of morphogenesis and differentiation during in vivo and in vitro organogenesis. Attendees will discover how researchers apply interdisciplinary approaches from epigenetic reprogramming to synthetic biology to organoids in order to dissect the cellular and molecular mechanisms of organogenesis. Additionally, attendees will hear about new translational studies that are bringing this research to the clinic and comparative studies that explain what makes humans unique.

Reprogramming and Regeneration

Sponsored by FujiFilm

ISSCR Achievement Award Lecture: Fred H. Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA

Anne McLaren Lecture: Alta Charo, University of Wisconsin USA

Botond Roska, Friedrich Miescher Institute, Switzerland

Li Qian, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Shinya Yamanaka, Center for iPS Cell Research & Application, Japan

Reprogramming and regeneration are essential focal points in the study of stem cell biology. Leading researchers will illuminate the current state of these topic areas and how they are advancing stem cell therapies from bench to bedside. Attendees will hear about how reprogrammed cells are helping us understand disease and screen for new drugs, new insights into the mechanisms of regeneration, and the ethical issues surrounding it all.

Not only will ISSCR 2020 host outstanding plenaries, but also concurrent programming sessions organized around four core themes covering areas of the field. The meeting will host workshops from industry leaders on clinical translation, and biotech entrepreneurs discussing new ventures and investment. Special sessions cover public policy, women in science, science and ethics, stem cell technology, and preclinical development of investigational stem cell products. See speakers and sessions.

The ISSCR 2020 Virtual Meeting will feature live Q&A, networking hubs, a digital poster hall, and a vibrant, virtual exhibit floor. Attendees can access on-demand viewing of all sessions 24 hours-a-day for 30 days. All networking and professional development workshops and special sessions are now included with registration. Learn more about the high-caliber speakers and explore the workshops and special sessions that are incorporated into the virtual meeting this year.


Registration is open. Complementary registration is available for media; apply for credentials. To connect for interviews, contact Kym Kilbourne at kkilbourne@isscr.org or media@isscr.org.

About the International Society for Stem Cell Research

With nearly 4,000 members from more than 60 countries, the International Society for Stem Cell Research is the preeminent global, cross-disciplinary, science-based organization dedicated to stem cell research and its translation to the clinic. The ISSCR mission is to promote excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health. Additional information about stem cell science is available at A Closer Look at Stem Cells, an initiative of the Society to inform the public about stem cell research and its potential to improve human health.


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