Recent advances in regenerative medicine and the promise of future therapeutics based on stem cell research came together in a series of presentations at the 2019 ISCI Symposium.
A welcome and introduction by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Dean Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., kicked off the event, which the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) hosted at the Lois Pope LIFE Center.
The ISCI Symposium “is an annual review of the most important new approaches in cell therapy and tissue engineering – highlighting the work of UM experts along with national thought leaders,” said Joshua M. Hare, M.D., senior associate dean for experimental and regenerative therapeutics, Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine, and director of ISCI.
Use of mesenchymal stem cells for treating burn injuries, presented by UM’s Evangelos Badiavas, M.D., Ph.D.; advances in translating research on intra-arterial cell therapy to treat stroke, presented by UM’s Dileep Yavagal, M.D.; and a review of five years of progress in pre-clinical and clinical cell manufacturing shared by UM’s Aisha Khan, Ph.Dc., were among the high points of the April 30 symposium.
Other highlights included “a discussion of exosomes for regenerative applications and a discussion of cardiac tissue engineering,” Dr. Hare said. For example, Ye Xiong, M.D., Ph.D., associate senior scientist in the Department of Neurosurgery Research at Henry Ford Health System, discussed the promise of cell-based exosome treatment for traumatic brain injury. Phil Yang, M.D, director of the Cardiovascular Stem Cell Laboratory and Stanford Cardiovascular MRI Program at Stanford University Medical Center, explained how very precise imaging can guide the field of regenerative medicine.
A discussion comparing the engineering of hearts through 3D bioprinting versus recellularization was provided by another national expert, Doris Taylor, Ph.D., of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.
J. William Harbour, M.D., associate director for basic research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and vice chair for translational research at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, shared his advances regarding BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1) and its role in vertebrate development, eye formation and cancer.
In addition, Ivonne Schulman, M.D., professor of clinical medicine in the UM Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, updated attendees on cell-based therapy to treat endothelial dysfunction and cardiorenal syndrome. Kostas Chatzistergos, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the UM Department of Cell Biology, explained the current science for development and regeneration of the myocardial lineage using cardiac precursor cells.
The impact of the ISCI Symposium goes beyond the full day of presentations and interactive discussions. “This event is highly educational for local scientists and trainees,” said Dr. Hare, who delivered the closing remarks on the day of the event. The symposium also “catalyzes cutting-edge new research projects and fosters future collaborations.”