International stem cell experts visit cutting-edge Madison for research collaboration opportunities

U.K. Stem Cell Bank and WiCell Research Institute discuss practicalities, politics in rapidly growing science of stem cell research

2.9.07

MADISON, Wis. – The rapidly growing industry of stem cell research in the Midwest has attracted the attention of the U.K., which is widely regarded as a world leader in stem cell research.  On February 12, two world-renowned stem cell researchers and policymakers from the U.K. will join their colleagues in a workshop jointly hosted by the WiCell Research Institute, a non-profit education and research facility affiliated with the University of Wisconsin, and the U.K. Stem Cell Bank.
 
The workshop will cover a range of topics, from the everyday practicalities of working with the U.K. Stem Cell Bank to broader opportunities for collaboration, as well as discussions on wider issues affecting the U.S. and U.K. approaches to stem cell research.
“Stem cell research in the Midwest is increasing at an incredible pace,” said Geoff Brammer, deputy consul general at the British Consulate General in Chicago which is also co-sponsoring the event with WiCell.  “There are amazing opportunities for the U.S. and U.K. to work together to further both our efforts in this crucial area of research.”

Carl Gulbrandsen, president of WiCell Research Institute, agreed. “This is an opportunity to discuss a wide variety of topics important to stem cell researchers all over the world,” said Gulbrandsen.  “We look forward to enabling companies to take seamless advantage of the expertise of both stem cell banks to move the development of this technology forward.”
 
Participants in the workshop will include:
Lord Patel, a member of the House of Lords and chairman of the U.K. Stem Cell Oversight Committee. A doctor and a scientist, Lord Patel will discuss the political climate in the U.K regarding stem cell research as well as ways U.S. researchers can collaborate on U.K. national initiatives.

Dr. Glyn Stacey, director of the world-renowned U.K. Stem Cell Bank.  A long-time advisor to the U.K. Department of Health and the World Health Organization, Stacey offers a unique world-view perspective on how U.S. research fits into the international stem cell research effort.

Dr. Derek Hei, principal investigator on the National Stem Cell Bank, which is housed at WiCell.  Hei is a scientist and director of the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility.
 
The U.K. is recognized as a world leader in stem cell research, in part due to continual and increasing British government support of research initiatives.  At the workshop, participants will learn about regulatory and operational issues of the U.K. Stem Cell Bank, which is a nationally funded source of quality-controlled stem cell lines that are available to public and private researchers in the U.K. and all over the world.  Panelists also will discuss the U.K.’s regulatory approach to ethical stem cell research as well as other related initiatives, such as the newly formed U.K. National Stem Cell Network and U.K. Stem Cell Immunology Programme.

Internet Links:
WiCell Research Institute: www.wicell.org
UK Stem Cell Bank:www.ukstemcellbank.org.uk

For more information, press only:
Beth Brophy, Vagus, Inc., 773-895-5387, [email protected]