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February 21, 2003



Leading Scientists Will Present Advances in Stem Cells, Islet Transplants for Diabetes, Gene Therapy and Tissue Engineering

ATLANTA— Leading international scientists in stem cell research and transplantation will present their most recent discoveries at the 2003 Cell Transplant Society 6th International Congress in Atlanta, March 2-5. The meeting is sponsored by the Emory University Center for Transplantation and the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues. It will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta. The scientific program is available online at

The Cell Transplant Society is a section of the Transplantation Society ­­ the principal international forum for the advancement of basic and clinical transplantation science throughout the world. Scientific experts attending the meeting will report on the latest research findings in adult and embryonic stem cell biology; islet transplantation for diabetes; the potential for organ regeneration using adult stem cells; stem cells for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and heart disease; gene therapy and stem cells in orthopaedics and cardiology; xenotransplantation; immune tolerance strategies for improving transplantation; regulatory issues; and clinical trials.

The meeting’s organizing committee includes representatives from nine countries. The scientific program includes eleven plenary sessions, nine oral abstract sessions, a poster session, and a tribute to Paul E. Lacy, MD, PhD, retired chair of pathology at Washington University School of Medicine, who is recognized for developing the first experimental model for transplanting islet cells.

Collin Weber, MD, professor of surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and president of the Cell Transplant Society; William Wood, MD, Joseph B. Whitehead professor and chair of the Emory Department of Surgery; and Thomas Lawley, MD, dean of Emory School of Medicine, will open the conference presentations on Monday, March 3.

"These are extremely exciting times in the field of cell transplantation," Dr. Weber says, "not only because of the great progress being made in pancreatic islet transplantation, but also because of innovations in stem cell and cloning studies and advances in cell transplants in many different organ systems. This broad-based program will bring recent major research achievements to the forefront."

Scientific speakers will include James Shapiro, MD, leader of the renowned Edmonton protocol for clinical islet transplantation in diabetes; Catherine Verfaillie, MD, University of Minnesota scientist recognized for her research in adult stem cells; Steven Stice, PhD, University of Georgia scientist and leader in cloning of agricultural animals; Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil and Thomas Pearson, MD, PhD, Emory research leaders in developing strategies for immune tolerance in organ transplantation; and a host of other internationally respected scientific leaders in cell transplantation.

Registration and lodging information is available by accessing the Emory University Continuing Medical Education website at For additional information please call 404-727-0468.

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