Stem-cell research leaders to meet in NUIG

The Irish Times – Monday, July 2, 2012

LORNA SIGGINS

WORLD leaders in stem-cell technology are due to exchange knowledge of potential treatments at a conference opening in NUI Galway today.

Researchers from NUIG, University College Cork and NUI Maynooth will participate in the event, which has been billed as the first major conference on stem-cell therapy in Ireland.

Prof Anthony Hollander of the University of Bristol, England who was one of a team which successful created and then transplanted the first tissue-engineered trachea or windpipe is among a number of international speakers presenting findings.

The gathering will focus on the realities of stem-cell treatment, Prof Frank Barry, director of NUIGs National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science has said.

The therapy is complex and controversial, and sometimes exaggerated claims are made, he said.

The researchers are specialists in Mesenchymal, or adult, stem cells, and will be concentrating on what is likely in the future, he added.

The list of conditions which could be treated successfully by stem cells is small, but growing, Prof Barry said.

Leukaemia and other diseases of the blood appear to respond best.

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Stem-cell research leaders to meet in NUIG