Many folks in science toss around the term interdisciplinary pretty freely. But few put it into action as thoroughly as the organizers of the World Stem Cell Summit. This multi-track event will be coming to San Diego December 4-6. The official announcement is here.
Now in its ninth year, the Summit has matured into a truly balanced meeting that mixes the voices of basic researchers, translational researchers who concentrate on moving discoveries into the clinic, clinicians, industry leaders, economists, lawyers, and most important, patient advocates. In past years when I have attended the meeting I frequently have had researchers come up and talk to me about how much they get out of being in the room with the eclectic mix of the Summit, in particular the patient advocates.
This year, like two years ago when the Summit was in Pasadena, I will be serving on the planning committee organizing panel discussions and inviting speakers. I really enjoy the jigsaw puzzle aspect of building a varied but balanced conference, and one that is not completely predictable. So if any of you have ideas for topics or individual speakers, please send a note to dgibbons@CIRM.ca.gov
The best way to get a feel for the types of topics covered during the Summit might be to look as some of the real-time blog posts my colleagues and I posted from last year’s conference in West Palm Beach. The previous year, we interviewed a number of the patient advocates who attended the event. You can read those items here.
The Genetics Policy Institute takes the lead in developing the Summit, but enlists a number of co-organizers each year. This year CIRM is being joined as a co-organizer by the Mayo Clinic, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.
Consider attending and send me your ideas.