FREEPORT – The International Stem Cell Society’s global conference will take place February 19-22 at the Grand Lucayan Resort in Grand Bahama, it was announced yesterday.
The conference, entitled “Bridging the gap: research to point of care,” will bring medical scientists, clinicians, ethicists, regulatory experts, and investors to discuss progress in the fields of research and clinical protocols.
Minister of Health Dr Perry Gomez is expected to attend and bring remarks.
Okyanos Heart Institute chief science officer, Leslie Miller, will also address the conference. He is one of the foremost experts in adult stem cell therapy for heart failure.
Dr Miller will be speaking about adipose-derived stem and regenerative cells to treat cardiovascular disease on Thursday, February 20.
“In this session, I will share a summary of the latest clinical findings in adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) for cardiovascular disease,” said Dr Miller.
“Bone marrow as a source of stem cells has been studied in clinical trials for many years now, and we can now share what we have learned about fat cells as a source, and how they compare and contrast. This will be important information as we carefully manoeuvre into treatment of patients outside of clinical trials.”
Dr Miller is an internationally renowned cardiologist and expert in the field of heart failure and transplantation.
He has served as an investigator in more than 80 clinical trials, including many that use of stem cells derived from fat tissue to treat heart disease.
Dr Miller is a former director of the University of South Florida (USF) Heart Institute, professor of cardiovascular sciences at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and has been published in numerous clinical journals.
He also served as the director of the cardiac programmes at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Centre.
STEMSO president Douglas Hammond said they are pleased to be hosting the conference in the Bahamas.
“With the agenda consisting of many of the foremost authorities in the world on stem cell therapy and healthcare regulations and ethics, we are sure to have a productive and informative conference,” he said.
Another prominent speaker will be Dr Amit Patel, director of clinical regenerative medicine and tissue engineering at the University of Utah.
In 2002, he led a breakthrough study demonstrating that stem cell transplantation could treat congestive heart failure.
Currently, Dr Patel is a national lead investigator for Aastrom Biosciences, which is seeking to treat cardiomyopathy, both ischemic and non-ischemic, using adult stem cells in the US.
He is also lead investigator for a number of trials using adult stem cells to treat limb ischemia (inadequate blood flow to the legs).
He has started collaborative programmes in Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Germany, and India.
Dr Patel will be discussing the use of stem cells for heart failure.