IBT Scientist Takes Leadership Role in Stem Cell Summit

June 8, 2005

Robert D. Wells, Ph.D., director of the Center for Genome Research at the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, is taking a leading role in a gathering of national and international specialists that will discuss stem cell research.
Dr. Wells will chair a session of the two-day symposium, Stem Cell Policy and Advocacy Summit: Sustaining the Mandate for Cures, to be held June 11 and 12 in Houston at Baylor College of Medicine. The Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT) is located in the famed Texas Medical Center in Houston and is a part of The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, which is a sponsor of the symposium.
Dr. Wells will lead a session on somatic cell nuclear transfer and the quest for cures, and Woo Suk Hwang, Ph.D., of Seoul National University will describe his headline-making advances in using stem cells for regenerative medicine.
Dr. Wells helped bring together the impressive array of scientists, policymakers, advocates, bioethicists and political and legal experts to discuss the critical and timely issues involved in stem cell research. Attendees will learn how to address the scientific, political and ethical issues of stem cell research while reaching out to the media, legislators and the general public.
Hosting the meeting at Baylor College of Medicine is William R. Brinkley, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor. Both Drs. Wells and Brinkley are past presidents of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the nation’s largest organization of biomedical scientists.
Adding to their scientific expertise with his advocacy experience is Bernard Siegel, J.D., founder and executive director of the Genetics Policy Institute. The institute is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to preventing human reproductive cloning while advocating the responsible use of therapeutic cloning research. At the symposium’s banquet on June 11, the Genetics Policy Institute will present its first Global Achievement Award to Dr. Hwang.
Current legislative agendas both at the national and state levels will be discussed by key activists. California’s example of encouraging the use of stem cells to promote human health will provide a model for debate and elaboration.

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