MEDIA ADVISORY: Cell-Based Therapeutics: The Next Generation of Medicine

WHAT: Scientists at UC San Francisco will host a one day symposium, “Cell-Based Therapeutics: The Next Generation of Medicine,” with some of the nation’s leading clinical and laboratory researchers in stem cell therapy, immunotherapy and bacterial therapeutics. Each session will include short talks on the potential and the challenges of cellular therapeutics by featured speakers, and discussion periods moderated by esteemed scientists in these fields.

The promise of cell-based therapies is growing as scientists learn how genomes guide the organization of biochemical systems within cells, how to manipulate stem cells, how to engineer immune cells that can be more specifically targeted, and how bacteria we live with everyday can affect health and disease.

The symposium is sponsored by Science Translational Medicine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and by the UCSF Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology.

WHEN: Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Genentech Hall Auditorium, 600 16th St., San Francisco, UCSF Mission Bay Campus.


Immune Cell Therapeutics
9:30 a.m. -10:40 a.m.

This session will include Carl June, MD, professor in immunotherapy at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. June developed a novel T-cell therapy that last year saved a 7-year-old girl from certain death due to acute lymphoblastic leukemia; now, several more patients have been treated. June also is investigating a similar strategy to target proteins found on HIV. Wendell Lim, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, will discuss some of the latest advances in the engineering of cells.

Stem-Cell Therapeutics
11:10 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

This session will feature Ann Tsukamoto, executive vice president, research and development at Stem Cells, Inc., a company targeting spinal cord injury and other central nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s and stroke. Tsukamato is experienced in leading cell therapies through clinical trials, including the second neural stem cell clinical trial ever conducted in the United States — and the first with published results. The study involved young children with a rare, fatal form of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. She will be joined by Fan Yang, PhD assistant professor Bioengineering and Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University, who investigates how micro-environmental cues govern the fate of stem cells and aims to develop biomaterials and stem cell-based therapeutics.

Bacterial Therapeutics
1:50 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.

This session will feature scientists discussing how bacteria can be used to treat disease and promote health. The many hundreds of bacteria species that live within and upon us, and that outnumber our own cells by about ten to one, interact within their environs to determine the character of each individual’s “microbiome.” The potential of bacteria to treat disease has been demonstrated by the recent use of fecal transplants to introduce communities of health-promoting bacteria into patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, a serious gastrointestinal condition that can be life-threatening. Researchers aim to better understand and engineer bacterial systems and to develop more refined treatments for a variety of diseases.

The session will feature Katherine Lemon, MD, PhD, from the Forsythe Institute of Boston, Michael Redinbo, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Christopher Voight, PhD, Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, and UCSF’s Michael Fischbach, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF and a recipient of an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.



9:00 – 9:30am          Jeffrey Bluestone | UCSF

Immune Cell Therapeutics

 9:30 – 9:50am          Carl June | UPenn
 9:50 – 10:10am        Wendell Lim | UCSF
10:10 – 10:40am       Discussion

Stem Cell Therapeutics

11:10 – 11:30am         Ann Tsukamoto | Stem Cells, Inc
11:30 – 11:50am         Fan Yang | Stanford
11:50 – 12:20pm         Discussion

Bacterial Therapeutics

1:50 – 2:10pm          Katherine Lemon | Harvard
2:10 – 2:30pm          Matthew Redinbo | UNC
2:30 – 2:50pm          Michael Fischbach | UCSF
2:50 – 3:10pm          Christopher Voigt | MIT
3:10 – 3:40pm          Discussion


4:00 – 4:30pm          Don Ganem | Novartis
4:30 – 5:00pm          Wrap up

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Interviews may be arranged with participants before, during or after the symposium. There is no pre-scheduled press briefing during the symposium. It is expected that speakers will take questions from the audience.