Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, October 16, 2009

U-M, URC partners to co-host 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has announced that the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will be in Detroit and will be co-hosted by U-M, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

The conference will take place Oct. 4-6, 2010, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. 

“We have been working to grow Michigan’s life sciences sector as part of our strategy to diversify the state’s economy and create jobs,” Granholm said during Thursday’s announcement. “The World Stem Cell Summit is one of the most important life sciences conferences in the world. The selection of Detroit to host the 2010 summit is positive recognition and support of our efforts here in Michigan in this emerging economic sector.”

The summit will attract more than 1,200 of the most influential stem cell stakeholders from more than 30 countries representing the fields of science, business, policy, law, ethics and advocacy. There will be more than 150 internationally renowned speakers, producing a unique international network designed to foster collaborations, economic development, technology transfer, commercialization, private investment and philanthropy.

The event will be organized by the non-profit Genetics Policy Institute. In addition to the three University Research Corridor partner universities, the event will be co-hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Presidents of all three universities expressed enthusiasm about the summit.

“Stem cell research and discovery are of tremendous importance not only to scientists, patients and families, but also to transforming our state’s economy,” said President Mary Sue Coleman.  “The University of Michigan is excited to welcome the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit to Michigan.”

“Michigan State University has a long history of working in a number of areas in the stem cell field such as bio-engineering, cancer biology and toxicology,” said MSU President Lou Anna Simon. “The 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will be an opportunity to showcase our work, as well as continue and establish new collaborations with our University Research Corridor colleagues.”

“As a leader in life sciences research, Wayne State University is pleased to sponsor the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit with our University Research Corridor partners,” said Wayne State President Jay Noren. ”With the planned opening of the Stem Cell Commercialization Center at TechTown, Wayne State’s technology park and business incubator, Detroit and Michigan are poised to assume leadership in research in this field of increasing importance to both the biomedical industry and pioneering clinical care.”

Covered at the summit will be all areas of stem cell science, disease models, drug discovery, tissue engineering, bioreactors and nanotechnology. There will be progress reports on treatment for cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease. Panels will discuss commercialization, funding, economic development, regulatory agency perspectives, law and ethics.

“Hosting the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will allow us to showcase the innovative research that is occurring in the city of Detroit and at Michigan universities,” said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

The summit also will feature the 2010 Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner where the Genetics Policy Institute will recognize organizations and individuals who have most positively impacted the stem cell community.

“Michigan is fast becoming a biotechnology hub,” said Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Genetics Policy Institute. ”Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University all have world-class researchers and outstanding facilities dedicated not only to fundamental stem cell research, but also to translating lab work into effective treatments and cures.”