WisBusiness: Doyle says Madison will host World Stem Cell Summit


In a major coup for the state, Gov. Jim Doyle announced today that Madison will host the World Stem Cell Summit on September 22 – 23.

Doyle said the conference will bring together top researchers, advocates, investors and other industry leaders to advance stem cell research and the promising technologies that will save lives.

The World Stem Cell Summit will be held in Wisconsin on the 10th anniversary of the breakthroughs of Dr. James Thomson and other UW-Madison researchers who became the first to successfully isolate and cultivate an embryonic stem cell line in 1998.

Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, said the news “is another sign that we have become a world center for stem cell research and development.

“Really, it’s only natural that it be held here. We are thrilled to host it and believe Wisconsin can put on a conference that demonstrates to the world what we have to offer,” he said.

Clive Svendsen, co-director of the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, said the summit is “rapidly become one of the biggest events for discussing stem cell research, its potential impact on medicine and health and its implications for public policy.”

Svendsen said the gathering has been held at Harvard and Stanford universities in recent years.

“So it is great that it is coming to the Midwest and Madison,” said Svendsen, who praised Doyle’s support for stem cell research.

Svendsen noted that several stem cell-related businesses have been spun out of the university. He predicted more will be created in the years to come with the help of WARF (the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) and the state.

“More businesses will be created out of the studies we are doing here,” he said. “That is particularly true now that adult skin cells can be diverted or reprogrammed into what look like stem cells.”

In announcing the conference, Doyle said
“stem cell research represents the promise to not only save lives, but to create economic opportunity for innovation and job growth as well.

“We are at the ground floor of a vastly important field of life science discovery. Wisconsin will continue to blaze the future of stem cells, and the World Stem Cell Summit represents the next frontier of hope for patients and the next generation of businesses for Wisconsin.”

Hosted by WiCell and the University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, the World Stem Cell Summit is the preeminent gathering for the entire global stem cell community and will provide critical tools for leadership and advancements for the future of regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine and stem cell technologies are estimated to become a $500 billion industry over the next 20 years.

See release: http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=120698