CHRI Co-Sponsors 2nd Annual Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine Symposium

The Child Health Research Institute co-sponsored this year's 2nd Annual Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine Symposium.

Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Cell Engineering at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Katherine High, MD, president and chief scientific officer of Spark Therapeutics, delivered their keynote addresses at the 2nd Annual Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine (CDCM) Symposium on February 27 at the Stanford Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge.

“The 2nd Annual Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine Symposium gathered 490 registrants interested in innovations in the pipeline to curative medicine,” said Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, director of the CDCM and co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

With the support of the Stanford Child Health Research Institute (CHRI) and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH) Stanford, the CDCM put on this year’s scientific conference that explored stem cell and gene therapies from the discovery stages to the clinical trials to the development and commercialization of curative medicine.

“Stanford scientists presented their cutting edge translational research in cell and gene therapy and had the opportunity to interact with key opinion leaders in the field,” Dr. Roncarolo remarked. “The keynote speakers, Drs. Michel Sadelain and Kathy High, presented the new frontiers in cell and gene therapy for cancer and genetic diseases.”

Dr. Sadelain, whose research focuses on human cell engineering and cell therapies to treat cancer, gave his opening talk on CAR Therapy: The CD19 Paradigm and Beyond. Dr. High, whose research is in gene therapies for genetic diseases, addressed her keynote on Discovering, Developing, and Delivering Gene Therapies for Genetic Disease.

The lineup for the conference included presentations in pediatrics this year, some from speakers who are members of the CHRI and have received funding from the Institute for research in maternal child health.

Michael Longaker, MD, MBA, FACS, Vice Chair of Surgery and Professor of Surgey at Stanford University and past recipient of a CHRI award, gives his talk on skeletal stem cells.

“A quarter of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine members are recipients of one or more CHRI grant for research in maternal and child health,” said Tony Oro, MD, PhD, associate director of the CDCM and co-director of the CHRI. To date, the CHRI has awarded over 55 grants to members of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine for research in this area.

“The symposium is an opportunity for the CHRI to collaborate with the center and to highlight the excellent work being down in cell and gene therapies at Stanford, and in particular, curative medicine for children with incurable diseases,” said Dr. Oro. He served on the planning committee for the center’s symposium along with CDCM associate director, Matthew Porteus, MD, and Dr. Roncarolo.  

From fiscal year 2007 to 2017, the CHRI awarded $6.9 million in maternal child health grants to the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.  “We are pioneering the next generation of treatments for cancers and other diseases in children,” said Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE director of the Stanford CHRI. “We are committed to advancing research in maternal and child health, as evidenced in our co-sponsorship of the 2nd Annual Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine Symposium."

Conference speakers who are recipients of a CHRI award included:

  • Sergiu Pasca, MD; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; CHRI Pilot/Eary Career Awardee FY16; Symposium Talk: Functional Human Brain Models in a Dish
  • Sarah Heilshorn, MS, PhD; Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering, and of Bioengineering; CHRI New Idea Awardee FY17; Symposium Talk: Hydrogels for Stem Cell Expansion, 3D Printing, and Transplantation
  • Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director of Center for Definite and Curative Medicine; CHRI Cardiovascular Institute Awardee FY15; Symposium Talk: Genome Editing of HSCs: A Platform for Curing Genetic Diseases of the Blood and Immune System
  • Michael Longaker, MD, MBA, FACS, Vice Chair of Surgery and Professor of Surgey, and by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering, and of Bioengineering; CHRI Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Awardee FY13; Symposium Talk: Skeletal Stem Cells: Repair and Disease
  • Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine; Co-director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine; CHRI Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Awardee FY14; Opening introductions and closing thoughts for the Symposium

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