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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Group to spotlight stem cells

The Texas A&M chapter of Sigma Xi, a national scientific research society, will have a one-day symposium, “Stem Cells in Medicine,” beginning 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in 501 Rudder.
The topic was chosen in a year that has seen some major developments, scientifically and politically, in the area of stem cell research, said Sigma Xi President-elect Van Wilson.
“The recent development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has greatly expanded our capacity to create stem cells from adult cells, while the Obama administration’s pro-science stance will likely stimulate a broad range of science, including stem cell research,” said Wilson, professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Darwin J. Prockop, professor of molecular and cellular medicine, will be the keynote speaker.
Prockop will speak about the research on adult stem, progenitor cells from bone marrow, conducted in 2008 at the Health Science Center’s recently established Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Prockop and others have been studying the ability of these cells to repair injured tissues and the mechanisms. They are working to define the beneficial effects of these cells in the treatment of various diseases and symptoms. Prockop will lecture at 1:45 p.m.
The Sigma Xi symposia are intended to bring cutting edge research to a general audience, so students of all disciplines might find the event interesting, Wilson said. Students can gain a general knowledge about what stem cells are and how they can be used in medicine.
“Beyond the general information, the presenters at this symposium are all nationally recognized researchers in stem cell biology who will be discussing their latest research, much of it unpublished, so the audience will be exposed to state-of-the-art science,” Wilson said.
Students will have the opportunity to network with scientists, as a number of biologists will be attending in addition to the presenters.
Sigma Xi is a national organization that serves to recognize and promote scientific research and honor scientific scholars, according to the chapter’s Web site.
“Our world, our lives, and our environment are increasingly defined by science and technology,” Wilson said. “One of Sigma Xi’s main objectives is to promote science literacy and help develop the next generation of scientists.

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