NYSCF in the News
At some point in our lives, we or the people we love become patients. The results of the 2016 election will not change that fact. But they may well have a major impact on the funding of stem cell research, our nation’s commitment to advanced research, and our ability to pursue the highest and best science free of any political obstacles.  
 
The New York Stem Cell Foundation was created in 2005 at an exceptionally difficult time for stem cell research, when the federal government explicitly banned the use of government funds to support embryonic stem cell research. NYSCF, as a privately funded organization, played a key role in leading the way out of that difficult period for science. Our independence and private support since then have given us the freedom to pursue the most advanced research, irrespective of politics, and to build a broad constituency for the most advanced science. 
 
Over the past eleven years, NYSCF has made tremendous progress and helped to elevate the entire field of stem cell research. We are hopeful that the broad coalition of both public and private support for stem cell research that we have seen over the last eight years will not be lost. Today, NYSCF remains independent as an institution and regardless of the political climate, our only priority is to do everything we can to assure that the search for better treatments and cures continues to advance unencumbered by politics. 
 
Thank you for your ongoing support of NYSCF and stem cell research.
 

Susan L. Solomon
CEO and Co-Founder
The New York Stem Cell Foundation

 

Leaders in stem cell biology and researchers at the forefront of translational medicine convened at the 2016 NYSCF Conference to discuss the latest advances in using stem cells to understand and treat human disease. Through presentations, panels, posters and numerous informal discussions, attendees gained exciting new insights into disease mechanisms and heard about novel approaches to treat a wide range of debilitating conditions.  
 
Key meeting highlights included updates on stem cell research on:
 
Macular Degeneration - Presentations by Drs. Masayo Takahashi, RIKEN-CDB, Japan, and Sally Temple, Neural Stem Cell Institute, on the initiation of clinical trials involving stem cell-based treatments for macular degeneration. 
 
Cancer - Drs. Isabelle Riviere, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Saar Gill, University of Pennsylvania, and Khalid Shah, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, shared the latest CAR-T and stem cell-based cancer therapies, an exciting and promising approach for patients around the world.
 
In addition, a keynote address featured Greg Simon, Executive Director of the Cancer Moonshot Taskforce, who discussed the President's initiative to use novel collaboration structures and a boost of funding to make giant research leaps against many different types of the disease.
 
Tissue Engineering - Novel approachs to treating complicated disease included a presentation by Dr. Tracy Grikscheit, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, who discussed how her lab uses new approaches for intestine and colon repair via stem cell-based tissue engineering. 
 
Diabetes - Drs. Gerald Napom, Benaroya Research Institute, and Qizhi Tang, University of California San Francisco, debated strategies for overcoming immunological barriers in cell therapy for diabetes. 
 
Other presentations addressed heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders, bone repair and novel drug discovery platforms.
 
The NYSCF conference is unique, focusing on translational stem cell research demonstrating the potential to advance cures for the major diseases of our time. It is designed for all professionals with an interest in stem cell research, including physicians, researchers, clinical investigators, professors, government and health officials, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Stay tuned for information on The NYSCF Conference 2017! 
 
 
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NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon gave a keynote presentation at the Missouri Cures Women in Science and Entrepreneurship conference. Kelly Jackson, an Emmy nominated journalist for KSDK TV in St. Louis, introduced Ms. Solomon, who focused on NYSCF’s efforts to encourage women and students to enter, thrive and succeed in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The annual meeting, held in St. Louis, Missouri, provides an opportunity for women to share experiences and to discuss how to overcome challenges in STEM careers.
 
The Missouri Cures Education Foundation is a not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance dedicated to promote medical advances to improve the health in Missouri. 
 
 

 

 

NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Winrich Freiwald, associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Neural Systems at The Rockefeller University, received the 2016 W. Alden Spencer Award for his work researching how the brain processes faces. Studying rhesus monkeys, Dr. Freiwald and his team have discovered areas of the brain that are key to processing faces, called 'face patches,' and identified several brain areas in charge of facial movements crucial to emotional expression.

Given by Columbia University annually, the W. Alden Spences Award recognizes outstanding research contributions in the field of neuroscience. Dr. Freiwald shares the award with collaborator Dr. Doris Y. Tsao of the California Institute of Technology.

 

Read the press release from The Rockefeller University >>

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 16:03

Manipulating Neurons to Understand the Brain

Multiple NYSCF Research Institute scientists and NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Michael Long, NYU Medical Center, authored a paper published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers used a novel virus to manipulate a specific type of neuron in mouse models, allowing them to use these mouse models to mimic the neuron behavior in other vertebrate species. 

This extremely important research allows scientists to use mouse models to extrapolate how neural mechanisms behave in higher order species including humans. Understanding human neural mechanisms is a critical step towards new treatments and cures for many different brain disorders and injuries.

 

Read the paper in Nature Neuroscience >>

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:55

NYSCF Innovator Explores Short Term Memory

NYSCF - Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Dr. Christopher Harvey and his team at Harvard Medical School published their latest research exploring how short term memories are formed. Using mice and a virtual navigation task, the scientists showed that short term memories can emerge from different groups of neurons in the general dynamics of learning the task over and over again, not necessarily from a winner-take-all model of one neuron group beating out all others. 

Understanding how memories form is a critical step to discovering new treatments for memory and thought disorders and injuries. 

 

Read the paper in Nature Neuroscience >>

NYSCF partnered with the American Museum of Natural History in New York on their learning exhibition “The Science of Stem Cells in the Sackler Educational Laboratory.” This exhibition explores the basic biology of stem cells and what promise they hold for future treatments and includes live animals and specimes for exploration.
 
The NYSCF Research Institute provided live stem cell samples, including beating heart cells, for viewing and sparking conversation amongst museum attendees.
 
This exciting learning opportunity is free with museum membership or admission and is open for two more weekends, October 1-2 and October 8-9.  
 
 
Misunderstanding and misrepresentation of science in the media is a pervasive and age-old problem for research institutions. David McKeon, NYSCF Chief of Staff, explored this important issue and shared the steps NYSCF takes to correct false media representation of our work at the annual Health Research Alliance (HRA) Conference in Bethesda, Maryland. 
 
Mr. McKeon discussed NYSCF’s strategies for clearly communicating our work and working with the media to accurately describe the science. He provided case studies using NYSCF’s discoveries, and the actions he and his colleagues take to prevent distortion of the science in the media. 
 
HRA is an organization that fosters collaboration among non profit and non-governmental funders to support health research and training to advance health. The annual conference brings together HRA members to share best practices and new ideas all with a goal of advancing health. 
 
 
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