April 10, 2008

Latest developments in umbilical cord blood-derived stem cell studies to be discussed at Research ShowCASE forum


Exciting developments are taking place in the development and application of stem cells, considered the body's "master" cells because they create all other tissues, organs and systems in the human body. Researchers have concluded that stem cells are the key to the body's regenerative ability.

A forum sponsored by The Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Cord Blood Foundation, dba the Cleveland Cord Blood Center, will explore how stem cells from umbilical cord blood have been used in lifesaving treatments and research. The discussion will take place on April 17 from 10:30 a.m. to noon during Research ShowCASE, an annual event that highlights ongoing research from Case Western Reserve University’s faculty, students and collaborative partners.

The ability of these types of stem cells to differentiate and change into other types of cells in the body is a relatively new discovery. Research indicates that cord blood is more easily obtained, faster to distribute, and may preclude patients from spending time waiting for identification of adult donor matches.

Stem cells are reliable and robust, and have major potential in the treatment of some common diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, heart disease, stroke and autoimmune illnesses. A major challenge, however, in exploring this research is the actual cell source.

Cord Blood Research Panelists

A well-regarded group of panelists will discuss how cord blood research is impacting health topics ranging from diseases such as leukemia to regenerative medicine. Mary J. Laughlin, associate professor of medicine and pathology and the Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Cancer Therapeutics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will moderate and present during the forum. She also is the medical director of the Cleveland Cord Blood Center. Laughlin will be joined by Colleen S. Delaney, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology at the University of Washington; Mariusz Z. Ratajczak, professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville and director of the Stem Cell Biology Program; and ,Jeremy Sugarman, Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, Berman Institute of Bioethics and Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

About Research ShowCASE

Research ShowCASE begins on April 16, and continues April 17 beginning at 8 a.m. with exhibits, displays and demonstrations, as well as forums throughout the day. More than 500 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as faculty from Case Western Reserve University, and its collaborating institutions—including University Hospitals of Cleveland, MetroHealth System, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic—will present their research through poster displays, interactive demonstrations and other media.

The campus community and general public are invited to attend the free exhibition. Register online, and read more for a complete list of Research ShowCASE forums and events.

For more information contact Kimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, April 10, 2008 10:03 AM | News Topics: HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Provost Initiatives, Research, School of Medicine, news

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