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CLU hosts seminar on stem cell potential

Free public event first in a new cell biology series
February 15, 2013

Hanna Mikkola studies the generation of blood stem cells during embryonic development and their ability to self-renew and give rise to differentiated blood cell types.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Feb. 15, 2013) The first event in a new California Lutheran University lecture series will explore the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

“Stem Cells: Promise and Potential” will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday, March 8, in Lundring Events Center. The event is free and open to the public. It is the inaugural event in the new Cell Biology Symposia designed to provide information about cutting-edge research and applications in cell biology research.

This year, the speakers are all from the University of California, Los Angeles, Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

Hanna Mikkola, who teaches stem cell biology, will present “How to Make a Hemotopoietic Stem Cell.” Mikkola studies the generation of blood stem cells during embryonic development and their ability to self-renew and give rise to differentiated blood cell types. She hopes her work will make blood stem cell-based therapies safer and more broadly available. Her research is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

William Lowry, an associate professor who studies the stem cells that give rise to nerve and skin cells, will discuss “Probing the Potential of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.” He and his UCLA collaborators were the first California scientists to reprogram skin cells into embryonic-like cells. Lowry’s work is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the NIH, March of Dimes, Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Associate Director Steve Peckman, an expert in the ethics of research on human subjects and related policies, will give a talk on “Ethics and Policy in Stem Cell Research.” He has been a keynote speaker on human research issues at international conferences and published on human subject protection, including a paper for President Bill Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Peckman is a peer reviewer for the Hastings Center and the journal Accountability in Research.

The program will begin with coffee and light refreshments.

The CLU Community Leaders Association, biology department and natural sciences division are sponsoring this year’s symposium.

Lundring Events Center is located north of Olsen Road between Campus Drive and Mountclef Boulevard on the Thousand Oaks campus.

For more information, contact assistant professor of biology Chad Barber at cbarber@callutheran.edu.

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