Hannah tells us about her Travel Grant which was used to go to present her research at the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit, USA.
I’m researching canine adult stem cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which can develop into an enormous range of cell types, adult stem cells can only develop into tissue specific cell types. This should mean that we can study organ physiology and pathophysiology of disease at a cellular level. Research into adult stem cells complements that already performed in embryonic stem cells, and use of these cells is less controversial and potentially safer in longer term therapeutic applications.
“Stem cell research can become quite specific and compartmentalised so going to a major conference in the US meant I could learn more about the diverse research being undertaken internationally, ranging through all the different types of stem cells and their potential applications.”
This conference was focused towards stem cell research in humans, so it was great to have a forum whereby I could discuss the stem cell work being performed in a veterinary school in the UK, undertaking research for the benefit of animals, and how this may also potentially help humans. Conversely, as animal models are always used in research to the benefit of human patients, there is potential for using these research findings to benefit animals also.
I was surprised just how many of the researchers were either independent or working outside academic institutions – people were seeking commercial funding for patents and even recruiting human patients for clinical trials. I also made several contacts which could be used for future collaborations. Patient advocates who might benefit personally from new treatments also made presentations – all of which is very different from my experiences in the UK.
See my project poster, available from the related documents box.
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Dame Olga Uvarov FRCVS gave a generous bequest to the RCVS. Dame Olga was the first female President of the RCVS in 1976, and had an extraordinary life story. Since 2001 her gift has funded EMS projects and a number of travel and research achievement awards.
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