Press release ¤ Information de presse
Prof. Hans R. Schöler, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster
Plenary lecture, Forum, Room Agenda
18 May 2006, 1.30 p.m.
Regenerative medicine and especially stem cell research deal with new therapeutic concepts based on cellular therapies for degenerative diseases like cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson and diabetes.
Many well known scientists working with stem cells believe that embryonic stem cells have enormous potential. Irving Weissman, Stanford, USA, who is a pioneer of adult stem cell research, predicts a second biotechnological revolution triggered by embryonic stem cell research. On the other hand there are warnings that efficient therapies have not yet been developed and are still only a hope for the future. Sobering experience with promising therapeutic concepts in the past, e.g. with gene therapy, only produced a categorical ‘no’ to research with embryonic stem cells by the public. This situation led to the fact that in Germany public opinion is divided on the question of research with adult and embryonic stem cells.
Hans R. Schöler has a high reputation as stem cell researcher. He returned to Germany from the USA two years ago. In his lecture he will point out the necessity for research with adult and embryonic stem cells. Both branches of stem cell research are needed to ascertain the best therapeutic concept for a great number of diseases. He will also explain how specific stem cells from a patient can be obtained without going through the critical embryonic phase and how embryonic stem cells enable scientists to work on rare genetic diseases in vitro to better understand the mechanisms of these diseases and to explore different therapeutic options.