Workshop “Improving Animal Models for Regenerative Medicine”

You are invited to the symposium organized by the Division of Comparative Medicine (Office of Research Infrastructure Programs in the Office of the Director, NIH) on May 23-24, 2012 at Lister Hill Auditorium/NIH, Bethesda, MD.

Regenerative Medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to damage, or congenital defects. Importantly, regenerative medicine has the potential to solve the problem of the shortage of organs available for donation. It also holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves. The recent discovery of the reprogramming of adult cells potentially addresses the major problem of regenerative medicine, immune rejection of the transplanted tissue. The ability to generate differentiated cells and tissues using patient cells will facilitate individualized medicine and eventually will lead to specialized therapies. The field is become increasingly dependent on animal models and information regarding potential therapeutic efficiency is moving toward translation and clinical practice. Moreover, safety of new technologies is becoming a more central topic. The discovery and characterization of the human stem cells has triggered derivation of stem cells from other species, which is currently giving a unique opportunity to gain fundamental scientific knowledge as well as to contribute to human health.

The purpose of the workshop is to convene a colloquium on the current status and benefits of the use of animal models for cell-based regenerative medicine, with the eventual goal of moving these techniques into clinical practice. The meeting brings together expert biologists and clinicians who will provide insight, ideas, challenges and opportunities for the development of potential initiatives and encourage members of the biomedical community to use animal stem cells to create regenerative medicine models.

The following major directions will be explored:

·         Biology of animal stem cells, differences and similarities with human stem cells which will affect the translation of animal model results to clinical practice.

·         The best approaches for isolating, expanding and reprograming specific populations of animal stem or progenitor cells for use in understanding or treating specific diseases.

·         Application of new technologies for characterizing animal stem cells and their microenvironment for use in regenerative medicine. Improving quality assessment to determine the exact cellular state and development of non-invasive technologies to monitor engraftment in vivo.

·         The use of human stem cells in animals and chimeric animal models to understand human stem cell biology and to accelerate the move toward clinical translation and potential complications for animal health.

·         Methods for defining the criteria to choose the most appropriate animal species and best animal models for testing new regenerative therapeutics for variety of disease conditions.


Confirmed Speakers


Eric T. Ahrens, Carnegie Mellon University

Joseph W.B. Bulte, Johns Hopkins University

Michele Calos, Stanford University

Tobias Cantz, Max-Planck Institute, Germany

Kenneth R. Chien, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sheng Ding, University of California San Francisco

Ina Dobrinski, University of Calgary, Canada

Marina E. Emborg, University of Wisconsin

Ole Isacson, Harvard Medical School

Fumihiko Ishikawa, RIKEN Research Center, Kyoto, Japan

Armand Keating, University of Toronto, Canada

Henry Kaplan, University of Louisville

Hans-Peter Kiem, University of Washington

Martin Marsala, University California, San Diego

Alex Meissner, Harvard University

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Oregon University

Andras Nagy, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Canada

Darwin Prockop, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Michael Roberts, University of Missouri

Maike Sander, University of California, San Diego

Evan Y. Snyder, Burnham Institute for Medical Research

James A. Thomson, University of Wisconsin

Joseph C. Wu, Stanford University

Yang Xu, University California San Diego

Kang Zhang, University California, San Diego


Scientific Organizing Committee


Oleg Mirochnitchenko (ORIP/OD, NIH), John D. Harding (ORIP/OD, NIH), Mahendra Rao (NIMS, NIH)

Jose Cibelli, Michigan State University

Marina Emborg, University of Wisconsin

Darwin Prockop, Texas A&M Health Science Center

Michael Roberts, University of Missouri

Gerald Schatten, University of Pittsburgh