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Summary

NIH Symposium: Challenges & Promise of Cell-Based Therapies
May 6, 2008
Natcher Conference Center
NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Story C. Landis, Ph.D.; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Dr. Landis began by thanking attendees on behalf of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force. She noted that the intent of this symposium is to provide concrete examples of state-of-the-art stem cell-based therapies. She noted that there are numerous types of stem cells, which originate in varied tissues. Moreover, there is no single "best" stem cell for all applications; rather, a wide range of options is available. As such, the clinical applications of stem cells vary in their maturity; some cell-based therapies have been proven in clinical trials while others are still being investigated in the laboratory. She noted that although this symposium focuses on therapy, this aspect represents only a small portion of the wealth of information that stem cells are providing on the molecular and cellular processes that regulate development and differentiation.