CIRM grantee Robert Blelloch of the University of California, San Francisco won the 2011 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The society's annual meeting is taking place now in Toronto.
Blelloch presented his research June 15 at 6pm and will participate in a press briefing at noon June 16. His work focuses on the role of small molecules called microRNAs and their role in stem cell biology and cancer.
The annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research is Mecca for the hardcore stem cell research community. The next four days will be filled with intense and detailed discussions of all of the molecular details of how stem cells work--details we need to understand to move stem cells into the clinic effectively and safely.
Many people in the stem cell community and at CIRM have been concerned about the growing trend of stem cell tourism -- people going overseas to receive unproven "stem cell" therapies. The term Stem Cells is in quotes here because in general these clinics are less than open about what, exactly, the therapy entails. One tourism destination in Costa Rica owned by an Arizona entrepreneur was just shut down by the country's Health Ministry.