Interns Alicia Razo and Julio Valle supporting each other during the poster session.

In June of 2017, nine of the interns from Cohort 8, headed off to the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Boston, Massachusetts. Over a four day period, this meeting brings together experts in the field of regenerative medicine, from around the globe. Over 4000 people attended the meeting, which provided a far-reaching and diverse scientific program, including sessions that highlighted the successes, challenges and exciting future in this area. The plenaries, concurrent sessions and three poster receptions provided a robust program encompassing the breadth of the stem cell field. The interns agree that not only was presenting their posters valuable, but the variety of talks, activities and people they met led to the meeting being one of the most unique and inspiring events they have attended.

Tanisha Takhar sharing her findings with another attendee at ISSCR.

Tanisha Takhar, from the lab of Dr. Karl Willert at UCSD, presented her poster “Developing strategies to target and kill cancer cells expressing the WNT receptor FZD7.”
Tanisha says of the conference, “I found the ISSCR conference to be one of the highlights of the CIRM program and also my Masters program. I learned about different techniques to maintain and differentiate stem cells as well as met leading scientists in the field.


Natalie Navarette sharing her work with other interns

Natalie Navarette who did her internship at UCSD with Dr. Paulina Ordonez, also presented her work. The title of her poster was “An induced pluripotent stem cell model to study mechanisms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease associated with PNPLA3 polymorphisms in human hepatocytes.” Natalie says, “This meeting made me come out of my bubble. I found myself trying to find new approaches for my project at hand thanks to the advice of people I’ve talked to.”

Jesus Villanueva sharing his work with scientists at the Annual Meeting of ISSCR


Jesus Villanueva who did his internship with Dr. Uli Schmidt and Amanda Rickard at Genea BioCells, also participated in the poster sessions. The title of his poster was A Pluripotent Cell Based Skeletal Muscle Model for Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy. Because he was working with a biotech company, Jesus says he “got to see what it’s like to reach out to other parties potentially interested in our research or products.”

Garland Jackson presented his poster: Enhancement of Neuraxis Coverage by Transplanted Multipotent Human Neural Stem Cells in an ALS Model Mouse using Fucosylation and/or a CXCR4 Agonist. He says, “Seeing what others are working on and the expanse this field of research covers was great for getting out of the minutia of personal projects and receiving an injection of much needed inspiration.”

Rachael McVicar presented her poster: Identification of Cell Surface Markers on Human Stem Cell Derived Lung Progenitor Cells.  She says, “It’s incredible how at such a big conference, intimate interactions occur that leave a lasting impression.”

The others who presented were Sarah Fernandes, Alicia Razo, Joe Rodrguez and Julio Valle.


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