If we can understand more about blood stem cells and the formation of blood cells it may help to improve the health of patients suffering from various blood-related diseases. During a three-day conference in late May, leading scientists from around the world met in Lund to discuss and exchange experiences on the subject.
”The conference aims to contribute to new collaborations and exchange of experience between researchers in the field,” says Stefan Karlsson, who is the coordinator for the Hemato-Linné research programme and one of the programme’s initiators.
The latest blood stem cell research was presented at various talks during the three-day conference programme. Many of the young scientists highlighted how beneficial the conference had been for their professional development, particularly the opportunity to discuss research with the more experienced researchers.
One of the main speakers was David Scadden, professor at Harvard Medical School and honorary doctor at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University.
”This is a very important conference to me,” he says. “It´s an opportunity for leaders in the field to meet and it creates new opportunities for cooperation.”
David Scadden is a leader in his field of research and works closely with the haematology researchers in Lund. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine, which he received in 2009.
”The goal of my research is to find better, simpler and safer therapies for various blood diseases, primarily for patients with leukemia” he says.
When Barack Obama became President of the United States many articles were written stating that this could mean changes for the U.S. research policy. Amongst other things, it could have positive implications for stem-cell research.
”The fact that Barack Obama became President of the United States has been very positive for stem cell research,” says David Scadden. ”Funding has increased, and it is easier to recruit young scientists now. As a stem cell researcher you no longer risk jail” says David Scadden, laughing.
The conference was organised by the research environment Hemato-Linnè. Amongst the invited guests were several leading international scientists, including Stuart Orkin, Professor at Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Hanna Mikkola, Professor at University of California.
Stefan Karlsson Professor and Manager, Section of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, coordinator of Hemato-Linné.
Text: Katarina Branzén