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Centre supports cell therapy and regenerative medicine events

22 April 2013

The annual meeting of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) is underway in Auckland this week. The Maurice Wilkins Centre is delighted to support two events associated with the meeting.

Cell therapy involves introducing new cells into the body to treat a disease – for instance using stem cells to replace damaged tissue or immune cells to fight cancer. It is an exciting new approach in medicine and the ISCT event is the largest annual meeting of cell therapists from around the world.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre has a particular interest in cell therapy and has supported the meeting by holding a pre-event workshop today on flow cytometry – a critical technique for identifying cells in mixtures and isolating those of interest. The Centre has deep skills in flow cytometry, with New Zealand’s leading flow cytometry suites at The University of Auckland and Malaghan Institute for Medical Research.

The keynote speaker at the workshop is Professor Stanley Riddell, an immunotherapy researcher and oncologist from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in the United States, speaking about the isolation and use of immune cell products for the treatment of cancer.

“Professor Riddell is one of the pioneers in this exciting field of cancer therapy,” says Maurice Wilkins Centre Director Professor Rod Dunbar, “and the update he provided today offers great insight into our understanding of how the immune system interacts with cancer, that is translating directly to patient care.”

The Centre is also a sponsor of a regenerative medicine workshop to be held following the ISCT conference on Friday 26 April. Regenerative medicine aims to help the body to regenerate damaged tissues using cells and / or bioactive compounds. The workshop, organised by the New Zealand Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT), is open to participants from New Zealand and around the world, and will be of particular interest to researchers, clinicians and biotech investors.