The TÜBA ‘Current Approaches to Stem Cell Treatments Symposium’ is Held
TÜBA held the ‘Current Approaches to Stem Cell Treatments Symposium’, in which world famous scientists Kansas State University Teaching Staff Member Prof. Dr. Ting Xie, New York Stem Cell Foundation President Dr. Mahendra Rao and Dr. Wei Li from the US National Eye Institute (ABD) gave presentations on the field of stem cells on October 20 at the Ankara University Medical Faculty Prof. Dr. Lütfi Tat Conference Hall.
I believe in the potential of Turkey and the Turkish people
TÜBA President Prof. Dr. Ahmet Cevat Acar, who spoke at the symposium, said that he believes in the potential of Turkey and the Turkish people and the field of stem cells was a developing one. Pointing out that stem cell therapies provide new alternatives for effective treatment in many different fields such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, eye disorders and joint disorders, added: "The field of application for stems cells is very wide, multifaceted and multifunctional. Much research is being conducted on this subject in the world and in Turkey. Stem cell research is among priority subjects in the scope of Turkey’s science and technology strategies. We as TÜBA are conducting a variety of activities especially in the context of creating suggestions at a strategic and political level. Our Stem Cell and Cancer Study Group is especially very active. We have done a series of studies starting with a National Stem Cell Workshop. We have set out with the objective of including every relevant stakeholder in the process. We compile reports on events concerning stem cells and similar issues and share these with relevant organizations."
Acar pointed out that stem cell studies are a long term process and added "Despite adversities let’s not ignore our self confidence and the importance of our potential. I believe in the potential of Turkey and the Turkish people".
Prof. Dr. Acar also presented Prof. Dr. Ting Xie, Dr. Mahendra Rao and Dr. Wei Li with plaques thanking them for their participation in the symposium.
Our academy is a coordination organization…
Speaking after Academy President Prof. Dr. Acar, TÜBA principle Member and TÜBA-Stem Cell Study Group Co Executive Prof. Dr. Bülent Zülfikar said: “TÜBA is an organization you know and one which you want to contribute more to science and mankind; we are aware of this. We are in the process of making the activities of the TÜBA-Stem Cell Study Group conducted by Murat Elçin and myself, more frequent with this awareness. We are in one of the fastest advancing fields in medicine. In fact it would be accurate to say that it is the fastest developing field of life. Because stem cells constantly renew themselves, regenerate and enable new tissue to be created. There are complexities to this field; we have to appreciate being in this field, bring together experts, listen, discuss, determine problems and present solutions and be a part of these solutions. This is closely related to being correct in a field, not abusing that field, standing up against what is wrong, protecting the freedom of science, being aware of the sensitivities of science, remembering our responsibilities to the lands where the specialists are born and the people in the countries where they live and to mankind in general.
Our academy is a coordination, an institute of consultation. The TÜBA-Stem Cell Study Group is working to increase awareness among those who produce information on this subject and those who need these fields, and to build a bridge between them: We organize workshops to determine country policies, we review ethics councils and rules on a daily basis, we organize workshops to update these rules and examine the clinical research that is being done in this field in particular and now we are holding this symposium in which specialists can describe, if not all at least a few aspects, of the stem cell work they are doing.
In the meantime the TÜBA-Stem Cell Courses continue. Also we intend to continue, as the organization that started the ‘International Stem Cell Conferences’, to organize National Stem Cell Conferences with the great importance we place on creating such settings that embrace science in the best way because I know you are ambitious and ambition should not be left idle”.
We are still in the early stages for treatments recommended with stem cells
In his speech, TÜBA-Stem Cell Study Group Member Prof. Dr. Alp Can said that stem cells and cellular therapies connected to stem cells, with increasing currency are becoming the most popular subjects in recent years and “We are in the early stages for recommending stem cell treatments in addition to or in contrast to traditional treatment methods and these early stages do not appear as if they will pass easily because now we now the cancer causing mechanisms, genotoxicity and cytotoxicity better. Therefore we try to stay away from daring and aggressive treatments. At any rate the regulatory authority on the subject is handling it with more attention and awareness than in the past and enforcing relevant regulations. No doubt this is an ongoing process and while the developments in science are unfolding before us we will witness new regulatory rules being enforced in the coming years.”
Prof. Dr. Ting Xie, from the Stowers Medical Research Institute in Kansas U.S.A. and also one of the first names to start research in stem cells on vinegar flies, spoke about ‘Stem Cell Niche’ a relatively important field of research. Dr. Mahendra Rao from the U.S., with important publications in almost every field of stem cells, spoke about ‘Production and Biobanking in Cellular Therapy’ and Dr. Wei Li, also from the U.S. made a speech on ‘Stimulated Pluripotent Stem Cells and the Hibernation of these Cells’.
All three of the speakers shared their knowledge about the promising stem cell treatment options at present and conveyed results of their most recent research. The Symposium attended by scientists working in the field of stem cells and academicians was free and open to everyone and continued with questions and answers and discussions.