Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Stem Cells and Reprogramming, organized by Deepak Srivastava and Shinya Yamanaka. The meeting will be held in Olympic Valley, California from April 6- 11, 2014. The fields of developmental and stem cell biology have revealed complex networks that regulate fundamental cell fate decisions. Such information was leveraged first to reprogram cells to induced pluripotent stem cells, and more recently to induce cell fate transitions from one somatic cell state directly into another, without involving a pluripotent stem cell phase. This conference will focus on the mechanisms underlying cellular pluripotency, differentiation, and reprogramming. These will include the understanding of signaling, transcriptional, translational and epigenetic events regulating cell fate transitions. The utility of such cellular regulation for disease modeling and regenerative medicine for multiple organ systems will be examined. Translational efforts in academia and industry that are moving toward regenerative medicine will be highlighted, as will efforts to use stem cell biology for drug discovery and evaluating drug toxicity. The emerging intersection of human genetics and stem cell biology that will lead to more personalized medicine will be a thematic focus woven into most sessions of this conference. Opportunities for interdisciplinary interactions will be significantly enhanced by the concurrent meeting on Engineering Cell Fate and Function, which will share two plenary sessions with this meeting.
Stem cell biology promises to impact most human diseases in the future. Indeed, the emerging intersection of human genetics and stem cell biology will lead to more personalized medicine. The Keystone Symposia meeting on Stem Cells and Reprogramming will directly address the development of the stem cell field for human disease. We anticipate that this conference will facilitate the rapid spread of new technologies, and propel the field of cellular therapeutics using stem cell derivatives.