The blood is a specialized tissue that performs several crucial physiologic functions including carrying oxygen, fighting infections, and clotting wounds. The etiology of blood cell dysfunction is diverse and results in a myriad of blood disorders including anemia, myeloproliferative disorder, leukemia, infections, bleeding disorders, and hypercoagulable states. Despite considerable advances in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders, these diseases continue to cause significant patient morbidity and mortality. Additionally, autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation continues to be a mainstay of therapy for several congenital disorders and acquired malignancies. Thus, collectively, improved understanding of normal hematopoiesis, stem cell biology, and hematopoietic disease states is relevant to our national interest in the United States in terms of preventive measures and improved therapies for blood disorders, congenital disorders, and cancers. The Midwest Blood Club Symposium was initiated in 2003 as a forum to facilitate collaborative ties between investigators at Midwestern universities with a mutual interest in hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell biology. The objectives of this meeting have been to foster regional collaborations in the area of hematopoiesis and stem cell biology within the Midwest and to provide a collegial atmosphere for the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in platform and poster presentations. As we move forward, we are seeking to attract more physician scientists involved in both patient care and basic research, in an effort to underscore the clinical significance and potential application of the basic science studies traditionally presented at this meeting. By meeting on an annual basis, investigators can harness strengths of collaborating colleagues and institutions, resulting in a synergistic increase in productivity. Because of these inter-institutional interactions and collaborations, institutional and extramural research dollars are more efficiently utilized and leveraged for high quality research outcomes.
We aim to 1) provide a venue for dialogue of ideas and exchange of expertise and services among investigators located in the Midwest focused on hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell biology;2) engender an amiable, yet challenging, environment to educate and train graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the presentation, explanation, and justification of scientific data and interpretation;and 3) broaden the scope of the meeting to include more physician scientists to provide context and perspective on the significance of the ongoing basic science studies and to present clinically-based studies.
The Midwest Blood Club Symposium is an annual gathering of Midwest-located scientists and physicians coordinated to provide a forum for exchange of ideas, enhancement of regional collaborations, and training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the area of hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell biology.