Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases Repair and regeneration of diseased lung with stem cells is an exciting potential therapeutic approach for a variety of lung diseases. Increasing information suggests that cells normally not resident in the lung can be utilized to impair lung injry and also to induce repair and remodeling after injury. In parallel, there has been a surge in bioengineering studies investigating use of artificial and de-cellularized lung matrices as framework for three-dimensional lung regeneration. The combination of these studies with those utilizing stem cells and/or cell therapies is a promising and rapidly developing direction. These studies have been further paralleled by significant increases in understanding the molecular and cellular events by which stem and/or progenitor cells resident in the lung participate in both lung development and in repair and remodeling after lung injury. We have held four previous conferences at the University of Vermont: July 2005, "Adult Stem Cells, Lung Biology, and Lung Disease", sponsored by the NHBLI and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation~ and in July 2007, 2009, and 2011 "Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Disease", sponsored through the years by the NHLBI through an R13 conference grant as well as by the Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Foundation, Emory Center for Respiratory Health, LAM Treatment Alliance, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. These conferences have that brought together relevant leading international investigators as well as interested junior faculty and trainees to debate and discuss issues in this rapidly moving field. These conferences have been highly successful and have both stimulated the field and resulted in a series of guidelines for basic and translation research to be utilized by both investigators and by funding agencies. As studies of stem cell and cell therapies for lung diseases continues to move at a rapid pace, we propose to again convene the relevant investigators as well as representatives from the NHLBI, FDA, and non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations to again debate and discuss current issues. One area in particular to be discussed is the balance between basic and translational research and the role of clinical trials, particularly as there have now been clinica trials of stem cells for pulmonary hypertension and for COPD. A particular focus for the upcoming conference will be on rising junior investigators and trainees and a new feature will be a session devoted to developing careers in this area. As always, junor investigators and trainees (graduate, post-doctoral, fellow) will be particularly targeted for inclusion in both conference discussions as well as in poster sessions. As a continuing feature, trainees will be able to compete for an increased number of travel awards based on blinded review of poster abstracts. The conference is planned for July 2013 at the University of Vermont. Enthusiasm is high among potential participants. We anticipate that this conference will again foster extensive discussion and debate and will significantly guide directions in basic and clinical research of stem cells and cell therapies for lung diseases.
Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases Repair and regeneration of diseased lung with stem cells is a rapidly progressing field and an exciting potential therapeutic approach for a variety of lung diseases. We propose a conference in July 2013 on Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases to be held at the University of Vermont. This conference will convene relevant experts along with interested junior investigators and trainees to discuss and debate current issues in the field and to craft guidelines for basic and translational research and for funding agencies supporting this research.