This proposal is to help support "The Third International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering" to be held April 29 through Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle, WA. The conference chairs are Sean Palecek and Charles Murray.

The field of stem cells has rapidly emerged as an important multidisciplinary area of research in biology, bioengineering, and medicine. There are no forums, however, whose primary goal is to bring together biologists, physician-scientists and engineers to discuss ways in which their disciplines can collaborate to find novel solutions to problems that are limiting the development of new technologies and therapies. In response to this need, SBE in collaboration with AIChE is organizing and instituting the Third International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering (ICSCE).

The Third ICSCE will be the third in a series of ICSCE meetings, held every two years, designed to bring together researchers from academia and industry that are using quantitative approaches and novel technology development to advance the understanding and application of stem cell biology and engineering. The ICSCE meeting series will serve to promote, shape, and refine the definition of the Stem Cell Engineering field. Approximately 200 people are expected to attend.

Intellectual Merit There is currently no other meeting that provides a forum for the emerging field of Stem Cell Engineering. Although engineers attend international meetings such as the International Society for Stem Cell Research meeting, there is no direct forum for interactions between stem cell engineers and stem cell biologists at this or similar events. The fact that the ISSCR has agreed to co-organize this event is a testament to the recognition of the importance for balanced interactions between these two communities. From the bioengineering side, although there are other conferences that have some programming in stem cell engineering (AIChE, ACS, BMES), this programming is often diffuse and does not include the presence of world leaders in multiple facets of stem cell biology or stem cell engineering. In these three cases, the format of the large meetings also does not foster the same level of interaction among participants. There are also smaller meetings on stem cells, of similar size to ICSCE, such as Keystone Symposia. These have very high quality programming, but their focus has been more in the area of stem cell and developmental biology, with limited to no engineering content. Finally, there are also small scale, for-profit conferences that successfully draw elements from academia and industry, but these are often not attended by leading figures from biology and engineering.

Broader Impact None of the organizations cited above caters to the specific aims of the ICSCE. Furthermore, we believe that our emphasis on the integration of stem cell biology and engineering at many levels is new and unique, and this theme is reflected throughout our scientific program. Support is sought for the Third ICSCE in this application, and the organizers intend for this conference to continue to be held every two years.

The Theme of this third meeting is ?Designing Cellular Therapies?, and the Aims of this conference are to provide a venue: 1. For scientific presentations from a diverse group of leading stem cell biology and engineering researchers who cover the breadth of the emerging field of Stem Cell Engineering. 2. For interactions between academic and industry researchers, who bring different approaches and perspectives to the technical aspects and commercialization potential of Stem Cell Engineering. 3. For active participation by Ph.D. students and postdoctoral trainees in stem cell biology and bioengineering fields, who represent the future of stem cell biology and engineering. 4. For bringing biologists, physician-scientists and engineers together in an collaborative atmosphere to discuss their disciplines and approaches, and to motivate new research that overcomes barriers limiting the development of stem cell-based technologies. 5. For improving the access of the field of Stem Cell Engineering to a diverse group of scientists, including bioengineers with little stem cell experience and women and underrepresented groups. 6. For understanding the increasingly global nature of the field of Stem Cell Engineering and identifying how international collaborations can facilitate the advancement of this field.

The scope, theme, and aims of the meeting fall squarely within the mission of the NSF, which has been increasingly committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences, encouraging research and development in multidisciplinary areas, educating the next generation of young researchers, and helping increase the diversity of the workforce in science and engineering. This application, if successful, will directly impact Aims 3-6, by providing partial support for graduate student/postdoctoral associate participants, and by providing a forum for the interactions between normally separated leading scientists and engineers to stimulate new ideas that could benefit economic and health-related activity.

Funding from NSF would go specifically to support young investigators and graduate students. Attention was paid to increase numbers of women and underrepresented minorities on the organizing committee, and as speakers, as well as among attendees. Conference materials will be available on a public web site after the conference.

Project Report

(POR) The Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) partnered for the second time to co-organize the 3rdInternational Conference on Stem Cell Engineering (ICSCE) which took place from April 29th to May 2nd in downtown Seattle. The event was co-chaired by Chuck Murry (University of Washington) and Sean Palecek (University of Wisconsin). The meeting brought together 177 engineers, biologists, and clinicians who work on cellular therapies in order to accelerate progress towards designing the stem cell and its environment. The goal of the meeting was to provide new findings and initiate discussion on new methods to generate cells and tissues to advance our understanding of biology and tissue regeneration. These approaches are contributing to the development of applied efforts in stem cell biology and engineering that can combine to aid in the development of stem cell therapeutics and bioprocesses. The topics discussed at the meeting included: Adult Stem Cell Isolation, Expansion, Differentiation and Bioprocessing Cellular Reprogramming Clinical Translation of Cellular Therapies Engineering Environments to Control Cell Fate Immunity, Inflammation, and Fibrosis Pluripotent Stem Cell Expansion, Differentiation and Bioprocessing Stem Cell Models of Development and Disease Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Technologies for Stem Cell Analysis and Characterization Vascularization Keynote speakers featured: Robert Deans (Athersys) Gordon Keller (Ontario Cancer Institute) Jeanne Loring (Scripps Research Institute) - The Secret Lives of Stem Cells: Genomics and Epigenetics of Human Pluripotent Peter Zandstra (University of Toronto) - Feedback Control of Endogenous Signaling to Guide Stem Cell Fate Invited speakers included: Irwin Bernstein (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) - Notch-Mediated Regulation Of Hematopoiesis: Basic And Clinical Implications Themis Kyriakides (Yale School of Medicine) - Identification of Molecular Modulators of Cell-Biomaterial Interactions Michael Laflamme (University of Washington) - Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes Couple with Host Myocardium and Reduce Arrhythmias in a Guinea Pig Infarct Model Bill Murphy (University of Wisconsin Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center) - Harnessing Endogenous Signals in the Stem Cell Microenvironment Steve Oh (Bioprocessing Technology Institute) - Stem Cell Bioprocessing: Increasing Efficiency and Integrating Cell Expansion with Differentiation on Microcarriers Buddy Ratner (University of Washington) - Human Embryonic Stem Cells and an Engineering Approach to Heart Repair Jalees Rehman (University of Illinois - Chicago) - The Stromal Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Angiogenesis Fionna Watt (University of Cambridge) - Stem Cell Behavior as Controlled by Intrinsic Mechanisms Joe Wu (Stanford School of Medicine) - Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Science and Engineering are widely regarded as critical to the nations’ economy. There are still concerns about US ability to be competitive in the global workforce. Expanding and developing a diverse workforce is critical for us all, industry, academia, government and non-for-profits. Supporting and encouraging diversity in science and engineering is critical to the US in regards to innovation, creativity, and competitiveness to secure our economy and productivity. Broadening participation of underrepresented groups in the sciences and engineering is a priority to SBE. Appropriate representation of women and underrepresented minorities was duly considered in the selection of our Scientific Advisory Board (i.e. April Pyle, Molly Stevens, David Schaffer), invited speakers (i.e. Jeanne Loring, Fionna Watt), and session chairs (Cynthia Reinhart-King, Jennifer Elisseeff, Johanna Temenoff, Kara McCloskey, Karen Hirshi, Sharon Gerecht, Jane Lebkowski). We actively encouraged participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in all meeting announcements and in the application process for student/postdoc travel awards. Selection of travel awardees included this as a criterion. By extending grants to underrepresented students, we expect to see a greater diversity in the workforce of scientists and engineers. This award enabled 19 students to attend and experience this diverse program of speakers and topics as well as provide a venue to share their work and discuss their results with other students. These students represent the future of stem cell biology and engineering.

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American Institute of Chemical Engineers
New York
United States
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