Animal Program Updates:
There are two more Animal Symposia that have been finalized for the 2006 In Vitro Biology Meeting: 3D Cell Constructs for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells. 3D Cell Constructs for Tissue Engineering is being convened by Robert Tranquillo, PhD, University of Minnesota. The symposium focuses on how the success of tissue engineering hinges on an appropriate combination of cells, polymer scaffolds, and culture conditions, often involving controlled mechanical and chemical signals. This session will provide state-of-art studies among a range of key applications that explore these critical factors. Talks will included Engineering large, mineralized bone tissue constructs using human mesenchymal stem cells by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Columbia University; Cell Sourcing for Fibrin-Based Valve Constructs by Chrysanthi (Sandy) Williams, Bose Corporation; and Arteries from stem cells? By Catherine Verfaillie, University of Minnesota.

The second session is Stem Cells, which will discuss how Stem cells have the potential for self-renewal and the potential for differentiation into any specific cell lineage. Our ability to utilize this unique potential depends on in vitro methods that can recapitulate some of the conditions present during normal development and thereby regulate stem cell differentiation. Focus of this session is on stem cells, in the context of their application in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The three invited plenary talks are: Stem cell based artificial heart by Doris Taylor, Biomedical Engineering Institute at the University of Minnesota; Blood and Endothelial Cell Development from Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Dan S. Kaufman, Stem Cell Institute and Dept. of Medicine Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, University of Minnesota; and Muscle Stem Cell: Satellite cell and Sca-1-positive cell by Atsushi Asakura, Stem Cell Institute, Paul & Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center, University of Minnesota Medical School.

Afternoon Tour of the Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics
Plans are underway for a scientific tour at the Cargill Building Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon, June 7, for participants and family. The Center’s goal has been to enable the University of Minnesota to become a world leader in the field of genomics by fostering research, education, and outreach in genomics and by translating genomics into benefits for society within an ethical context. The Center is sponsored by the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences and the College of Biological Sciences of the University of Minnesota. Advances in genomics have already had major impacts on how we conduct modern biological experimentation. The acceleration of knowledge acquisition via genomics and its application to biological problems make it extremely challenging to predict where the field of genomics will be in the next ten years. Progress in discovering the function of the majority of sequenced genes is less predictable but it seems likely that in ten years most genes will have functions assigned and the Center’s staff will be investigating their complex interactions – overall, an activity known as functional genomics. This event will include a tour of the facility. Buses will depart at 1:30 pm on Wednesday and will return to the hotel at 5:00 pm. The fee for transportation to and from the event and the tour is $20.00. Please register for this tour here.

For the most up-to-date information on the SIVB Annual Meeting, please click here.