On April 2, I along with several other SIVB members took part in an International conference entitled “Expert Forum on the Misidentification and Cross-Contamination of Cell Lines.” The organizers of the Conference were John Masters of University College London, Roland Nardone of the Catholic University of America and Joseph Perrone of the ATCC. Whereas the use of cross-contaminated cell lines in the Bio-Industrial Sector has significantly dropped due to cell bank testing, the incidents of the use of misidentified cell lines in the Research sector is on the rise. Because of this the results and conclusions of up to 20% of recent biomedical publications may be misleading or false. As there are now standardized simple and inexpensive methods to identify misidentified cell lines, there are no longer excuses for their use. At our 2007 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Yvonne Reid from the ATCC will introduce the problem and its impact in the Symposium entitled “Characterization of Eukaryotic Cells and Identification and Control of Contaminants.” This introduction will be followed by talks by John Watson from Promega and Ray Nims from Amgen on how to easily identify mislabeled cell lines. The Expert Forum and the SIVB and other organizations will be educating funding agencies and journals as to the extent of the problem and asking for their co-operation in its elimination. The excellent white paper by Roland Nardone entitled “Eradication of Cross- Contaminated Cell Lines: A Call for Action” can be found on the SIVB web-site on the Public Policy Home Page. It needs to be read.
The programs being presented at the 2007 Annual meeting are excellent. In addition to the aforementioned symposium, we will have symposia on vaccine development, immune signal transduction, bringing products to market, diabetes, biosensors, enabling techniques, starting a business, stem cells and regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, student training and professional development, biofuels, micropropagation, gene expression, regulatory perspectives, forest biotechnology, forage and turf, secondary metabolites and advances in plant tissue culture and transformation. With all of the excellent symposia and a keynote address by Astronaut David Wolf on NASA Research and Tissue Engineering, the 2007 meeting promises something for everybody. Please plan to join us in Indianapolis, IN for the 2007 annual SIVB meeting.