Everyone from high school students to senior citizens descended on the lawn adjacent to Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center last Thursday evening for a discussion about stem cells and the future of regenerative medicine. The event was part of the university's annual Summer Science Lecture Series.
During the 90-minute talk Stanford surgeon Jill Helms, MD, gave a brief overview of the field, highlighted recent advances that have taken place at Stanford and elsewhere and spoke about the unprecedented opportunities afforded by stem cell research. Nature Network blogger Joanna Scott reports:
Professor Helms began the lecture with a sweep through human history, showing that from Prometheus to Lazarus to Irish mythology, the idea of regeneration runs deep within all cultures, and regeneration, and its ultimate implication, immortality, is a fundamental hope of humanity. She then began with a brisk guide to what stem cells are, how they are already used to treat diseases including leukemia, how stem cells can be reprogrammed and how Dolly came about, concluding with how work currently being carried out at Stanford might be the next step forward...
...The lecture series was promised as accessible to high school students and I think it reached that pretty well. I'd definitely come to more lectures in the series, especially to get an overview of topics I knew nothing about.
The series continues on Jul. 15, when Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, gives a talk about how drugs are developed and why they are so expensive.
Past Summer Science Lecture Series talks are available from Stanford on iTunes U.