Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content
Sombrilla Mast


The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

San Antonio to Host World Stem-Cell Summit

In speaking about the upcoming 10th annual World Stem Cell Summit, business partners and fellow UTSA Ph.D. biomedical engineering students Tony Yuan and Ramon Coronado ’11 become almost giddy. For researchers specializing in stem cells, regenerative medicine and biomedicine, the summit is, as Yuan says, “one of the biggest things to happen in the biomedical field here in San Antonio.”Stem Cell Summit

The Alamo City will host the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit for the first time Dec. 3-5. And with more than 200 speakers and panelists, 200 sponsors and an expected 1,200 attendees from 40 nations, the anticipation among the Greater San Antonio area’s health and medical fields continues to grow.

“The summit is an interesting meeting,” says John McCarrey, the UTSA Kleberg Distinguished Chair in biology. “It has the people there talking about science but also about much more -- like translational applications: how is the science going to affect the public; how will it impact the biotechnology arena; and policy, what kinds of policy are needed.” McCarrey.

Stem cells are nonspecialized, can keep renewing and under certain circumstances can become a more specific cell type, like those found in tissues or organs. They could be instrumental in curing diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or repairing injuries from the brain to spinal cord. McCarrey cautions that stem cells are not a “miracle cure” but at the same time says there is a great potential for healing.

McCarrey, who is also the director of the San Antonio Cellular Therapeutics Institute at UTSA and chair of RegenMed SA, a San Antonio nonprofit that promotes stem-cell and regenerative medicine research, will also be speaking at the summit about an ongoing collaboration between UTSA and the Southwest National Primate Research Center at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Teja Guda, UTSA assistant professor of biomedical engineering research and assistant director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, will also speak at the conference. He will be part of an innovation showcase panel covering advanced manufacturing technologies for tissue engineering, according to the WSCS agenda.

The World Stem Cell Summit is the “flagship meeting of the international stem-cell community,” according to the Genetics Policy Institute, which produces the summit. “The summit aims to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies, bringing global stakeholders together to solve global challenges.”

GPI is also launching the first RegMed Capital Conference in conjunction with the summit. Along with the stem-cell science, the capital conference will focus on the regenerative medicine industry, clinical trials and regulation, according to GPI.

As part of its goals to become a Tier One research university, UTSA, which already excels in integrative biomedicine, plans to strengthen its efforts even more. Along with McCarrey, UTSA experts in regenerative medicine include Joo L. Ong, the USAA Foundation Distinguished Professor in biomedical engineering, and associate professor of chemistry Doug Frantz, who researches stem-cell differentiation. In 2013,

Watch Dr. Frantz 2013 TEDxSan Antonio speech titled Your Stem Cells: Friend or Foe?.

UTSA Vice President of Research Mauli Agrawal says the summit is a result of the partnerships throughout the city, whether it is universities, the private sector or military. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the organizing partners of the summit, and both Agrawal and McCarrey point to the center as one of UTSA’s strong collaborators.

“The research may not be done under one roof but collectively in San Antonio,” Agrawal says. “But there is a lot of excellence here, and that goes back to collaboration -- all institutions working together.”

To learn more about the summit, visit and follow @WSCSummit on Twitter. The summit is also using #WSCS14 on social media, according to its website, to track announcements and conversations about the event.

»  Back to Cradle of Knowledge story


Please keep all comments constructive and relevant to the articles you're commenting on. Sombrilla reserves the right to delete or edit messages.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Current Issue: Fall/Winter 2014 | Table of Contents