Stem cells at school

On the evening of April 24, HSCI Executive Director Brock Reeve moderated the final HMS Longwood Seminar of the year, featuring HSCI Principal Faculty members Chad Cowan, PhD, and Fernando Camargo, PhD, on the topic of stem cell science and regenerative medicine.

The Longwood Seminars Mini-Med School classes are a series of four free "minimed school" classes sponsored by Harvard Medical School for the general public. At the end of the seminar series, participants who attend three out of the four sessions receive a certificate of completion. Topics are selected for their appeal to a lay audience and have covered a broad range of topics such as Alzheimer's disease, the human genome, nutrition, sleep dynamics and health care access. Faculty from Harvard Medical School and Harvard-affiliated hospitals volunteer their time to present these lectures to the community. After an overall introduction by Reeve, Cowan introduced the basic science of stem cells to the audience. As the leader of HSCI's Diabetes Program, he then went into more detail regarding stem cell research in diabetes with an emphasis on metabolic disease, which he is studying through fat and liver cells. Camargo built upon Cowan's presentation with a discussion of the differences between adult and embryonic stem cells. He also expounded on the role of stem cells and developmental pathways in the determination and regulation of organ growth.

An open Q&A with the audience followed the presentations. A video of the entire session is available at: