Signals Blog

Kudos to ISSCR for pulling off what I think is the best annual conference to date (or at least in the last six years, which is how long I’ve been attending). Sure, you could say that the record attendance (over 4,100) is a marker of success, but it’s much more than a numbers game – it’s in a roster of fresh speakers sharing a great deal of unpublished data, in a more polished brand evident everywhere, and in the inclusion of several sessions that recognized and addressed the fact that the stem cell field is on the verge of realizing some major advancements in treating human disease and if it is to succeed, there are hurdles that can only be overcome if the broader community (including ethicists, clinicians, politicians, patient advocates) works together. As a result, the meeting felt tighter and palpably more mature. The deft leadership of Shinya Yamanaka has undoubtedly played a role in this, as was ISSCR HQ’s decision to part ways with the Sherwood Group and strike out on their own. And, in hearing the address of incoming president Janet Rossant, we can expect more of these good things to come.

So, as a final summary for a very busy and rewarding conference, here’s a snapshot of what happened in the day 4 plenary sessions, the poster hall and elsewhere around the conference, through the eyes of bloggers and tweeps. We’ve also posted coverage of day 1, day 2 and day 3, each of which includes a poster pick of the day, along with twitter blog and a daily highlight.

Daily blog roundup

With additional posts still to come from a few sources over the next few days, here is some more recent coverage from the conference:

The day according to twitter

Here’s our storify of the day’s tweets:


Highlight of the day

Despite the anticipation over Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s talk, the highlight belongs to Shinya Yamanaka, whose personality was evident throughout the meeting, but never more than in his final remarks about the host city of Boston. A marathon runner himself, Yamanaka’s tribute to the character of Boston following the bombings in April, as well as that of the runners, and ofthe marathon organizers in announcing that all 2013 runners will be invited back for the 2014 event, was both elegant and poignant.


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Lisa Willemse

Lisa Willemse

Lisa is a science communicator with 15+ years' experience in the fields of regenerative medicine, child development and technology. She launched this blog (first as the Stem Cell Network Blog) in 2009, and served as co-editor until April 2015. She is currently the Senior Communications Advisor for the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has recently contributed to Motherboard, Science Borealis and the Genome Alberta and Canadian Blood Services blogs. Follow her on Twitter and Medium @WillemseLA.