Columbia University has harnessed an interactive community of researchers and clinicians working in stem cell-related fields – under the aegis of the “Columbia Stem Cell Initiative (CSCI)” – to tap the potential of stem cells for improving human health. The culmination of this effort is a new presence for the community, now online here, designed to raise the visibility of Columbia stem cell research among clinicians, scientists, patients and their families, and the general public.
Last year, the Initiative embarked on a new effort to structure and illustrate the research of more than 100 stem cell laboratories throughout Columbia, by way of highlighting 10 general subject areas: Bioengineering, Blood, Bone and Teeth, Brain, Diabetes, Cancer, Internal Organs, Neuro-degeneration, Skin, and Stem Cell Biology.
“To those outside the University, we hope to convey our excitement about the wealth and future potential of our stem cell programs,” said Dr. Chris Henderson, director of the Stem Cell Initiative and co-director of the Columbia Motor Neuron Center. “Another of our missions is to educate the next generation of scientists and clinicians about the realities and potential of stem cell research, while at the same time generating funding opportunities and shared facilities that will further strengthen the competitiveness of stem cell research at Columbia.”
The CSCI has been supported in all these efforts by Dr. Joel Stein, the Simon Baruch Professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
To further its goals, CSCI sponsors monthly internal and external seminars, funds Helmsley starter grants to kick-start new projects in emerging areas and organizes the annual Columbia Stem Cell Day, being held this year on May 23 and bringing together more than 200 stem cell biologists.
To learn more about these events, shared facilities and CSCI’s ongoing effort to advocate for public policy that promotes stem cell-based research and therapies, please visit www.ColumbiaStemCell.org.