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London to host International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting 2009

15 January 2007

London has been selected by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) to host the Society’s Annual Meeting in 2009. The 7th ISSCR Annual Meeting is expected to attract over 6,000 stem cell experts to the UK capital for four days in summer 2009. The Annual Meeting allows stem cell scientists from across the world to discuss the latest scientific, medical and ethical developments in stem cell research.

London’s bid to host the 2009 Meeting at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands fought off strong opposition from Amsterdam, Barcelona and Stockholm. The London bid was led by the newly formed UK National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN), which was established in order to provide a national focus to the UK stem cell community. The UKNSCN raised funding to make the meeting feasible in London from three UK Research Councils: BBSRC, MRC and ESRC; the East of England Stem Cell Network; the Scottish Stem Cell Network and the North East England Stem Cell Institute.

Lord Naren Patel, chair of the UKNSCN Steering Committee, said: “For the UK stem cell community winning the right to host the 2009 ISSCR Annual Meeting in London is a significant achievement. This will bring the world’s foremost stem cell researchers to London and give the UK the chance to demonstrate our world-class expertise in this area.”

Minister for Science and Innovation, Malcolm Wicks, welcomed the news, which he said would help boost the profile of stem cell research in the United Kingdom.

“Stem cell research has tremendous potential to tackle some of the most devastating diseases. It could benefit patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, juvenile diabetes and heart disease.

“The UK is a world leader in stem cell research. This meeting will be a chance to showcase Britain’s expertise and enable experts to meet and exchange valuable knowledge.”


About the UK National Stem Cell Network

The UK National Stem Cell Network is designed to act as a network of the existing regional stem cell networks in the UK, to bring coordination and coherence to a range of national and regional activities in the field of stem cell research.

The UKNSCN secretariat is currently hosted by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) on behalf of the UK’s public funders of stem cell research. The secretariat receives financial support from four of the UK Research Councils:

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Medical Research Council

The Network represents all UK Government supporters of stem cell research which includes the sponsors and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils, the Department of Health, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Office of Science and Innovation.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382