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LabPartners: Championing Patient Engagement at the Bench

While patients are the ultimate end-users of all stem cell research, their perspectives aren’t always considered by research teams. The value of engaging patients as partners on the research team (not as participants) is widely recognized in clinical research.

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What We Wish We Knew Before Starting Grad School in Science

Deciding to pursue graduate studies is no easy decision. It’s a commitment of time, energy, and often financial resources, with the promise of intellectual growth and the pursuit of knowledge at its core.

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Renovating deteriorating infrastructure in the stem cell microenvironment towards treatments for muscular dystrophy and age-associated muscle wasting

Skeletal muscle wasting conditions, whether they are caused by inherited genetic mutations or aging, are accompanied by a phenomenon called “regenerative dysfunction”.

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Patient Spotlight: Karen’s Fight Against Diabetes and the Cell Therapy that Changed Her Life

In the early afternoon of June 1991, Karen Peat found herself over whelmed with fatigue after vacuuming all morning. She was four months pregnant with her third child. She lay down for a nap. It would be one month before her eyes opened again, and little did she know that an innovative cell therapy would change her life.

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Creating a Culture of Ethics in Stem Cell Regulations: A Trainee Journey

As a Postdoctoral Fellow under Dr. Ubaka Ogbogu, my research covers topics related to the ethical, legal, and societal issues associated with regenerative medicine. More specifically, it addresses epistemic injustice in the Western hegemony of scientific knowledge and identifies what Canada may learn from how low-cost therapies are developed in the Global South.

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A Resource Guide to Commercialization

Does wondering how to commercialize and translate your work into a technology or cell or gene therapy keep you awake at night?

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The J. Andrew McKee Fellowship: A fast track journey into autoimmunity, translational medicine, and collaborative research

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. There is no cure for T1D and people diagnosed with this disease, often from a young age, are fully dependent on insulin injections to keep blood sugar levels stable.

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An Interview with Dr. Gordon Keller, the 2023 Till & McCulloch Awardee

In September, Gordon was presented with the 2023 Till& McCulloch Award in recognition of his contribution to global stem cell research through his paper published in Cell Stem Cell entitled, Modeling human multi-lineage heart field development with pluripotent stem cells. Gordon recently had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with Joanna Valsamis, the Director of Knowledge Mobilization.

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An interview with Dr. Murtaza S. Nagree, the 2023 Drew Lyall Awardee: HSC-directed gene therapies, predictions for stem cell advances, and a love of cooking

During my Ph.D. I focused on trying to improve hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-directed gene therapies. I was interested in following that work up with understanding how an HSC works and joined the DickLab. Stephanie Xie, Andy Zeng, and I have been able to start unravelling how HSCs are able to withstand a lifetime of demand that results from insults in the form of infections and inflammation.

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Summer camp for scientists: A 2023 program participant's reflections on Summer by Design

“Everything interesting happens at intersections,” remarked Dr. Michael May, President & CEO of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), as he welcomed our 2023 Summer by Design cohort to the program. As a scientist with multidisciplinary interests spanning bioethics, policy, law, communication, and business, I was instantly reassured.

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How 3D bioprinting can generate complex cancer models

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive type of brain cancer that can quickly spread to several areas of the brain, leading to disability or death. According to the Brain Tumour Registry of Canada, this devastating disease affects 4 in 100,000 Canadians.

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My Manitoba homecoming: launching a cell therapy lab at the nexus between stem cell and cancer research

In April, my lab officially opened at the CancerCareManitoba Research Institute. Looking at the empty benches, I felt proud to start a job I had been working towards for years and excited about the scientific opportunities ahead.

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No disease is too rare for treatment and therapy discovery: A CF perspective

For most people, $300,000 is a life-changing amount of money. But for a small portion of the population with a rare genetic disease called cystic fibrosis (CF), $300,000 is the cost of a year’s supply of a life-saving drug.

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The Roadmap to Novel Parkinson’s Disease Therapies

Parkinson’s disease affects a growing number of people worldwide. Despite more than 200 years of research into this degenerative disease, there is still no treatment that can prevent or stop its progression. However, we have a much better understanding of what happens in the brains of Parkinson’s patients.

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Mental Wellness in the Lab: Reflections from the TMM Pre-Conference Workshop ‘Surviving and Thriving in Grad School’

These are words that nest in the minds of many graduate students yet are rarely spoken aloud, but why? Why do trainees feel pressured not to talk about their feelings? Their successes, challenges and struggles?

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Experimental Design & Onboarding New Trainees: Reflections from the TMM Pre-Conference Workshop ‘Surviving and Thriving in Grad School’

Graduate school is a very rewarding, but trying, experience. It is a crash course in how to be a scientist and critical thinker. A student learns many valuable skills by the time they graduate, but it can be difficult to recognize what skills they have acquired by the end of their program.

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From the bedside to the bench and back: translating practice into targeted therapies for liver disease patients

Working at the bench or at the bedside both present unique opportunities for career development and for furthering research – I’m fortunate to have experienced both.

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Stem Cells on the Rock(s): Successes, challenges and opportunities for stem cell research in Newfoundland and Labrador

I stumbled upon stem cells quite late in my training. I was well into my second postdoctoral fellowship at Western University in London, Ontario, when my supervisor asked me if I was interested in creating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model a rare genetic disorder. “Sure”, I said, not really knowing what an iPSC was, or how I was supposed to use it to model our disease of interest.

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Q&A With New Board Member Reza Moridi

On October 20th, 2022, Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors,including Mr. Reza Moridi. Today, on International Volunteer Day, the Stem Cell Network would like to recognize the dedication of, and thank, volunteers like Mr. Moridi.

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Where Is Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Now?

Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lines are now commonly used across the globe. In your lab, you might rely on hPSCs to uncover answers about human development, to study the effects of drugs, or maybe as a tool to delve deeper into human disease. As the body of knowledge around these cells grows, it is increasingly challenging to keep track of best practices, including standards for handling and information reporting.

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New Regenerative Medicine Podcast Seeks Prized Place On Your Playlist

Regenerative medicine (RM) sits at a busy intersection of scientific niches. Throughout the past couple of years, many of us have been a little more siloed than we’re used to, with fewer opportunities to absorb knowledge through chance interactions, and through the alchemy that takes place when we happen to be in the same room as colleagues working on different frontiers of our field.

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Adopting Diverse and Inclusive Practices to Drive Research and Innovation

The pandemic shone a bright light on the importance of the Canadian bio-economy. This critical industry is relied upon for vaccines, lifesaving medical research and diagnostic devices,personal protective equipment, and food security.

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Fighting Disease, Saving Lives, and Powering the Growth of Regenerative Medicine in Canada

Traditionally powered by stem cells, the field of regenerative medicine focuses on replacing, repairing, or regenerating human cells, tissues, and organs. It is considered by many to be the next frontier of medicine. Known widely as the “building blocks” of the body, stem cells have tremendous potential to treat a plethora of diseases, injuries, and life-altering illnesses, and Canada has been a global leader in this field for over 60 years.

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A letter from SCN's Associate Scientific Director

Dear stem cell community, It is an absolute pleasure to communicate with you for the first time as the Associate Scientific Director of the Stem Cell Network. It is a great honour and responsibility to be able to actively contribute to advancing stem cell and regenerative medicine research in Canada.

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In Conversation with SCN Leadership

As Canada takes steps to re-establish the health and economic well-being of Canadians coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever is the time to tap into our research strengths. In the world of health research, that means expanding on 60 years of scientific advances made by the stem cell and regenerative medicine (RM) research community.

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