On the 10th anniversary of Weill Cornell Medical College's Ansary Stem Cell Institute, scientists ask a timely question: Is regenerative medicine ready for prime time? At the Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research on June 6, investigators from across the United States will gather at the medical college to consider the field's achievements and challenges.
The Ansary Stem Cell Institute was established in 2004 with a generous gift from Shahla and Ambassador Hushang Ansary, and brings together world-class physician-scientists from diverse areas of biomedical research to explore the intricacies of stem cells—the primitive, unspecialized cells with an unrivaled capacity to form a variety of cells, tissues and organs in the body. The institute attracts many of the best and brightest young researchers in the field, who are committed to taking a bold path to redefine the possibilities of medicine and speed breakthrough discoveries from the lab bench to the patient bedside.
In this video, the institute's director, Dr. Shahin Rafii, explains one aspect of stem cell research – the potential use of blood vessel cells to repair and regrow damaged tissues and organs. The applications are wide-ranging, and could one day benefit patients struggling with cancer, heart disease and diabetes. "It is the dream of every physician-scientist to see the product of their discovery benefit mankind," Dr. Rafii says. "The opportunity to help people is getting closer every day."