(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Two UC Davis Health System scientists are among the featured speakers at the upcoming World Stem Cell Summit and Regenerative Medicine conference that starts on Dec. 10 in Atlanta.

Jan Nolta and Paul Knoepfler will be joining more than 1,200 other stem cell experts, including bioethicists, government regulators, patient advocates, and investors from 40 countries, as they gather to discuss the discoveries and latest developments in regenerative medicine.

Nolta, who serves as director of the Stem Cell Program at UC Davis School of Medicine and directs the university’s Institute for Regenerative Cures in Sacramento, will be a panelist for a discussion that focuses on the challenges surrounding the clinical pace of stem cell therapies.

As an experienced researcher who has already led a number of clinical trials, Nolta has led UC Davis teams on three multi-million dollar grants – targeting treatments for Huntington’s disease, peripheral artery disease, and wound healing – from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Each study is designed to develop and deliver a novel, Phase 1 human clinical trial.

Nolta’s breakout session, titled “Stem Cells Translational Medicine Alpha Clinic Panel – Standing on the Precipice”, begins at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Nolta will also present a keynote address, titled “Team Training–Inspiring Scientists and Advocates into Action”, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Knoepfler, an associate professor of cell biology and human anatomy, also will be a featured panelist during a Thursday morning session, titled “Should We Ban or Regulate Potentially Curative Technologies that Modify the Human Germline?”.

Two years ago at the stem cell summit, Knoepfler received the 2013 National Advocacy Award as the top stem cell advocate in the country. A popular blogger on his stem cell laboratory web site The Niche, Knoepfler has been at the forefront of recent online conversations regarding the possibility and appropriateness of human genetic modification. As he noted in a recent TEDx Vienna presentation, heritable human genetic modification could prevent some rare genetic diseases, but also could open the door to serious problems such as unforeseen health consequences across generations.

Knoepfler’s session begins at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10 as part of the conference’s Ethics, Law and Society track. He will also chair a session on Dec. 11 focusing on safe stem cell therapies and clinical trials.

The Atlanta meeting marks the 11th annual World Stem Cell Summit gathering. Organizers say the three-day, seven-track conference will help provide an important window into the world of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Topics range from new discoveries and clinical trials, the ethics and laws surrounding stem cells and regenerative medicine, as well as patient stories.

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