Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski will visit Johns Hopkins on Tuesday, April 10, to talk with stem cell researchers and hold a press conference on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which the U.S. Senate will begin debating this week.
The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in the Weinberg Building Auditorium, East Baltimore campus.
Among those from Johns Hopkins scheduled to participate are Ronald R. Peterson, president of the hospital and health system; Chi Van Dang, vice dean for research in the School of Medicine; Curt Civin, the Herman and Walter Samuelson Professor in Oncology; Valina Dawson, co-director of the ICE Neuroregeneration Program; John D. Gearhart, director of the ICE Stem Cell Biology Program; Douglas Kerr, director of the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center; and Jeffrey Rothstein, director of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.
The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would expand federally funded stem cell research and give scientists access to stem cell lines that are currently off limits to federal funding, and would establish a national framework of medical and bioethical guidelines. The bill would allow creation of new human embryonic stem cell lines derived from leftover embryos created by in vitro fertilization.
The Institute for Cell Engineering was launched at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in January 2001. ICE supports and houses scientists working to understand how cells' fates are determined and to harness that information to select, modify and reprogram human cells. While basic research is the hallmark of ICE science, the ultimate goal is to mold engineered human cells into therapeutic transplants for a wide range of currently devastating diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS), diabetes and heart failure.