2nd Opinion Leaders Meeting on Stem Cell Derived Beta Cells

IPITA 2018 OL letterhead

May 7-8, 2018 | Boston, MA, USA

On behalf of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplant Association (IPITA), The Transplantation Society, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute we are pleased to announce the 2nd Opinion Leaders Meeting on Stem Cell Derived Beta Cells to be held at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA from May 7- 8, 2018.

The workshop program offers world-renown expert speakers presenting highly innovative science with state of the art developments.

Workshop topics will include;

  • Identifying persistent challenges such as developing beta cells with full physiologic function
  • Understanding the potential role of genome engineering to modify cells for therapeutic advantage
  • Identifying optimal transplant platforms and encapsulation technologies
  • Developing effective approaches to escape allo-, and autoimmunity
  • Update on competing technologies including blastocyst complementation and gene edited xenografts
  • Presenting recent preclinical and clinical trial results.

We expect over 200 delegates and speakers representing leading experts and key opinion leaders in the field. Registration is now open, but capacity is limited. Register soon as you won't want to miss this opportunity.

We look forward to your participation,

Jon S. Odorico, M.D., F.A.C.S
Conference Chair and IPITA
Immediate Past President
James Markmann M.D., Ph.D. F.A.C.S
Conference Co-Chair
IPITA President-Elect

An event you won’t want to miss!

register now

Tentative Workshop Agenda

Day 1:

Monday, May 7, 2018

7:30 - 8:00

Sponsored by Novo Nordisk

8:05 - 8:10


8:15 -10:00

SESSION 1: Lessons from Pancreas Development
Moderator: Doug Melton
Speakers: Neil Hanley, Mattias Hebrok, Anne Grapin-Botton, Nadav Sharon, Hiro Nakauchi

10:00 -10:30

Sponsored by Semma Therapeutics

10:30 - 11:50

SESSION 2: Transcriptomics, Proteomics and Microfluidics: What Can They Teach Us?
Moderator: Jon Odorico
Speakers: Doug Melton, Christian Honore, Helge Raeder, Micheal G. Roper

12:00 -13:00


13:00 - 14:20

SESSION 3: Functional Beta Cell Differentiation From Pluripotent Stem Cells – In Vitro And In Vivo Results
Moderator: Thierry Berney
Speakers: Shubing Chen, Tim Kieffer, Felicia Pagliuca, Louise Winkel

14:30- 15:00


15:00 - 16:30

SESSION 4: Moving Stem Cell Therapeutics To The Clinic
Moderator: Tom Kay
Speakers: Ben Pope, Mahendra Rao, Jane Lebkowski, Kevin D’Amour

16:30 - 16:40

WRAP UP Day 1: Closing remarks

17:00 - 19:30

Networking Reception

Day 2:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

7:30 - 8:25

Sponsored by Sanofi/Evotec

8:30 - 10:00

SESSION 5: Genetic Modification And Genome Editing To Therapeutic Advantage
Moderator: Lorenzo Piemonti
Speakers: Luhan Yang, Chad Cowan, Greg Block, George M. Church

10:00 - 10:30


10:30 - 11:45

SESSION 6: Encapsulation Technologies For Stem Cell-Derived Products
Moderator: Albert Hwa
Speakers: Olle Korsgren, Tejal Desai, Melanie Graham, Yuval Avni, David Moller

11:45 - 12:00


12:00 - 13:00


13:00 - 14:40

SESSION 7: Immunological Implications Of Stem Cell Derived Beta Cells For Transplantation
Moderator: Jim Markmann
Speakers: Jon Odorico, Christian Schuetz, Stefan Kissler, Hubert Tse, Qizhi Tang

14:45 - 15:15


15:15 - 16:15

SESSION 8: Transplant Sites And Delivery Platforms
Moderator: Julia Greenstein
Speakers: James Shapiro, Zhen Gu, Michael Sefton, Peter Butler

16:15 - 16:25

Thank you and wrap up Overview and path forward regarding publication



Speaker Spotlight

George M. ChurchGeorge M. Church, PhD
George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994 . His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generation" DNA sequencing methods and companies (CGI-BGI, Life, Illumina, Nanopore). This plus his lab's work on chip-DNA-synthesis, gene editing and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics ( Knome/PierianDx, Alacris, AbVitro/Juno, Genos, Veritas Genetics ) & synthetic biology / therapeutics ( Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive ). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, ELSI, environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of an IARPA BRAIN Project and NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 453 papers, 105 patent publications & one book (Regenesis).

Rao1Mahendra S. Rao, MD, PhD- Consultant-Regenerative Medicine
Mahendra Rao received his MD (MBBS) from Bombay University in India and his PhD in Developmental Neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology. Mahendra Rao is internationally known for his research involving, IPSC (induced pluripotent stem cells), human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and other somatic stem cells. He has worked in the stem cell field for more than twenty years with stints in academia, government and regulatory affairs and industry. Dr. Rao has published more than 350 papers on stem cell research and is the co-founder of a neural stem cell company Q therapeutics based in Salt Lake City (Utah) and more recently NxCell based in California. Dr. Rao has also served on advisory panels to the governments of the U.S., Singapore and India on hESC and iPSC policy. Dr. Rao continues to serve on s scientific advisory boards, journal editorial boards and oversight committees and will continue to serve on regulatory forums and as the CIRM and ISSCR liaison to the ISCT. Dr. Rao also provides consultative services to stem cell companies through Mahendra Rao LLC.


Hiro Nakauchi, MD, PhD
After earning M.D. and a Ph.D. in Japan, Dr. Nakauchi went to Stanford University as a postdoctoral scholar and isolated CD8 genes. After returning to Japan, he started working on hematopoietic stem cells in his laboratory at RIKEN. In 1994, he became a Professor of Immunology at the University of Tsukuba where he demonstrated that a single hematopoietic stem cell could reconstitute the entire hematopoietic system, a definitive experimental proof for the “stemness”. Since April 2002, he has been a Professor of Stem Cell Therapy in the Institute of Medical Science at The University of Tokyo (IMSUT). In 2014, he returned to Stanford University as a faculty to continue his stem cell research at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Goals of his work are to translate discoveries in basic research into practical medical applications.

douglas melton

Douglas Melton, Ph.D.
Dr. Melton is the Xander University Professor at Harvard, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He also serves, with his wife, Gail, as Faculty Dean of Eliot House at Harvard. Dr. Melton’s laboratory studies how cell differentiation is directed during development, with a particular focus on the genes and cells that make pancreatic tissue, with the goal of making pancreatic cells for transplantation into diabetics. Dr Melton is a co-founder of Gilead Sciences and founded Semma Therapeutics.


Matthias Hebrok, PhD
Matthias Hebrok, PhD, Hurlbut-Johnson Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research, is Director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He earned his PhD in Developmental Biology from the Max-Planck-Institute in Freiburg Germany, then performed his postdoctoral research at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard University. His laboratory has developed novel methods to generate functional, insulin-producing beta-cells from human stem cell populations.

Dr DAmourKevin D’Amour, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer
Kevin D’Amour, Ph.D. is an expert in stem cell science, an inventor of ViaCyte’s key patents and a co-author of high profile publications in renowned scientific journals. In addition to leading research advances in the stem cell program, Dr. D’Amour is frequently called upon to address the biological aspects of ViaCyte’s technology platform with regulating bodies, such as the US patent office and the FDA. Prior to joining ViaCyte, Dr. D’Amour performed pre-doctoral research with Dr. Fred Gage at The Salk Institute where he studied stem cell plasticity in neural stem cells. His past experience also includes a research position at Gen-Probe, Inc. Dr. D’Amour performed undergraduate studies at the University of New Hampshire and earned his Ph.D. in biology at the UC, San Diego.

Contact Information

For all questions about the meeting, please contact Kathy Tsandilas, Meeting Manager (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Thank You To Our Workshop Sponsors For Their Generous Support