In 2014, StemCellTalks Vancouver organized an essay contest sponsored by the Stem Cell Network, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), and Let's Talk Science. The five winners had the opportunity to attend one day of the ISSCR Annual Meeting, held in June at the Vancouver Convention Centre. They later shared their experiences in blog entries on Signals and The Node.
The StemCellTalks Vancouver Student Bloggers. Front row, left to right: Vivian Tsang, Michelle Tse, and Mindy Lin Back. Back row, left to right: Tanner Jones, Lauren Dobischok, and organizer Ben Paylor.
Read what the student bloggers had to say about the ISSCR conference:
Vivian Tsang attended sessions on public-private partnerships and on the variability and dynamic forms of stem cell. At the same time, she transformed herself from an out-of-place high school student into a self-assured student blogger. Read more about her experience on Signal. Lauren Dobischok also attended a pre-conference outreach event where experts discussed the challenges facing stem cell researchers, especially the pressure to provide "proven, effective, 'miracle' therapies." Read more about what she learned on Signal. Mindy Lin compares high school students to stem cell research in her blog entry on Signal. They they both have a lot of potential but it is not yet clear exactly where either is headed. In the meantime, you can expect both breakthroughs and setbacks. Michelle Tse was impressed by the conference participants' passion and dedication to stem cell research. She hopes to embark on a career similar to theirs in the coming years. Read more about her experience on The Node. Tanner Jones was particularly captivated by discussions on the dangers of stem cell tourism. When patients hear about possible miracle cures for their conditions, they will often turn to poorly-regulated clinics, located in various parts of the world, that promise immediate results. However, the safety and the benefits of the therapies offered by these clinics remain unproven. Read more about what Tanner learned on The Node.