Information about the 2017 StemCellTalks Coming soon! Please see below for a description of last year’s event.

StemCellTalks is a free high school outreach initiative established to facilitate knowledge transfer between academia and high school students pertaining to the science and practical ethics of stem cells. First established in Toronto in 2010, StemCellTalks has currently been hosted fourteen times in six cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Hamilton and Edmonton) across Canada. To date, over 1500 high school students have attended these symposia across the country, with a further 5000 having been reached during in-class visits leading up to the symposia.

This year’s theme: Cancer stem cells and cell-based therapeutics (with a focus on CAR T-cells)

Date of upcoming event: May 13th, 2016

Location: UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building (get directions)

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Contact Us

You can e-mail us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please see the link below for more information about Let’s Talk Science at University of British Columbia:


The StemCellTalks Symposium will take place at UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC. To get to the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building take the 99-B line directly to UBC. Parking is also available.

2015 StemCellTalks Vancouver Slideshow


Apply for this year's StemCellTalks below!

The application deadline for StemcelltalksVancouver 2016 has been extended to Friday April 29 at 9:00 am.

StemCellTalks 2016 Vancouver Blogging Competition

Inspired about stem cells?  Love to write?  We want to read about it and send you to a stem cell biotechnology company!

StemCellTalks Vancouver, in partnership with STEMCELL Technologies Inc., is offering 5 prize packs to StemCellTalks Vancouver participants!

Learn more about the blogging competition

Congratulations Ryan Scott and Julie Cui!
Winner of StemCellTalks 2015 Vancouver Blogging Competition

Event Details

Summary of the Event

The event will focus on cancer stem cells and the current standard of care vs. upcoming cell-based therapeutics (e.g., CAR T-cells). The day will be divided into two sessions. One part will be science oriented, the other part will be oriented towards the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding stem cell research. Each session will begin with a formal presentation delivered by expert faculty. This will be followed by breakout sessions where ~30 LTS volunteers will lead small groups of ~10 high school students in discussion and through problem based learning activities.

Science learning objectives will emphasize principles of stem cell science and biotechnology, with a particular emphasis on what cancer stem cells are and how they impact cancer progression and treatment. Practical ethics learning objectives will reinforce science concepts and facilitate the development of ethical frameworks in which to address more generalized medical dilemmas.

Each breakout session will finish with a knowledge-sharing session, where students share the outcomes of their discussions, and receive feedback from the expert panel.

Event Schedule and Speakers


StemCellTalks is offered in partnership with Stem Cell Networks and Let’s Talk Science.

Local Event Sponsors

Organizing Committee

Christopher Laver (Director)

Chris is a PhD candidate in Dr. Joanne Matsubara's lab. His research is focused on the development of stem cell treatments for retinal degeneration.

Courteney Lai (Assistant Director)

Courteney is a PhD candidate in the Humphries lab at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, where she studies the regulation of leukemic stem cells.

Sneha Balani (Assistant Director)

Sneha is a PhD Candidate in Dr. Connie Eaves' Lab at the BC Cancer Research Centre, where she studies clonal differences in breast cancers and its importance in better understanding the mammary stem cell field.

Shelly Benjaminy (Ethics and Content Developer)

Shelly is a PhD student at the National Core for Neuroethics. Her research aims to develop ethical frameworks for the translation of novel biotechnologies.

Sijia Cao (Logistics and Content Developer)

Sijia is a PhD student in Joanne Matsubara's Lab in the Vancouver Eye Care Center. She works on the mechanism of age-related macular degeneration, a common disease and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older.

Ali Farrokhi (Student Recruitment Manager)

Ali is PhD candidate in Experimental Medicine Program under the supervision of Dr. Aziz Ghahary. His current research interest is studying the application of Acellular Dermal Matrix in skin wound healing.

Colin Hammond (Logistics and Content Developer)

Colin is a graduate student in Dr. Connie Eaves' lab at the BC Cancer Agency investigating the abnormal behaviour of stem cells in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

Peter Hurley (Industry Liaison and Content Developer)

Peter is a Master's student studying the effect of autoimmune assault on the epigenetics of pancreatic islets in Dr Bard Hoffman's lab at the Child and Family Research Institute. The topic of Diabetes is especially important to him as he is both a Diabetes researcher and a type 1 diabetic himself.

Margarita MacAldaz (Blogging Competition Manager, Assistant Student Recruitment Manager, and Content Developer)

Margarita is a graduate student in Dr. Connie Eaves’ lab at the BC Cancer Research Centre. Her research focus is the generation of hematopoietic stem cells from induced pluripotent stem cells.

Eva Yap (Volunteers and Media Manager)

Eva is a Master's student in Dr. Aly Karsan's lab at the BC Cancer Research Centre, where she studies aberrant epigenetic patterns underlying colorectal cancer progression.

StemCellTalks is an outreach initiative established to facilitate knowledge transfer between academia and high school students pertaining to the science and practical ethics of stem cells. Learn more at the StemCellTalks website.