Vatican stem cell event aims for wide cultural impact
Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, Dr. Robin Smith, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Fr. Ciro Benedettini present the Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference April 9, 2013 at the Holy See press office
Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, Dr. Robin Smith, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and Fr. Ciro Benedettini present the Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference April 9, 2013 at the Holy See press office
By David Uebbing
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Vatican's upcoming conference on adult stem cell research aims to influence culture by promoting dialogue between politicians, medical researchers, journalists and students on the latest developments.  

Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture's Science and Faith foundation, explained to journalists April 9 that the event hopes to impact society by “pointing to research models of excellence that are...in tune with the highest moral values of protecting the life and dignity of the human being from the moment of conception.”

During the first adult stem cell gathering in 2011, the organizers focused on making the complex world of medical research more understandable to the average person.

But for their second gathering, which will be held April 11-13 in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall, they want to extend their message by working at overcoming some of the “prejudice and antagonism” against adult stem research that can be found in the medical field.

“That is why we feel called to collaborate with the most prestigious professors, research institutes, and universities around the world,” Msgr. Trafny explained.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Doctor John Gurdon, the 2013 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine. This year, the conference will also have students from 25 universities around the world present.

Msgr. Trafny told CNA that during the afternoon sessions the organizers will “try to introduce issues related to cultural, philosophical, ethical, theological discussion.”  

“And we would like to offer the possibility to reflect, to discuss, not only scientific achievements but also cultural impact that this research can have in the future.”

Dr. Robin Smith, CEO of NeoStem and the president of the Stem for Life Foundation, took time to address the political and financial aspects of the stem cell debate as well.  

“I think that it speaks for itself, in the fact there are 4,300 clinical trials using adult stem cells and only 26 using embryonic stem cells,” Smith said in response to a question from CNA.

“So as we continue to see more data,” she added, “there will be more support to have these therapies developed into the clinic.”  

In her estimation, “it’s all about the data and the progress.”

The more people understand the scientific advances, the more “we’ll see that people are starting to learn that the future of stem cell therapy is adult stem cells,” Smith predicted.

And when the momentum builds behind adult stem cell cures, Smith said, “that will impact funding, (and) it will have an impact on government and regulatory bodies.”

“We’re already seeing from ambassadors and ministers of health, they want to embrace this.”

Tags: Vatican, Adult stem cells, Pontifical Council for Culture

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20