Do you have questions about how stem cells could help people with leukemia? We have answers

Put this day and time in your diary. Tuesday, March 25 from noon till 1pm PT. That’s when we’ll be holding our next Google Hangout and the topic this time is leukemia.

We’ll be bringing together three great scientists to talk about their work and experience in finding cures or more effective therapies for leukemia, when we might see those therapies being tested in patients, and what their thoughts are on future directions for research.

Those experts include:
Dr. Catriona Jamieson, University of California San Diego: Dr. Jamieson’s work focuses on mutant stem cells that can evade chemotherapy and ultimately lead to diseases like leukemia recurring. Her goal is to develop treatments that target those mutant or cancer stem cells, and to develop more selective, less toxic therapies, ones that are easier on patients and harder on the cancer. One potential therapy from her work is already in clinical trials in patients and another is expected to begin clinical trials later this year
Dr. Ravi Majeti, Stanford University: Dr. Majeti is part of a team that has identified a protein that sits on the surface of some cancer cells – including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) – that attaches what he calls a “don’t eat me” sign on the cell so that the body’s own immune defense system doesn’t destroy the cancer, and instead allows it to spread. They have developed an approach that strips that “don’t eat me” sign off the cancer cells, leaving them defenseless and allowing the immune system to destroy them
Dr. Karen Berry, stem cell agency Science Officer: Dr. Berry oversees many of the leukemia research projects that we fund and has a broad base of knowledge about this area.

One thing those brief bios don’t tell you is that these are three incredibly passionate and articulate scientists who enjoy talking about their work and explaining it to the public.

And there’s a lot to talk about. We are making great progress in this area so it promises to be an engaging and encouraging hour.

Google Hangouts are great because not only do they allow you to see and listen to the experts, but you can also ask questions in real time. If you have a Google+ account, you can post questions directly to the Hangout’s event page. You can also Tweet your questions using #AskCIRMLeukemia or email them to Info@CIRM.ca.gov.

Don’t forget: you don’t need a Google+ account to watch, just go to the event page.

And best of all, it’s free.

kevin mccormack

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