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Conference Births New Veterinary Stem Cell Association

March 10, 2010

A new professional organization, the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association, has been launched as the result of a recent international conference, co-sponsored by UC Davis, which focused on the use of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine to treat horses and other animals.

The new North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association will be dedicated to advancing the science and clinical application of non-embryo-derived stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine techniques that use stem cells derived from other sources.

“The association’s goal is to facilitate scientific investigations with stem cells that are acquired from fat, bone-marrow and umbilical-cord sources, and to combine that knowledge with other regenerative medicine techniques that are designed to improve the health care of animals and humans alike,” said Sean Owens, a veterinary professor and director of UC Davis’ Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.

The independent association is open to membership for all regenerative medicine researchers, stem cell biologists, biomedical engineers, clinicians and health technicians. Membership information can be obtained from Owens at sdowens@ucdavis.edu or from Gregory Ferraro, a veterinary professor and director of UC Davis’ Center for Equine Health, at glferraro@ucdavis.edu.

The new association grew out of the March 5-6 inaugural North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Conference, which drew 280 research scientists, veterinarians and physicians from around the globe to California’s Santa Ynez Valley. The meeting was jointly coordinated by UC Davis’ Center for Equine Health; the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center of Los Olivos, Calif.; and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital of Lexington, Ky.

The conference highlighted the latest in cutting-edge research and innovative clinical applications of non-embryo-derived stem cell technologies. It was moderated by Gregory Ferraro of UC Davis and featured presentations by 25 regenerative medicine research experts from throughout the United States and Canada, as well as roundtable discussions between researchers and practicing clinicians.

“The collaborative setting provided by gatherings such as this will facilitate growth in the field of regenerative medicine,” said Doug Herthel, a conference speaker and practicing veterinarian at the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center.

John Peroni, a faculty member at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, remarked that “regenerative medicine has our industry excited because it holds so much potential for treating conditions that were formerly though to be untreatable.”

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 32,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $600 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges -- Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools -- Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

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