Rare Disease Report

Vatican To Hold Stem Cell Research Conference

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
Rebekah Harrison
With much of the attention this week focused on Pope Francis’ visit to the United States this week, the Stem of Life Foundation issued a press release to remind people of an important meeting to be held next year at the Vatican – the Third International Regenerative Medicine Conference to be Held on April 28-30, 2016.
The international event will bring cellular researchers, physicians, ethicists, philanthropists, business leaders, patients, political and regulatory figures, as well as Ambassadors to the Holy See, to engage in conversations about the potential for adult stem cells and other ethical cellular therapies, to treat cancer, diabetes and debilitating medical conditions and diseases.
This multi-dimensional initiative was presented to Pope Francis. His Holiness stressed the importance and the need to raise awareness about the conditions of all who are suffering, especially those affected by cancer and rare diseases, and support advancement of regenerative medicine and cell therapies.
The 2016 event will focus on pediatric cancers and rare genetic diseases. In addition to stem cells be applicable for therapies and treatment, the event will explore the cellular future and the ethics involved in the potential of stem cell treatment. Throughout the conference, patients will share their own stories of the treatments that have helped address their disease and reduce suffering.
According to a press statement, the mission of the 2016 Third International Regenerative Medicine Conference is to:

  • Discuss and understand the importance of scientific advancements, technology and data in the paradigm shift toward regenerative medicine, with a particular focus on cellular therapies. 
  • Unite people, without prejudice, creating an open dialogue about the interconnections between cellular research, technology, faith and culture.
  • Foster an international conversation amongst researchers, physicians, philanthropists, faith leaders and policy-makers in order to help identify a pathway to bring cellular cures to those in medical need throughout the world to reduce human suffering.
  • Create global awareness and inspire the next generation about the vital linkages between cellular sciences, technological innovation and personalized treatment delivery. 
  • Catalyze the necessary funding to support the development of cell therapies that will cure and treat a broad range of debilitating diseases and medical conditions.  
  • Establish a global movement of cellular researchers, medical practitioners, technological innovators and cultural and religious thought leaders throughout the world devoted to advancing the paradigm shift toward regenerative medicine.

"We want to generate an international dialogue about the implications of advancing cell therapy development and understand how these scientific advancements impact culture, society, anthropology and eventually on the role of the religious institutions in advancing research that will benefit humanity," said Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, head of Science and Faith Department, The Pontifical Council for Culture.


The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture and the Stem for Life Foundation Announce Third International Regenerative Medicine Conference to be Held at The Vatican in 2016 [news release] New York; Stem of Life Foundation: September 23, 2015. http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/09/23/770393/10150327/en/UPDATE-The-Vatican-s-Pontifical-Council-for-Culture-and-the-Stem-for-Life-Foundation-Announce-Third-International-Regenerative-Medicine-Conference-to-be-Held-at-The-Vatican-in-2016.html

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