The Broad Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA receives $1 million gift to support annual educational symposium

Stem cell symposium draws top scientists from around the world

The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA received a $1 million gift today that will support a popular annual stem cell symposium on the Westwood campus that draws top scientists from around the world. 

The Bloomfield Family Foundation, headed by Margaret “Peggy” Bloomfield of Pacific Palisades, made the gift.  Bloomfield is a long-time supporter of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center.

“We’re very grateful for this generous gift that will allow us to continue to pursue our educational mission and hold a symposium that brings together top national and international scientists to share their leading-edge stem cell and regenerative medicine research,” said Dr. Owen Witte, director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “Gathering these researchers together in one place allows them to share ideas and perhaps spark new ones that will lead to novel stem cell therapies to treat a host of diseases for which we currently have no effective treatments.”

The gift was announced by Witte Friday morning at the start of the eighth annual stem cell symposium, “Stem Cells and Cancer: Shared Paths, Different Destinations” which featured speakers from UCLA, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, the University of Montreal, University Health Network (Canada) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

The Bloomfield Family Foundation’s continuing support of the annual event has allowed the Broad Stem Cell Research Center to provide a full day of renowned speakers and a scientific poster session that is free and open to the public.  The symposium commonly attracts 500 attendees, including scientists and students from other universities and research centers, teachers from local high schools, and representatives of state agencies such as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Past symposiums featured speakers on the cutting-edge of stem cell science, such as Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and UCLA’s Kathrin Plath, who presented at the symposium within a month of their individual publications of the breakthrough discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells.  Nobel laureate David Baltimore also has presented his research at the stem cell symposium.