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Diversifying Stem Cell Biobanks: Towards Inclusive Precision Medicine and Health Equity

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How can stem cell scientists help to overcome racial health disparities? Most major diseases of our time are exacerbated by racial health disparities, which continue to widen. Thanks to induced pluripotent stem cell technology, it is possible to create stem cell models of disease that represent genetically diverse patients, enabling precision medicine research — yet most stem cell lines currently used in research are derived from white, non-Hispanic populations. Increasing the diversity of stem cell biobanks presents a key opportunity to ensure that disease research captures the full diversity of humanity and benefits all communities in need. Join panelists Ru Gunawardane, PhD, Ekemini A. U. Riley, PhD, John Greally, PhD, DMed, and Scott Noggle, PhD as they explore this opportunity and call the stem cell community to action. This discussion will be moderated by NYSCF’s Raeka Aiyar, PhD.

Panelists will discuss:

-The deadly consequences of lacking diversity in disease research

-The current state of stem cell biobanks and factors behind their lack of diversity

-The impact of genetic ancestry and sex on disease outcomes and treatment effectiveness

-Current initiatives to increase diversity in stem cell biobanks and disease research

-The social and financial challenges that need to be overcome to enable more inclusive disease research

About The New York Stem Cell Foundation

The mission of The New York Stem Cell Foundation is to accelerate cures for the major diseases of our time through stem cell research, supporting only the most promising research and technologies, in our own laboratories and in partnership with leading institutions around the world.

In addition to conducting innovative stem cell research in our own safe haven laboratories, NYSCF also supports and convenes global stem cell thought leaders and the broader stem cell community – all with the focus on getting to patients. Since our founding in 2005, NYSCF has been able to achieve outsized results in a relatively short period of time thanks to private philanthropy.

The NYSCF Research Institute, an independent laboratory, is a non-profit accelerator that serves to bridge the ongoing gap between research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies by reducing the cost, time, and risk that historically inhibit the development of new treatments and cures.

*** All content on is for informational purposes only. All medical questions and concerns should always be consulted with your licensed healthcare provider.

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