2nd LSCN Annual Symposium – Press release

On Tuesday 30thApril, The London Stem Cell Network (LSCN)ran their second annual symposium, attended by over 400 people. Held at the Francis Crick Institute in London, this year the symposium had four main sessions: “Stem Cell Biology”, “Development and Regeneration”, “Disease Modelling and Tissue Engineering” and “Translational Medicine”. 

The programme was made up of scientific talks, a poster session and a keynote lecture from the internationally recognised David Scadden (Harvard Stem Cell Institute). The LSCN symposium was inclusive in its broad scientific contents and gave both young and established scientists the opportunity to present their work. The event was an inspiring introduction to the stem cell research conducted within and around London and fuelled stimulating networking (and, hopefully, new collaborations!) across different stem cell fields. 

The LSCN is organised by PhD students, postdocs and network leads, with the aim of connecting stem cell societies across the London area.Each year, the LSCN also hold four half-day workshops on new state-of-the-art techniques. All events are free! Watch this space for upcoming events.

About the LSCN

The London Stem Cell Network (LSCN) started as an initiative from leading stem cell scientists, who felt the London area had many different stem cell societies, but lacked a common thread to bring them together. The LSCN aims to shine a light onto research from all stem cell fields and find a space for the ever-increasing need for improved interdisciplinary collaborations. 

The LSCN holds an international-standard symposium each year. With a broad scientific programme, the event gives both established PIs and young scientists an opportunity to present their work, and promotes networking and new collaborations across fields.

Along with the annual symposium, the LSCN also holds four half-day workshops across the year. These workshops are designed to give young scientists an in-depth understanding of new, state-of-the-art techniques by featuring one or two specialists in the area.

The LSCN aims to be inclusive of all – from first year PhD students, to established PIs. That means all events are free, thanks to the support of sponsors and hard work from the committee. In future, the LSCN aspires to provide sponsored travel grants for researchers to attend international conferences as LSCN fellows. 

The LSCN is always looking for new committee members to bring new ideas and initiatives into the network. If you would like to help the LSCN, please drop us an email.

Profile articles:

Dr Francesco Saverio Tedesco – Reprogramming human skeletal muscle (re)generation

Dr. Francesco Saverio Tedescois a principal investigator at University College London (UCL) and a London Stem Cell Network (LSCN) lead. Dr. Tedesco’s work focuses on skeletal muscle regeneration in muscular dystrophy and has pioneered re-programming of patient cells into skeletal muscle stem cells. Dr. Tedesco holds a medical and a PhD degree from the University of Rome and the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, respectively. Following his PhD, Dr. Tedesco undertook a post-doc with clinical training between San Raffaele Hospital, Milan and UCL Hospitals. In 2012, he joined UCL as co-investigator, where he became a principal investigator in 2014. 

Dr. Tedesco joined UCL to start his own research group, as he felt it was the perfect combination of a great scientific environment, with strong links to the clinic. However, Dr. Tedesco and other network leads noted the lack of interdisciplinary collaborations within stem cell research centres in London. From this, they initiated the LSCN to provide a platform for networking within the London stem cell community. Dr Tedesco believes that events such as the LSCN symposium are a good way for young stem cell scientists to come together, learn about research from different areas, meet like-minded colleagues, present their work, trouble-shoot and learn about new opportunities within the field. Dr. Tedesco also believes the LSCN symposium is a great event for established PIs, since it gives them an opportunity to meet bright and keen scientists who could join their labs or collaborate on projects. On the day of the 2019 LSCN symposium, Dr. Tedesco gave an inspiring flagship lecture describing his journey from a PhD student to PI, aiming to motivate young and aspiring scientists.

Dr Tiago Luis –   Perivascular niche cells sense thrombocytopenia and activate platelet-biased HSCs in an IL-1 dependent manner

Dr. Tiago Luishas been a junior principal investigator at Imperial College London since November 2018. Dr. Luis’ work is focused on the effect of the bone marrow microenvironment on haematopoietic stem cell differentiation. Dr. Luis undertook his PhD studies in Professor Frank Staal’s lab at the University of Leiden, Netherlands, where he discovered that Wnt-singling has a dose-dependent effect on haematopoiesis. Dr. Luis continued his post-doc in Professor Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen’s lab at the University of Oxford, focusing on understanding lineage commitment during lymphoid progenitor seeding of the foetal thymus. During these projects, Dr. Luis developed a keen interest in stress-induced lineage bias in haematopoiesis and decided to establish his own research group to investigate his ideas about this phenomenon.

As a new junior PI in London, Dr. Luis believes that LSCN events are a great introduction to the London stem cell community. On the day of the 2019 LSCN symposium, Dr. Luis gave the prize-winning short talk, presenting his research and future plans. This gave him an opportunity to introduce his research group to the field, advertise open positions, expand his network and launch collaborations; all things that Dr. Luis feels are very important when you are a new PI trying to establish a successful research group. 

(Ann-Sofie Kirkebjerg Thorsen, PhD Student at CRUK Cambridge)