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Regulating ‘stem cell tourism’ in the UK and Asia: How do we move forward together?

Click here to read a report of the event from the University of Sussex website


The Centre for Bionetworking welcomes you to a free event, open to the public, to be held at:

The Brunei Gallery Room B202 (second floor), School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

25th June 2013, 6pm-8pm

Over the past few years, various cases of ‘stem cell tourism’ have been reported in the media, invariably focusing on negative impacts – to patients, science and public trust. Many of these stories have focused on Asia, which has often been characterised as a haven for unregulated stem cell therapy practices, offering patients un-proven and ineffective therapies. This event will explore some of the issues facing scientists, patients, regulators and companies operating in the UK and some of the Asian countries in which the Centre for Bionetworking works.  A panel of experts will be invited to debate the following questions:

– Are claims of ‘unregulated’ stem cell tourism in India and China justified or overplayed?

– To what extent is stem cell tourism in India and China threatening to undermine public trust in stem cell research and potential therapies in the UK?

– Do the current regulatory developments in India and China offer hope for international coordination and a more mutually-beneficial way forward?

– Which groups – other than government – can contribute to the co-ordination of stem cell research and therapy across national and continental borders?

Speakers include:

Dusko Ilic – Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, Kings College London – Dr Dusko Iliv is Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, Kings College London, coordinator of the cross-divisional postgraduate program in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and Head of the iPS cell core facility at Guy’s Campus. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Regenerative Medicine and he is also on Progress Educational Trust advisory board. His research interest lies in hES cells, iPS cells, cancer stem cells, and regenerative medicine. Source-http://www.kcl.ac.uk/medicine/research/divisions/wh/about/people/illicd/index.aspx

James Lawford Davies – Partner, Lawford Davies Denoon Ltd – James has always worked in the health sector. In addition to working in his private practice as a solicitor, James is a Lecturer in Law and Medicine at the University of Newcastle and a Visiting Research Fellow at Durham University Law School. James specialises in the law and regulation relating to reproductive and genetic technologies, human tissue and cells, and related research. He advises a large number of clinics and research centres licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and has been involved in most of the leading cases relating to assisted reproduction, embryo and stem cell research. Source-http://www.lawforddaviesdenoon.com/index.php?james-lawford-davies

Joy Zhang – Lecturer in Sociology, University of Kent  –  Joy Zhang is a  Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. Her expertise is on the transnational governance of scientific uncertainty, with a focus on the Sino-European context. Her work on the life sciences and climate science contributes to cosmopolitan social theories by empirically examining how actors in non-Western societies capitalize on the concept of global risk and how this gives rise to new modes of social intervention. Source-http://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/staff/academic/zhang-joy.html

Keith Pollard – Managing Director, Intuition Communication – Keith Pollard is Managing Director of Intuition Communication. Keith spent ten years in marketing and operational roles in the private healthcare sector before setting up Acumen Solutions, an internet development company in the mid-1990s, specialising in the healthcare market. Private Healthcare UK was one of several internet ventures which were created at that time. In 2003, Keith formed Intuition Communication as a web publishing company and embarked on a major investment in the redevelopment and expansion of Private Healthcare UK. The Intuition portfolio has grown impressively since then, and Intuition has become a leader in medical tourism with the development of Treatment Abroad.  Keith writes a health and medical tourism blog. Source-http://www.intuition-communication.co.uk/about-us/who-we-are/

Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner – Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sussex-  Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sussex. Her work focuses on nationalism and processes of nation-state building in China and Japan and on biotechnology and society in East Asia. Sleeboom-Faulkner currently directs the centre for Bionetworking after having led the Socio-genetic Marginalization in Asia Programme (SMAP, 2004-2009) and the Sussex team of the joint research project ‘International Science and Bioethical Collaborations’ (ISBC, 2007-2010) with Cambridge and Durham Universities. For the Centre for Bionetworking, Sleeboom-Faulkner’s field research  involves the delineation of stem cell research and therapy networks in China and Japan.

Prasanna Patra – Reader in Anthropology at Utkal Unversity/Unversity of Sussex –   Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patra is a Reader in Anthropology at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in India. He earned his Ph.D in Anthropology from University of Delhi in 2002 and has postdoctoral research experience at Leiden, Kyoto and Sussex universities. Patra’s research interest lies at an interface between socio-cultural and biomedical dimensions in stem cell science and biobanking in India and Japan. As Co-investigator part of the  ESRC Bionetworking in Asia – Patient recruitment and therapy practiceproject, his current research examines the complexities in proliferation, translational bionetworkings and collaborations of stem cell research and therapy in India, in a social science comparative view with what is happening in other Asian countries such as Japan and China.

Adrian Ely (Centre for Bionetworking) will chair the event, and welcome interventions from the floor – Dr. Adrian Ely is a lecturer at SPRU-Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Sussex, and Head of Impact and Engagement at the STEPS Centre. He Co-Investigator with the ESRC Bionetworking in Asia – Patient Recruitment & Therapy Practices, where his primary role is in helping with the methodological design of the projects by drawing on his experience and knowledge of backward-mapping and multi-criteria mapping. Adrian also draws on extensive research experience in mainland China.

Getting there:
The Brunei Gallery is located between Malet Street and Thornhaugh Street, in the north-west corner of Russell Square opposite SOAS (see map below). The Gallery is a five minute walk from the British Museum and is opposite the main entrance to SOAS.

The nearest underground stations are Russell Square, Goodge Street, Euston, Euston Square and Tottenham Court Road. – click here for a tube map

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