Texans For Stem Cell Research (TSCR), a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)3 volunteer organization dedicated to the advancement of stem cell clinical applications for the treatment of disease and debilitating injury, and the CORE Health Foundation, a non-profit disability advocacy organization that facilitates brain injury research, announced their collaboration for a Feb. 3 Learn for Life event that will examine early results of a stem cell therapy clinical trial for acute stroke patients and discuss the potential of a stem cell research facility in the proposed medical school to be located in Austin, Texas.
The Learn for Life event, "A Night with Dr. Sean I. Savitz," will feature the renowned neuroscientist's presentation on "Emerging Treatment of Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke."
Dr. Savitz, associate professor of neurology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, will review the results of the first-ever trial to harvest an acute stroke patient’s own stem cells and inject them back into the patient intravenously.
Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at The University of Texas System will discuss the benefits a new medical school with a state-of-the-art research facility would offer UT System health institutions and Texas citizens.
According to the American Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States and is ranked as the fourth major cause of death, with one out of every 18 deaths attributable to a stroke.
With 1,000 stem cell research pioneers globally, and a mere handful conducting FDA-approved stroke clinical trials nationally, the preliminary findings of Dr. Savitz' clinical trial offers unique insight into the potential for treating patients after a stroke.
In a Phase I study published in the August 2011 issue of the Annals of Neurology, Dr. Savitz and his UTHealth Medical School team reported that using a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells to treat acute stroke was feasible and safe. The research was conducted at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, a primary teaching hospital of UTHealth. The success of this first trial has led to additional funding from the National Institutes of Health for an expanded trial to continue studying feasibility and safety.
"FDA-approved trials are critical for establishing the safety and effectiveness of our procedures," said Dr. Savitz, the trial’s principal investigator and director of the Stroke Team at UTHealth and Memorial Hermann-TMC. "With the success of the first trial behind us, we are now conducting two other studies, one of which will test the ability to treat patients up to two weeks after suffering a stroke."
As Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at The University of Texas System, Dr. Shine is responsible for managing operating budgets totaling $8.4 billion for the six health institutions within the UT System. He has a studied perspective on what a medical school and teaching hospital could mean to the research community, cancer treatment and stem cell research.
"A first-class research medical school could potentially expedite the timeline for further FDA-approved trials needed to find cures of the major debilitating diseases that spike healthcare expenses and take lives each year," Shine said. "At the same time, it would provide opportunities for students to gain the finest medical education possible."
David Bales, Chairman of, Texans for Stem Cell Research, explained the mission of creating educational events that accomplish critical goals for furthering the progress of the medical community.
"TSCR and CHF want to facilitate partnerships between research institutions and medical schools with mutual goals," Bales said. "The Feb. 3 event will be important for those interested in stroke treatment, a medical school in Austin and collaboration toward the advancement of stem cell research.”
The Feb. 3, event will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, 208 Barton Springs Rd. in Austin.
Additional guest speakers will include Jim Misko, PsyD, CORE Health Foundation; Michael Bayer, Capitol Wealth Strategies; and David Bales and Keri Kimler from Texans for Stem Cell Research.
· Sean Savitz, MD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
· Kenneth Shine, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at The University of Texas System
· David Bales, Chairman, Texans for Stem Cell Research
About the Clincial Study
The study’s findings were published in a recent issue of the Annals of Neurology
For more information on stem cell therapies for acute stroke, call 713.500.7079 or visit http://neurology.uth.tmc.edu/specialty-programs/stem-cell/index.html.
About Texans for Stem Cell Research
Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)3 volunteer organization dedicated to the advancement of stem cell clinical applications for the treatment of millions of Texans living with incurable disease and debilitating injury. TSCR hosts education events and provides advocacy support to industry leaders, partner organizations, researchers and doctors conducting stem cell research in Texas. TSCR remains current on the latest information about stem cell research and discoveries that hold great potential for developing new treatments. TSCR assists the Texas based research teams and institutions by fostering strategic funding collaborations with potential partners. Stem cell therapies are advancing with promising results in clinical trials and TSCR will continue to promote safe, ethical and responsible research to accelerate translational efforts in Texas.
For more information on TSCR, visit www.txstemcell.org
About Core Health Foundation
CORE Health Foundation (CHF) is a nonprofit organization based in Dripping Springs, Texas, whose mission is to advocate for people with disabilities in novel ways through research, creation of public works and awareness projects that hasten the removal of biases in our society. Our 2012 goals include advancing the role of neuroimaging in clinical practice, developing neuroplasticity-based therapies, using these techniques to guide and solidify gains made possible by stem cell implantation for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries in addition to building an ADA Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Pier on Lady Bird Lake in Austin.
For more information on CHF, visit www.corehealthfoundation.org
About Learn or Life
The Texans for Stem Cell Research launched the Learn for Life Education Series in 2011 and hosts an Annual Stem Cell Symposium each year in Austin, Texas. The education series provides the public the opportunity to learn about groundbreaking research in stem cell science with the assistance of volunteers, leading academicians, researchers, industry leaders and advocates from around the world. The events attract highly respected stem cell research professionals who provide the most current findings in their field to promote awareness for important FDA approved clinical trials that have the potential to aid the development of new treatments for unmet medical needs. For more information on TSCR, visit www.txstemcell.org