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UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

Community forum on stem cells, hearing and vision impairment

July 28 event featured UC Davis Health System scientists

Dr. Yamoah © UC Regents
Ebenezer Yamoah is conducting research that has critical implications for rehabilitating severe cases of hearing loss.

Posted Aug. 4, 2010

UC Davis Health System experts gave presentations on stem cell research during a community forum on Wednesday, July 28, on the UC Davis Sacramento campus. The evening discussion highlighted the latest research into the use of regenerative medicine for treating hearing and vision impairment.

The event was part of the health system’s ongoing discussion series entitled "Stem Cell Dialogues," which offers opportunities for the public to learn about the stem cell therapies that UC Davis is developing to address a wide array of diseases and injuries.

“The potential for stem cells to be used in treating eye disease and hearing disorders is very exciting, and stem cells have already been used to restore vision in patients for certain forms of blindness,” said Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and the university’s stem cell program. “This community forum is a great opportunity to share with the public the research that we have under way in our laboratories. People will be amazed at the potential clinical applications that we are exploring using stem cells.”

About UC Davis Stem Cell Research

UC Davis is playing a leading role in stem cell research, with more than 140 faculty scientists and physicians working on a variety of stem cell investigations at campus locations in Davis and Sacramento. The university's Institute for Regenerative Cures, which is supported by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, recently opened in Sacramento. This large research facility provides state-of-the-art laboratories, cell manufacturing and testing rooms, enabling researchers to launch clinical trials involving stem cell therapies. The institute, along with a shared-research facility in Davis, complements the university's NIH-supported Clinical and Translational Science Center and is designed to help turn stem cells into cures.

Nolta was one of the featured experts for the evening’s discussion, which also included Ebenezer Yamoah, a neuroscientist who is studying the potential for using stem cells to create a biological implant to restore hearing; and Susanna Park, professor of ophthalmology and vision science, who addressed regenerative medicine and its potential for treating vascular-related vision loss, such as retinal vein occlusion and diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. Nolta © UC Regents“The potential for stem cells to be used in treating eye disease and hearing disorders is very exciting, and stem cells have already been used to restore vision in patients for certain forms of blindness.”
— Jan Nolta

The event was moderated by Claire Pomeroy, CEO of the health system, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. Pomeroy is also a member of the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The next Stem Cell Dialogue will be held on the evening of October 26. To add your name to the mailing list, contact Heather Mora at heather.mora@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu or 916-734-9716.

Videos of all Stem Cell Dialogues can be viewed on the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures website.