The stem cells – The cellular therapies in the regenerative medicine

On Saturday 9th April IW District 204 Italy hosted a District Event in the Lecture Room Ugo Foscolo in the “Universit degli Studi” in Pavia. Many civil authorities as well as prominent personalities belonging to the world of science were present at the event to clarify and bring order into the flood of information that the media give us about the stem cells.

Speakers, D204 Chairman and some Members of District Executive Committee

Professor Redi, a member of the Italian Academy of the Lincei, disproved some commonplaces and shed light upon some information that are spread out by the media, but firmly rejected by the mainstream science. A plain example of what non-science can do is the drop in vaccinations in Italy, due to false alarmism. Both Professor Redi and Doctor Monti as well as later Professor Perotti have emphasized the importance of the “gift culture” as far as the cells of the umbilical cord are concerned.

Doctor Manuela Monti, a researcher in the field, sketched the interesting story of the stem cells since 1961, focusing on their use for the treatment of many degenerative diseases. She also mentioned the misuse of the stem cells from a good deal of speculators, those who advertise beauty creams containing stem cells – actually there are no stem cells at all – up to the greatly dubious Cell Therapy Centres, whose purposes are crystal clear.

Professor Perotti spoke about Regenerative Medicine, even though it involves political and ethical problems. He asserted that the stem cells management must be entrusted to the State, in order to prevent it from getting into the hands of private speculators and underlined once again that the Cord Blood Bank in Pavia, the second most important in Italy, is inspired by solidarity principles.

Professor Balduini, who carries out her research activity both in Pavia and Boston, focused her intervention on the bone marrow stem cells, that cannot be seen by any means. It’s consequently very important under those circumstances to go on with the research and the experiments on animals.

Lawyer Azzoni shed then light on the stem cells ethics and developed a speech of great interest on the “new ways” to be born and die: he spoke about medically assisted procreation and reanimation, from a bioethical-legal point of view. The topic of the embryos cryopreservation and their possible use aroused a lot of interest and many questions.

Professor Redi’s reflection on the new value to give to the word “parenthood” led us to really think, compare and develop new ideas on the concept of family, but not only. This subject, together with many others, has given further value to a conference of great scientific and ethical interest.

District 204 has also destined a prize for a graduate in Biology and Biotechnology or Medicine and Surgery who carried out research on the use of the stem cells in medicine. The prize will be consigned on Sunday 8th May during a solemn ceremony in the Main Hall of the University of Pavia.

As a moment of conviviality and aggregation, the lunch took place in the splendid “Magnolia Courtyard” of the University, the ideal frame for a morning of great informative importance and joyful friendship. The walking tour through the historical city centre was extremely interesting; it was guided by Ms Renata Crotti, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Pavia, as well as Honorary Member of Inner Wheel Club of Pavia. She described in a masterly manner the “Basilica di San Michele Maggiore”, masterpiece of Lombard Romanesque style dating back to the XI and XII centuries, and the participants were all really enchanted by the skill and the cultural background of their guide.

From left to right: Grazyna Di Nicastro D204 Secretary, Cinzia Marchetti IWC Oltrepò, Lucia Brossa D204 Editor, Giuliana Bausano D204 IP Chairman, Lucilla Colombo D204 Chairman, Antonia Rizzini IWC Oltrepò President, Giovanna Lucchetti IWC Pavia President.

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