International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science Conference (IFATS) Toulouse, France October 24-26, 2008

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IFATS Conference, Toulouse, France Worldwide Medical Conference draws over 50 countries, 180 top research scientists.

The International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS) is holding the 2008 conference in Toulouse, France. This is the first (IFATS) conference in Europe in several years and the worldwide conference moves to South Korea in 2009. Multidisciplinary investigators from over 50 countries will attend the three-day conference, hosted by Doctors Louis Casteilla and Anne Bouloumie, current IFATS co-presidents.

This is the only organization that focuses on the understanding and treatment of disease by probing into the characteristics of adipose tissue and its rich repository of stem cells. This meeting will be more exciting than ever before, with the field of adipose stem cells having demonstrated a truly remarkable growth in interest over the last year. This is based on a progressive recognition of the host of possibilities for addressing diseases that affect very many people, including those with heart disease, problems with circulation to the legs, stroke, neurological disorders, diabetes, obesity, hemophilia, autoimmune diseases, kidney disease, bone and joint problems, and others.

More than 180 researchers from over 50 countries will join with representatives from more than 15 companies that are actively working in the area of adipose stem cells. Keynote lectures from scientists who have made truly seminal contributions in the translational science of other important types of adult stem cells will greatly enrich the 2008 conference. Dr. G. Weidinger - Max Planck Institute, Dresden, Germany; Dr. Max Lafontan, I2RM, Toulouse, France; Dr. Philippe Menasche, Hospital Assistance Publique, Paris, France; and Dr. Nadir Askenasy, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petach Tikva, Israel will lecture in their respective disciplines. Biosketches of each of these speakers is available on the IFATS meeting website: http://www.ifats08.org or the association website at http://www.ifats.org.

Media Event:
A special opportunity for the media has been set aside. A teleconference call with executive leadership has been scheduled for Friday, October 24, 2008 from 6:15 pm - 6:45 pm (Toulouse time) open to all media and interested scientists to learn more about this exciting area of study.

The tele-conference will be moderated by Dr. Louis Casteilla and Dr. J. Peter Rubin. To participate in this tele-conference call the Toll Free Dial-In Number is: 888-296-6828 (this number is for use within the Continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Canada) or for international participants please dial 916-233-0780. The participant code is 939168#.

Background: Stem cells are believed to be a key ingredient in the body's self-repair system-a sort of blank slate that can develop into multiple cells types. They can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells for a lifetime. When a stem cell divides, each new cell can either remain a stem cell or differentiate into a more specialized cell such as nerve, blood, bone or muscle. Stem cell based approaches may hold promise for treating or curing diabetes, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), heart disease, stroke, spinal cord injury and genetic diseases.

Stem cells are classified in three ways. Depending on their origin and potential, they can be totipotent (able to become any kind of cell), pluripotent (able to give rise to any cell except those needed to develop a fetus) and multipotent (able to become a limited variety of cells). Adult stem cells are thought to be multipotent.

Adipose-derived Adult Stem Cells, in 2001, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Pittsburg first reported that stem cells could be isolated from adipose tissue removed during liposuction. Since then, researchers in the laboratory have suggested adipose-derived stem cells can be coaxed into new fat tissue, bone, cartilage, nerve, muscle and endothelial cells. In animal studies, these cells show potential for treatment of heart attack, stroke, or bone injury.

Adipose is an attractive source of cells because it is abundantly available, easily accessible and routinely discarded in medical procedures. In addition, there is great potential for the development of therapies using a patient's own cells.

Adult stem cells are primitive cells hat can renew and are capable of becoming the major cell types in the tissue or organ that harbors them. The primary roles of adult stem cells are to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found. The process takes about two weeks to produce bone and three weeks to produce muscle cells.

Hundreds of millions of stem cells can be obtained from liposuction patient. One pint of liposuctioned fat or one pound of whole fat can yield up to 200 million stem cells, which culture can be expanded by 10 times over the course of two weeks.

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LaDonna Kliewer
IFATS
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