Emerging Biotech Leader Volodymyr Shablii Attends Stem Cell Conference in Los Angeles

The travel grant provided by the US-Ukraine Foundation allowed me to attend the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting 2019 in Los Angeles, CA – the largest stem cell conference in the world. All sessions in the field of stem cells research, from fundamental approaches to clinical trials, ethical and legal issues were presented at this conference. The number of participants was impressive - more than 10,000 scientists from all over the world.

The combination of the latest achievements in the field of IPS creation, the latest technologies of sequencing, especially single-cell sequencing, integrated with organoid cultures, made a breakthrough in the comprehension of organogenesis as a complex process, and allowed to reproduce the development of many tissues (lungs, intestines, liver, kidneys) ex vivo. Scientists came very close to the modeling of tissue development out-of-body. Also, we can observe the rapid increase in the number and variety of biological models to study the regeneration and differentiation of cells, as well as the deciphering of the genome of various organisms, and the application of CRISPR/CAS9 technologies allowed to study these processes on such objects as: sponges, ascidia (Botryllus schlosseri), Panther worm, Drosophila, and axolotl.

Also, CRISPR technology joined with new approaches in the production of tissues out-of-body brought scientists closer to the clinical implementation of the creation of tissues/organs out-of-body approaches from patient cells after editing the genes responsible for the pathology development.

At the poster session, I presented the work named "Developing the clinical-grade protocol of human placental tissue cryopreservation for hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stromal cell isolation" to demonstrate the development of effective cryopreservation technologies for human placental tissue as a rich source of stem cells. This work can provide the creation of a placental tissue bank for the needs of regenerative medicine. The results of my research were of interest to biobanks/cryobanks and companies involved in the production of ATMs based on MSC. American colleagues have emphasized the need for patenting this technology.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the US-Ukraine Foundation for the provided grant: the relevant program is absolutely necessary for Ukrainian young scientists, given the low level of financial support of science from the State as a whole. This is one of the few opportunities for young and ambitious Ukrainian scholars to visit various scientific events in the US (conferences, meetings, seminars, schools), share their experiences and get frontier knowledge from the cutting edge of science.

-Volodymyr Shablii, Senior Researcher, LBNA, IMBG of NASU, Deputy Director of Cryobank, Head of PSC Laboratory, Institute of Cell Therapy, Ph.D.


Volodymyr Shablii, a US-Ukraine Foundation Biotech Initiative Emerging Biotech Leader of 2018, was awarded a travel grant to attend a professional event in the United States.