Often times great science develops after two researchers bump into each other and trade ideas. When I worked at Harvard we designed a new research building with two-story kitchens on every-other floor to force researchers from one floor to bump into researchers from the neighboring floor. Over the next few years I documented several collaborations between those neighbors.

    If you really want to increase your bump rate there is no better place than a scientific meeting, and in the stem cell field, there is no better meeting than the annual meeting(link) of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). This year’s session expects to bring more than 4,000 stem cell researchers at all stages of the research pipeline to San Francisco June 21st-25th. Full disclosure: CIRM is co-sponsoring the meeting this year.

     Something for the lay public, too. Not a researcher? There’s something for the general lay public as well. On Tuesday evening June 21st, CIRM will co-host with ISSCR an hour and a half discussion with five stem cell scientists covering heart disease, cancer, blindness, sickle cell anemia and Parkinson’s disease. You can find more information and register for the 6:00-7:30 pm event here.

    Researcher still have time to apply to speak.

     The ISSCR wants to capture the best science in real time, so they have a system that allows you to submit abstracts for research you have recently completed.  If one of your experiments has just produced some exciting data, you can submit it here through May 2. And discount advance registration ends May 4.

    Even if you don’t present, you will have the chance to choose between nearly 200 oral presentations and 1,400 poster presentations. The meeting also offers a career fair with organizations looking to hire, meet-up hubs and an orientation for new attendees. All are chances to increase your bump rate and the likelihood the meeting will result in your research taking a new and exciting trajectory.

    And of course, don’t’ underestimate the bump rate in the hallways of the meeting and in the coffee shops and bars surrounding the convention center. Bend an elbow for science.

    If you need a bit of a financial hand to get to the meeting, STEMCELL Technologies is having a drawing through ISSCR for four $500 travel awards to offset costs of getting to the meeting.

    For a sampling of the exciting science presented at prior ISSCR annual meetings you can scan our blog posts for real-time coverage from the meetings in Boston and Vancouver.


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