Plenary Session


The seven plenary sessions are the core of the ISSCR Annual Meeting, featuring leaders in stem cell and related fields. The plenary sessions showcase speakers who will inspire and invigorate all attendees with cutting-edge research and thought. Award lectures and other featured lectures are also presented in the plenary sessions.

Plenary VI: Cancer Stem Cells

09:00 - 11:10


Allison Bardin

Institut Curie, France

Allison Bardin earned her PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA and did post-doctoral studies in Paris, France, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Institut Pasteur. Her research group at the Institut Curie, Paris, France, uses the Drosophila melanogaster intestinal stem cell model to understand the molecular mechanisms fundamental to control stem cell self-renewal. Recent studies from her team investigate how these processes are altered during aging due to acquisition of mutations in the stem cell genome. She directs a French Stem Cell Network of the CNRS comprised of groups focusing on in vivo models of stem cell biology. Recent awards include the Bronze Medal of the CNRS (2016) and the Schlumberger Foundation for Education and Research Prize (2017).


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Tannishtha Reya

University of California San Diego School of Medicine, United States

Tannishtha Reya is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine and Co-Director of Cancer Biology in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California San Diego. Her work has provided insight into the signals that control stem cell growth, and how the same signals are subverted to fuel cancer growth. Her awards include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and an NCI Outstanding Investigator Award.


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Nick Barker

Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore

As a postdoc with Hans Clevers, Nick identified deregulation of the Wnt signalling pathway as a major initiating event in colon cancer and subsequently joined Semaia Pharmaceuticals in 2001 to develop small molecule inhibitors of the Wnt pathway as colon cancer therapeutics. In 2006, he rejoined Hans Clevers group, where he identified the Wnt target gene Lgr5 as a marker of adult stem cell populations in various organs. In 2010, Nick joined the IMB in Singapore, where he focuses on the role of Lgr5 gastric stem cells in self-renewal and cancer.


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Marc Leushacke


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Jane E. Visvader

Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC, Australia

Prof. Visvader FAA carried out PhD studies at the University of Adelaide and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego and Children’s Hospital, Boston. In 1998, she was appointed as a Laboratory Head at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute. Her primary research objective is to understand the breast epithelial differentiation hierarchy and to use this to probe the relationship between normal and tumor cells.


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Nai Yang Fu


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Anne Rios

Princess Maxima Centrum, Netherlands

During her scientific career, Dr. Anne Rios has developed a strong passion for microscopy. During her post-doctoral training in breast cancer, she developed a technique of 3D imaging, which has proven to serve as a powerful tool to dissect the mammary stem cell hierarchy in vivo. Along with her team, she is now implementing novel imaging methodologies based on Large-scale Single-cell Resolution 3D-imaging and 3D-intravital microscopy to investigate the cellular dynamics governing pediatric cancer progression.


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Bhupinder Pal


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Yunshun Chen


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Francois Vaillant


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Bianca Capaldo


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Caleb Dawson


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Gordon Smyth


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Geoffrey Lindeman


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Leonard I. Zon

Boston Children's Hospital, MA, United States

Dr. Zon is the Grousbeck Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is internationally-recognized for his pioneering work in stem cell biology and cancer genetics, and has been the preeminent figure in establishing zebrafish as an invaluable genetic model for the study of the blood and hematopoietic development.


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Plenary VI: Cancer Stem Cells

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