Message from the President of the Israel Stem Cell Society
Stem cells have captivated the imagination of researchers for over a century. The term ‘Stem Cell’ was coined (originally in German, ‘Stammzelle’) by Ernst Haeckel in 1868. He first regarded it as a unicellular evolutionary ancestor for multicellular organisms, but a few years later, in 1877, he used the same term to describe the fertilized egg giving rise to all cells of the organism. Today we refer to the fertilized egg as a “totipotent” cell, for its ability to develop into embryonic, as well as extraembryonic, tissues. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), derived from a blastocyst-stage embryo before implantation are considered “pluripotent” as they usually develop into embryonic tissues alone. These embryo-derived cells are present only during early distinct phases of development, but other types of stem cells, somatic stem cells (a.k.a. tissue stem cells / adult stem cells) are present throughout the life of the organism, maintaining tissue homeostasis, repair, and other important functions. In general, stem cells are defined as cells with a dual capacity to both give rise to another stem cell, as well as to differentiate into a more mature cell type, usually first into a transient progenitor, which will subsequently develop into a fully mature cell.
Dedicated since 2006 to the advancement of basic research, commercial, and clinical applications, The Israel Stem Cell Society (ISCS) is a local non-profit organization for all Israeli stem cell experts. ISCS is an inclusive organization which brings together scientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, ethicists, and educators. ISCS organizes international and local conferences, and supports meetings and workshops in the stem cell field. ISCS strives to promote responsible and ethical, basic and translational research, to foster national and international collaborations, to educate the general public through outreach activities, and to promote the understanding and translation of stem cells.
Following the vision of the founding members, we aim to serve the Israeli community of stem cell scientists, physicians, and entrepreneurs. Stem cells keep the potential, and ISCS works to realize it.
Eran Meshorer, President, ISCS
Prof Eran Meshorer
President of the ISCS