On May 26, 2010, Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, Head of the Science and Faith Department of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and Dr. Robin Smith, CEO of NeoStem, announced what they characterized as the Vatican’s first-ever contractual collaboration with an outside commercial venture to advance stem cell research – adult stem cell research. This initiative partners NeoStem’s and the Vatican’s charitable organizations to expand research and raise awareness of adult stem cell therapies. It entails work on a variety of collaborative activities with the goal of advancing scientific research on adult stem cells and exploring their clinical application in the field of regenerative medicine, as well as the cultural impact of such research.
Accomplishments of this extraordinary collaboration to date are:
- The First and Second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conferences, held November 9-11, 2011 and April 11-13, 2013, which each gathered hundreds of the foremost experts in adult stem cell research alongside distinguished leaders in the fields of life sciences, medicine, religion, ethics and public policy. Learn more by clicking here.
- A special edition of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s quarterly journal, Cultures and Faith, which published works by many of the speakers of the 2011 Vatican Conference, as well as articles by other leaders in the field of stem cell science. Learn more by clicking here.
- The creation of a book about adult stem cells for the general public, The Healing Cell: How the Greatest Revolution in Medical History Is Changing Your Life, released in April 2013. Learn more by clicking here.
- Preparation for the launch of an adult stem cell e-learning initiative intended to reach the public, Catholic and non-Catholic education institutions, and others with a modular, online curriculum about adult stem cells, developing therapies, and the cultural impact of this research.
The charitable organizations from both partners that specifically drive activity are the Stem for Life Foundation and the Pontifical Council’s Foundation, STOQ International (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).