Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society, was one of three guests featured on PBS’s “Where We Live” on March 23. Grabel joined scientists and ethicists from all over the country for StemCONN 2009—an international stem cell research symposium held in New Haven, Conn. The symposium organizers and experts spoke on what new federal policy means for a state like Connecticut, which has already heavily invested in stem cell research.
Connecticut is home to leading academic institutions for human stem cell research, including Wesleyan, Yale University, the University of Connecticut. It is a place where national and international stem cell research partnerships develop, thrive and grow.
During StemCONN, Grabel, chair of the StemCONN organizing committee, provided an up-to-the-minute report on the achievements of Connecticut’s research institutions and the State of Connecticut’s Stem Cell Research Fund. Her current research interests include a study of the ability if GABAergic neurons derived from embryonic stem cells to prevent chronic seizures when transplanted to the mouse hippocampus, and a study examining the molecular signals that direct production of neural stem cells from embryonic stem cells and the environmental conditions, following seizures, that promote integration of embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem cells.
Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy, associate professor feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and director of the Ethics in Society Project was also on the organizing committee for StemCONN. Gruen is chair of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight committee. Her work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and ethical practice and she has published on multiple topics in bioethics, environmental ethics, and other areas of practical ethical concern.
Recently, she co-edited Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues (Blackwell, 2007) with Grabel and Peter Singer.