Press Advisory

Keeping the Promise of Stem Cell Research

With Distinguished Speakers: Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE)

Featured Panelists:
Chad Cowan,
PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Jeanne Loring,
M.D., Principal Investigator at the Burnham Institute and Director of the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Training Course
Steven L. Teitelbaum,
M.D., Wilma and Roswell Messing Professor of Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine

Introduction by:
John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress

Moderated by:
Jonathan D. Moreno, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor and Professor of Medical Ethics and the History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Congress is once again considering legislation to expand the federal policy guiding embryonic stem cell research. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, identical to a bill Congress passed a year ago with broad, bipartisan majorities in both houses, would create an ethical construct for stem cell research conducted through federal funding and provide scientists with access to better and improved stem cell lines that could lead to cures for diseases and injuries that affect millions of Americans. Scientific advances continue to demonstrate the promise of this research, and the American people continue to demonstrate their widespread support for pursuing the research as well.

Please join the Center for American Progress as we present Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE), tireless champions of stem cell research and the authors of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, who will discuss the necessity of supporting this research and the political means to do so. Following their remarks will be a distinguished panel of stem cell researchers who will examine the importance of vigorously pursuing embryonic stem cell research, particularly in light of recent discoveries in stem cell science.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Program: 9:00am to 10:30am
Admission is free.

Breakfast will be served.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
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Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

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Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is a fourth generation Coloradoan, educated at Denver‘s South High School and Colorado College. Rep. DeGette began her first term in Congress in 1997 and was sworn in to serve her fifth term in January 2005. She has served on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, an exclusive congressional committee with vast jurisdiction over health care, trade, business, technology and consumer protection, since her first term. In 2005, Rep. DeGette was promoted to leadership as Democratic Chief Deputy Whip. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, the largest congressional member caucus, and the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
As the First District’s Congresswoman, Rep. DeGette has fought to expand her constituents’ access to affordable quality health care. She has also worked to expand mass transit and improve transportation in the Denver area, and clean up environmental waste sites and improve opportunities for small business. Rep. DeGette is also the author of the landmark Colorado Wilderness Act. The plan designates 59 pristine areas comprising 1.6 million acres of land across Colorado as protected wilderness. This would preserve a rapidly disappearing piece of our Western heritage for generations to come.

Rep. DeGette received her B.A. magna cum laude from Colorado College in 1979 and her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1982, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar and a recipient of the Vanderbilt Medal and the Jack Kroner Award. She served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, where she served as Assistant Minority Leader from 1993-1995. Rep. DeGette is married to attorney Lino Lipinsky and has two daughters.

Mike Castle, a former Deputy Attorney General, state legislator, Lieutenant Governor and two-term Governor of Delaware, is currently serving a record eighth term as Delaware’s lone Member in the House of Representatives. Since coming to Congress in 1993, he has worked to bring the common-sense approach of Delaware‘s bipartisan legislating to Washington, D.C. He has been building bridges and forming coalitions to find pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the country and believes strongly in returning the Congressional agenda to issues that really matter to the American people.
Mike Castle has played a key role in enacting many important laws that improve the lives of all Americans, including welfare reform, the balanced budget act, the Crime Bill, No Child Left Behind, vocational education, campaign finance reform, medical research and intelligence reform.
Castle is the ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education which has jurisdiction over pre-school through high school education, including vo-tech education. Some of Castle’s priorities include obesity prevention and child nutrition, Head Start and the recruitment of highly qualified teachers. Additionally, in the coming months, Castle will be a key player in the efforts to reauthorize No Child Left Behind and to examine high school reform.

Mike Castle also serves on the House Committee on Financial Services, which has jurisdiction over banking and the securities and insurance industries. In this capacity, Castle has authored legislation to protect sensitive data to shield consumers from identity theft, is working to ensure the viability of low income housing programs, is examining the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley on corporations and is studying ways to help more consumers have access to the credit they need. He is also the sponsor of legislation which would require a study on the hedge fund industry and make recommendations regarding hedge fund disclosure requirements. Among Castle’s other priorities are rail and port security, environmental protection, Amtrak reform, immigration reform, medical and diabetes research, ethics and lobbying reform, reducing the price of prescription drugs, protecting Delaware’s beaches, deficit reduction and implementing his vision to turn the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal into a recreational area for biking, hiking, fishing, and running.

Mike Castle is also a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which he co-founded in 1998 to promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party, to serve as a voice for centrist Republicans and to partner with individuals, organizations and institutions that share centrist values. Mike Castle was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware where he currently lives with his wife Jane. He is a graduate of Tower Hill School, Hamilton College and Georgetown University Law School.

Chad Cowan, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cowan is also an Assistant Biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Investigator at the Stowers Medical Institute. His work focuses on understanding the contribution of environmental and genetic factors in the development of disease, by building in vitro models using human embryonic stem cells, in which genetic and developmental aspects of the disease can be controlled.
Chad Cowan received his B.A. and B.S., with honors, from Kansas University in 1995 and 1996. He received his Ph.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas. He subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Douglas Melton at Harvard University.

Dr. Jeanne Loring is a principal investigator at the Burnham Institute and Director of the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Training Course and Co-Director of the institute’s NIH Exploratory Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. She holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology from the University of Oregon. She served on the faculty of the University of California at Davis, and has held research and management positions at biotechnology companies including Hana Biologics, GenPharm International, Incyte Genomics, and Arcos BioScience. She served from 1995 to 2005 on an NIH Clinical Neurosciences study section, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Regulatory and Ethics Board for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Challenge, and serves on the scientific advisory boards of several stem cell and instrument companies.

In the last several years, Loring has also focused on resolving the scientific, ethical, and legal issues that hinder the progress of human embryonic stem cell research. She founded the privately supported Stem Cell Community, a website for sharing information about human embryonic stem cells, and co-founded the Stem Cell Resource, which provides the practical and ethical infrastructure for donations of excess embryos for medical research. She and two non-profit organizations recently challenged the broad stem cell patents owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF); the patents are undergoing re-examination in the U.S. Patent Office.

Steven L. Teitelbaum, M.D., is the Wilma and Roswell Messing Professor of Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine. Teitelbaum’s research focuses on bone cell biology for the purpose of developing new treatments for the prevention and cure of diseases such as osteoporosis. He has served as President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the largest federation of biological scientists in the world, a position which enabled him to educate legislators and the public about stem cell research. Teitelbaum also served as President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. He has received numerous awards for his leadership including the most distinguished accolade of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the William F. Neuman Award. In 2004, he received the Second Century Award from Washington University School of Medicine, and in 2006, the Rous-Whipple Award from The American Society for Investigative Pathology.

John Podesta is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Podesta served as chief of staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, Congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President’s Cabinet and as a principal on the National Security Council.

From 1997 to 1998 he served as both an Assistant to the President and deputy chief of staff. Earlier, from January 1993 to 1995, he was Assistant to the President, Staff Secretary and a senior policy adviser on government information, privacy, telecommunications security and regulatory policy.
Podesta previously held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle; chief counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee; chief minority counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

John is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Knox College.

Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor and Professor of Medical Ethics and the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Moreno is a member of the Board on Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and was Co-Chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. He is also a bioethics advisor for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, a Fellow of the Hastings Center and of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Moreno has been a senior staff member for two presidential commissions and has given invited testimony for both houses of congress. Moreno has published a number of books and more than 200 papers, reviews and book chapters, and is a member of several editorial boards. He is an ethics commentator for and is a frequent guest on news and information programs. He is often quoted in the national press.

Moreno has held full-time faculty appointments at Swarthmore College, the University of Texas at Austin, George Washington University, and the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn. He was also a Special Expert in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the Warren Magnuson Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was a member of the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee, a senior consultant for the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and has advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. During 1994-95 he was Senior Policy and Research Analyst for the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. Moreno received his bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in 1973, with highest honors in philosophy and psychology. He was a University Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving his doctorate in philosophy in 1977, and was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in cooperation with the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. In 1998 he received an honorary doctorate from Hofstra.

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