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Health Journalism 2006 Field Trips: UT Health Science Center

The bus for these tours will leave the conference hotel at 1:15 p.m.

Key sessions

Searching for the "universal donor" stem cell
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

Visit lab of Rick Wetsel, Ph.D., professor of molecular medicine at the IMM, who is using discarded umbilical cord blood for stem cell research.  He is working toward the potential development of a "universal donor" stem cell that would not be rejected by a patient's immune system.

Demonstrations could include processing of newly arrived cord blood, use of new stem cell extraction equipment.

Nobel Prize-winner on embryonic stem cells
Fayez S. Sarofim Research Building

The newest research building at UT Health Science Center bears the name of the donor who gave the university the largest gift it has ever received - $25 million to advance stem cell research. At least 65 percent of the usable space in the seven-story building will be devoted to actual research.

Tour of one or more finished areas, hosted by Nobel Prize-winning Director Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., who can describe the research program. The IMM already conducts extensive research using mouse embryonic stem cell lines and recently began research using human embryonic stem cell lines approved for use by the National Institutes of Health. Murad, who received the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work in nitric oxide (NO) research, has begun studies into how NO regulates the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes and neurons.