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Melton to discuss stem cells and policy, April 10

"Stem Cell Challenges in Biology and Public Policy" is the topic of a lecture Tuesday, April 10, by Douglas Melton, a cellular and molecular biologist at Harvard University and co-director of its Stem Cell Institute. The talk is scheduled for 8 p.m. in McCosh 50.

Melton has testified in Congress against current restrictions on the use of federal funds to support human embryonic stem cell research. He also is working on a method of producing stem cells that does not require human embryos.

Melton is Harvard's T.D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences and also is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research focuses on the developmental biology of the pancreas. One of the primary goals of his work is to understand how human embryonic stem cells differentiate into insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. An understanding of this process has implications for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes, but the research has been limited by the number and quality of available human embryonic stem cell lines.

The talk is designated as the Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture and is sponsored by the University Public Lecture Series.

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