Whitehead stem cell researchers host “TEDx Adventure”

TEDxBoston brings together people from around the world to discuss “Ideas Worth Spreading” and revolutionary concepts in technology, entertainment and design.

This year, one of the topics promoted by TEDxBoston was Whitehead Institute’s stem cell research—on July 16th, Whitehead hosted a “TEDx Adventure” in which participants had the opportunity to tour Whitehead’s stem cell facilities and hear about Whitehead Member Rudolf Jaenisch’s latest research in personalized medicine.

Stem cell researcher Rudolf Jaenisch is world-renowned for his work on cellular reprogramming, the process of converting adult skins cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In a recent groundbreaking experiment, Jaenisch successfully used iPS cells to treat Parkinson’s disease in rodents. Now, he and his lab are working on improving the process by which iPS cells are created as well as exploring their potential for therapeutic use in humans.

Over twenty TEDx Adventure participants—almost all brand new to Whitehead Institute—arrived early to hear about Jaenisch’s latest progress on this front. Bryce Carey, a researcher in Jaenisch’s lab, escorted everyone to a classroom, where he introduced the lab’s work and discussed recent breakthroughs in personalized medicine. Participants were eager to hear about the promise, as well as the challenges, of utilizing stem cells to cure human disease. The Adventure culminated with a special tour of Whitehead’s stem cell facility, where Carey demonstrated the creation of iPS cells under a microscope.

For information about attending an event like this one, please contact Sonja Plesset at splesset@wi.mit.edu or (617) 258-5103.

Whitehead Institute TEDx Adventure

TEDx Adventure participants heard about Whitehead's latest breakthroughs in personalized medicine from Bryce Carey, a researcher in Whitehead Member Rudolf Jaenisch's lab.

Bryce Carey

Carey discussed the potential of utilizing stem cells to treat human disease.

Tour of Whitehead stem cell facility

Adventure participants toured Whitehead's stem cell facility and observed iPS cells under a microscrope.