2019 Conference Program

Public Lectures on Regenerative Medicine

Learn about regenerative medicine and bring your questions to world experts in human and animal health


Sunday, September 8, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Queen’s Landing Hotel
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario



Join experts on regenerative medicine for a free lecture and opening reception for the 2019 NAVRMA Conference. Speakers include:

  • Lisa Fortier, Cornell University; Past-President, The International Cartilage Repair Society
  • Daniel Weiss, University of Vermont; Chief Scientific Officer, The International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy
  • Boaz Arzi, Director, University of California Davis Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures
  • Andras Nagy, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration

Four 15-min presentations are followed by the panelist answering questions from the audience – bring your written questions and drop them in the Q&A basket!

Lisa Fortier

In the spirit of one-medicine, I have been fortunate to foster a program built on a cross-species, cross-discipline, and cross-campus approach toward understanding the etiopathogenesis of, and exploring therapies for, osteoarthritis. On a more global scale, as President of the International Cartilage Repair Society, I sought along with the board and general membership to lay the framework to simultaneously address osteoarthritis in humans and animals through collaborations between academic institutions, private practitioners, industry partners, regulatory agencies, and the leadership of professional societies. This presentation will highlight some of the lessons learned during the course of several successes and failures toward achieving a one-medicine approach to osteoarthritis.

Daniel Weiss

Stem Cell Medical Tourism: Unauthorized use of unproven and potentially stem cell-based therapies is a growing problem globally for human clinical medicine. While there has been increased actions taken by the US FDA and other regulatory agencies, much remains to be done. This is paralleled by increased use of unauthorized and unproven cell-based therapies in veterinary clinical medicine. Stem cell medical tourism will be explored and opportunities for increased regulatory oversight in veterinary clinical medicine discussed.

Boaz Arzi

Knowledge and experience derived from veterinary medicine represent an underused resource that could serve as a bridge between data obtained from diseases models in laboratory animals and human clinical trials. Naturally occurring disease in companion animals that display the defining attributes of similar, if not identical, diseases in humans hold promise for providing predictive proof of concept in the evaluation of new therapeutics and devices. This presentation will exemplify my perspective on comparative aspects of naturally occurring diseases in companion animals and discuss their current uses in translational medicine and potential benefits.

Andras Nagy

For the past 25 years, I have been running a stem cell laboratory at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System. The first 20 years focused on basic stem cell biology, led by a curiosity-driven knowledge generation. After that, the lab went through a transition towards the translation of basic medical research and its clinical application.

During this transition, we looked at veterinary medicine only as a model system that would help to launch us in the field of human medical therapies. Besides this great offer of veterinary medicine, surprisingly to our biased minds, we found that treating and curing animals is a critically important branch of medicine, one that justifies the “One-Medicine” concept.

This recognition was a revelation to me for two reasons: first, I recognised that human life-trends are more and more dependent on animals, and therefore it is our increasing responsibility to care about their needs. Secondly, this brings up the very important question of how far can we humans use animals, without exploiting and without affecting negatively our environment.

Can we, stem cell translational biologists, do something about these two crucial issues?

The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.