Cell biology is one of the fields that play an essential role in modern life science. In Vietnam, cell biology research, especially stem cell application research, is increasingly developing, with many vital applications in life. The Faculty of Biology (FoB) – VNU University of Science – Vietnam National University (Hanoi) is one of the pioneers and has had a long tradition in cell biology research in general and stem cells in particular. With the growth of the stem cell research network in Vietnam, FoB is proud to cooperate with other institutions to organize the “International Conference on Stem Cells & Life Science” (or STEM 2021). The objectives of STEM 2021 are to bring together academic scientists, researchers, and leading research scholars in the country and worldwide to exchange and share their experiences and research results in all aspects of research on stem cell applications and stem cell products in the fields of life science. This also provides a leading interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, and educators to present and discuss the innovations, the tendencies, the latest concerns as well as challenges encountered in reality, and solutions applied in cell and stem cell product applications. In addition, the conference also aims to establish a stem cell research network in Vietnam through the establishment of a stem cell research associtation.
The conference took place on November 5 – 6, 2021, at ULIS – Sunwah Cultural Center, 144 Xuan Thuy, Cau Giay, Hanoi. The Conference was honored to welcome Assoc. Dr. Pham Bao Son – Vice President of Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Assoc. Dr. Tran Quoc Binh, Vice Rector of VNU, University of Science, Dr. Vo Thanh Phong, Central Propaganda Department, together with distinguished guests from the various departments of VNU and partner institutions, and scientists in the field of stem cell research and life science. Speaking at the conference, Assoc. Dr. Tran Quoc Binh, Vice Rector of VNU, University of Science emphasized the importance of stem cell and life science research for scientific research and training activities of the Faculty of Biology and VNU University of Science, especially in the 4.0 revolution and the increasing trend of cooperation. Assoc. Dr. Tran Quoc Binh highly appreciated the efforts of Faculty of Biology in expanding the network of international and domestic cooperation, promoting and further developing the stem cell research of the Faculty of Biology.
Fig 1: Assoc. Dr. Tran Quoc Binh, Vice Rector of VNU, University of Science giving his speech at the Conference
The highlight of the conference were 4 keynote reports by leading scientists in the world and in Vietnam in the field of stem cell research and application. GS. Dr. Chiou Shi-Hwa, from Yang Ming University and Taipei CCB Hospital, shared the most up-to-date research results on precise gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 applied in stem cell therapies. GS. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, Director of Vinmec Institute of Stem Cell Research and Gene Technology, presented research results on transplantation of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells to treat cerebral palsy in children. Dr. Dang Nguyen Quang Thanh, currently working at the Research and Development Department of Biomaterials, NARO (Japan), also presented interesting research results on induced pluripotent stem cells. Assoc. Dr. Le Van Dong, Director of the Military Institute of Preventive Medicine, contributed an important presentation the guidelines for the research and application of cells and cell products in Vietnam. The above reports all attracted the high interest of nearly 100 conference attendees both in person and online. Besides, the Conference also had the participation of 11 high – quality scientific reports presented by invited speakers, from many different agencies and units in the country.
Through the Conference, scientists inside and outside the Faculty of Biology had the opportunity to exchange professional information, discuss and collaborate in research on applied stem cells in life sciences. As the Covid 19 epidemic had not ended, the conference was held in a hybrid form, both offline and online. The conference has ensured the safety of the invited guests (body temperature check, QR code scanning).
Fig. 2. Some pictures of the Speakers at the Conference
The international conference on “Research and application of stem cells in Life Sciences” was successfully and safely held. It deserves to be one of the important events of the Faculty of Biology towards the 65th anniversary of establishment of VNU University of Sciences and Faculty of Biology. Faculty of Biology would like to thank Vietnam National University Hanoi, University of Sciences for creating all conditions for the Conference to take place, especially in the context of the complicated situation of the COVID-19 epidemic. Faculty of Biology would like to thank the sponsors (BCE Co., Ltd. and Thang Long Instruments Co., Ltd.) for their financial support for the organization.
The Faculty of Biology would also like to thank all distinguished guests, speakers, scientists and all staff and students who participated and made the Conference a great success. See you at the next Conference!
Fig 3. Participants at the Conference in both online and offline