Hans Schöler takes over presidency of the German Stem Cell Network

Two-year term of office starts at the annual conference from September 23-25, 2020

September 24, 2020

Hans Schöler, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, will assume the presidency of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) at the end of the annual meeting. With more than 400 members, the GSCN is one of the largest national associations of stem cell researchers from the biological and medical fields in Europe. The term of office is two years. An important goal for Hans Schöler is the synergistic connection between the GSCN and the Berlin Institute of Health.

The main tasks of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) are the networking of stem cell researchers in Germany and the provision of information and education to the public about this research area. The network was founded in 2013 with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is an initiative controlled by its members. Since 2020, the network is financially largely supported by the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). In the meantime, the network has established itself as the central platform for networking stem cell research in Germany.

"An important goal for me will be the synergistic linking of activity areas of the German Stem Cell Network e.V. with the Berlin Institute of Health," says Hans Schöler. "Stem cells can be used in many ways for the development or further development and application of regenerative therapies. I therefore think it would be desirable for both sides if the BIH focus area "BIH Regeneration" (BCRT) could be expanded in terms of content with regard to this topic area," continues Hans Schöler.

The collaboration with the BIH has already successfully started within the framework of project funding and will be institutionalized as of January 1, 2021. The integration will take place on a content-related, structural and labor law level. The GSCN will remain an independent, Germany-wide association.

"For me it is important that the member administration of the association remains autonomous, in order to continue the association in its organs," says Hans Schöler. "I am glad that I can rely on the long experience and constructive work of the office in all these tasks," says Schöler.

The term of the GSCN President is six years in total: the first two years as Designated President, the two main years as Active President and then two years as Senior President. After the outgoing President, Hartmut Geiger from the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Ulm, Hans Schöler is the second President to serve a two-year term. Previously, the term of office was one year. This innovation will allow experience and continuity to be brought to bear even more effectively.

The GSCN actively participates in the discourse on stem cells, advises decision-makers in politics and industry, publishes recommendations and guidance and actively promotes young scientists.

The President of the GSCN steers the strategic direction and activities of the network with a five-member Executive Board. He is supported by the Berlin office with its managing director Dr. Daniel Besser. In addition, the GSCN President represents the network at important meetings with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and at presentations of e.g. white papers developed by the GSCN to members of the Bundestag. The president is also involved in the organization of the GSCN annual conference and invites an international speaker to the 'stand alone' Presidential Symposium as well as the three GSCN laureates, who each give a half-hour presentation.

About the German Stem Cell Network

The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) was founded on May 7, 2013 by a founding committee of 12 German stem cell researchers from universities and non-university research institutions in Berlin. The central task of the GSCN is to bundle the existing competences in the field of stem cell research in Germany and to develop synergies with the fields of regenerative medicine in order to initiate new national and international research activities and translational cooperations. In addition, public relations measures provide information and education about this research area to specific target groups.

Since 2015, the GSCN has been annually awarding three prizes: the GSCN Young Investigator Award, the GSCN Female Investigator Award and the GSCN Publication of the Year. The three GSCN Awards are endowed with 1,500 Euros each and the winners give a half-hour lecture in the Presidential Symposium of the annual conference.

The winners of the "GSCN Publication of the Year 2020" are Sergiy Velychko and Hans Schöler of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine [Link].

This year's Annual GSCN Conference takes place from September 23 to 25, 2020 as an online event.

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