Stem Cell Network

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The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 2001. SCN funds applied stem cell research in Canada and facilitates collaboration between universities, industry, government and non-governmental organizations.

Scientific leadership is provided by the Scientific Director, Dr. Michael Rudnicki, and the Deputy Scientific Director, Dr. Janet Rossant.

The mission of the organization is "to be a catalyst for enabling translation of stem cell research into clinical applications, commercial products or public policy."

SCN is a Network of Centres of Excellence with funding of $6.5 million per year from 2008- 2015. The organization is based in Ottawa, Ontario.

Annual Scientific Conference[edit]

Since 2001, SCN has hosted an annual scientific conference. This conference is open to SCN investigators and trainees, and provides a forum to share new research. The conference takes place in a different Canadian city each year.

Strategic Research Programs[edit]

  • Strategic Program 1: Cellular Therapeutics (CT) - This program promotes development of novel cell-based approaches for tissue repair and regeneration within specific disease models.
  • Strategic Program 2: Pharmacological Applications (PA) - This program focuses on developing novel stem cell-related therapeutics based, for example, on stem cell activation, self-renewal and/or differentiation.
  • Strategic Program 3: Technology Development - This program is aimed at generating novel technologies for stem cell related research and therapeutics which would enable Program I & II research. T
  • Strategic Program 4: Public Policy and Ethical, Legal and Social Issues - As with many emerging areas of biotechnology, stem cell research raises complex questions and issues. This program addresses the public policy implications of the SCN programs.


The SCN training program includes studentships, fellowships, research grants and workshops.


In 2004, 15 national research networks met in Montreal. The organizations shared information about their mandates and the status of stem cell research in their respective countries, and concluded that (i) they had a responsibility to do all that they could to foster international research collaborations between networks and investigators, and (ii) there was a significant opportunity to share best practice and collaborate in other areas to achieve individual missions more rapidly and effectively. The outcome was the Montreal White Paper, endorsed at a second meeting of these groups in June 2005, which stated their goal to be:

“the creation of a coordinating group, to be known as the International Consortium of Stem Cell Networks (ICSCN) that will be committed to international cooperation and collaboration, extending the concept of national research networks to the international level”.

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