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Press Release: Salesian Center to Host Stem Cell Forum, Mon., Sept. 25
Date: 9/18/2006

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Salesian Center to Host Stem Cell Forum, Mon., Sept. 25

The Salesian Center for Faith and Culture at DeSales University will present the forum, "From Snowflakes to Stem Cells: The Ethics of Using Cryogenically Preserved Human Embryos for Medical Research," at 7:30 p.m., Monday, September 25, in the Arena Stage at the Labuda Center at DeSales University. The event is free and open to the public.

Panelists and participants will look at the ongoing debate about stem cells generally as well as issues like proposed federal funding and the ethical dilemma surrounding embryonic stem cell research. The panel of experts participating in the forum includes: Dr. Marie Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center; Stephan A. Grupp, M.D., Ph.D., attending physician and medical director of the Stem Cell Laboratory at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and the Rev. Peter J. Leonard, OSFS, Ph.D., associate professor of cell and molecular biology at DeSales University.

The event is presented by The Baranzano Society, a dialogue group of scholars and professionals who explore the mutual and dynamic interchange between science and religion.The primary focus of the group's work is the investigation of contemporary issues in bioethics, with a view toward promoting critical discernment on the values of human life. Leonard, who in addition to his faculty role at DeSales is president of the Baranzano Society, will moderate.

Hilliard holds graduate degrees in maternal-child health nursing, religious studies, Canon law and professional higher education administration and has an extensive background in medical ethics and public policy and advocacy. She is a practicing registered nurse who has been involved in health care regulation at the state and national levels. Hilliard is a canon lawyer and is chair-elect of the National Advisory Council of the executive committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and serves on their task force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians. She has been a guest at the White House at the invitation of President Clinton and has consulted with President Bush on faith and community based initiatives. She serves as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserves.

Grupp was appointed as medical director of the Stem Cell Laboratory at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 1996. His research interests include B lymphocyte receptor signaling in leukemia and developmental lymphopoiesis with special interests in stem cell transplants and the treatment of high risk neurobastoma and graft engineering. He earned his bachelor's degree, medical degree and doctoral degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

"Bioethics is today's hottest field of inquiry, where individual viewpoints, scientific advances, and religious beliefs all intersect," said Dailey. "Stem cell manufacture and use is an excellent example of what contemporary healthcare can do. What we should do is another question! Seeking an answer to that question, as it relates to a host of medical and ethical issues, is what the Baranzano Society dialogues are all about."

Past forum topics have included performance enhancing drugs, end of life issues, plastic surgery and America's obsession with beauty, and the nursing shortage.

Established in 2000, the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture's mission is to promote the interaction of faith and culture, in a mutually beneficial engagement, through academic initiatives that focus on the authentic integration of social concerns and gospel values. The Salesian Center supports intellectual activity in research studies, dialogue events including public forums and lectures and partnership programs. For information about the Salesian Center for Faith and Culture, click on the Salesian Center icon on the DeSales University home page at www.desales.edu.

Press Release: Salesian Center to Host Stem Cell Forum, Mon., Sept. 25 | Posted on: 9/18/2006

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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