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On May 23, 2011, Dr. Christopher Pennell spoke to BOND'S Currently Current group on the topic of  “Stem Cell Research Related to Cancer.” Dr. Pennell directs the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology Program at the University of Minnesota. As a member of the Masonic Cancer Center Dr. Pennell lectures frequently on this topic.

Dr. Christopher Pennell, Roxie King-Smith, Sandy Aaron, Sheila Goldstein

Dr. Pennell first explained to us in a most fascinating and understandable way the workings of healthy stem cells. He went on to discuss ways in which normal stem cells can be coaxed into becoming cancer fighting cells and explained how a tiny fraction of some variant cancerous stem cells can remain and be resistant to treatment. Researchers are working to  devise novel, immune-based strategies and DNA vaccines to address that  problem.

The audience seemed to hang on every word of his most informative and accessible presentation and several people remained to ask numerous questions long after the session was scheduled to end.

Stained Glass Window at Sholom Home East

Following the program , some members had a guided tour of the beautiful Sholom Home East facilities.

This report was written by BOND member and outgoing Currently Current Co-Chair, Rhoda Redleaf.