In response to questions from our readers, we have interviewed stem cell research pioneer and MacArthur Fellowship Award-winner Dr. Sally Temple in an effort to provide information that will be helpful to up-and-coming and future stem cell scientists. Below is the transcript of the interview.
StemCultures: Dr. Temple, you are a pioneer in the field, someone who has really watched it evolve over time. Can you share your thoughts on the present state of stem cell research and where you see it going?
Dr. Temple: The stem cell research field is growing by leaps and bounds. We are at a very exciting time, where the basic research is beginning to be translated into clinic. We now have a great understanding of many different kinds of stem cells, and we can start to use them to positively impact the lives of human beings. I believe this is the beginning of many great things that are coming as a result of stem cell research.
StemCultures: What can we do as scientists to connect with the general public about what we do and how it benefits society? How can we enact positive change in the general public’s perception of scientists and science in general?
Dr. Temple: This is one of the best questions I have heard from a stem cell scientist. I think about this often myself, because as a scientist you work really hard doing research with an ultimate goal of doing good in the world and positively impacting others. We work tirelessly trying to broaden our understanding of stem cells and how they can provide huge health benefits to human beings. The work is both exciting and stressful, and unfortunately many laypeople don’t understand it and often refer to us as ‘crazy scientists.’ [Read more…]