Scientific program of the 11th ISABS Conference in Split, Croatia

A rich five-day scientific program

- announced a test that could predict the appearance of certain types of cancer with 99% sensitivity
- Arnold Caplan, the "father of stem cells", suggested changing their name
- Joshua Akey presented new evidence of the encounter of Neanderthal and anatomically modern human
- Dragan Primorac spoke about the future of regenerative treatment of joint cartilage

After the opening ceremony, on Monday June 17th 2019, a rich five-day scientific program began at the „11th ISABS Conference on Forensic and Anthropologic Genetics and Mayo Clinic Lectures in Individualized Medicine“ ( organized by the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS).

Several very interesting presentations marked the first day of the 11th ISABS conference. Keith Stewart, Director of the largest center for individualized (personalized) medicine in the United States, presented the latest results in the field of individualized medicine, with an emphasis on everyday use in treating patients. In this way, the transformation of the medicine we have known so far occurs and makes it accessible to practically every patient. It is about testing that can be carried out in every person and can detect the occurrence of a large number of cancers before they develop. He also referred to the successful collaboration of the St. Catherine Specialty Hospital with OneOme, a company founded by Mayo Clinic. This way, St. Catherine Specialty Hospital has positioned itself among the leading institutions in the application of mesenchymal stem cells in treating osteoarthritis with remarkable results that completely change the paradigm of today's orthopedics.. The application of the most comprehensive pharmacogenomic analysis of 27 genes has started from Croatia, in cooperation with OneOme, and it will be implemented throughout Europe in the future. The history repeats itself, because by the merit of prof. Dragan Primorac Croatia has an exceptional opportunity to become a pioneer and leader in personalized medicine, as in the early 1990s when he initiated forensic genetics, thus enabling the identification of war victims.

Arnold I. Caplan, from the Case Western Reserve University, often referred to as the "father of stem cells" in the literature, gave a lecture in Split. Interestingly, Caplan suggested in front of the 11th ISABS conference audience to change the name of stem cells because of their behavior in cell culture, which misled him into thinking they were stem cells. In 1991, in one of his scientific articles, Caplan gave the name "mesenchymal stem cells" to cells isolated from human bone marrow and multiplied in cell culture. Today, we know that they originate from pericytes, cells from the vascular environment, and that no mesenchymal tissue is ever formed from them in the human body. However, their role in injury healing and inflammation control is extremely important, as they contain a number of powerful molecules that have many beneficial functions, such as binding to opioid receptors to relieve pain, to kill bacteria when they encounter them etc. Therefore, Caplan suggested that instead of "Mesenchymal Stem Cells" the term "Medicinal Signaling Cells" should be used, thus putting the above-mentioned functions in the foreground.

The main topic of this year's ISABS conference in the field of anthropological genetics was the encounter of Neanderthal and anatomically modern human - Homo Sapiens. Joshua Akey, from Princeton University, presented new advanced methods in analyzing the introgression of Neanderthal DNA in the DNA of anatomically modern humans. This proved that the proportion of Neanderthal DNA in African populations was significantly higher than originally considered, which has an important influence on the elucidation of hominine evolutionary history and the return of European ancestors to Africa.

The exciting scientific program of the first day of the 11thISABS conference in Split was concluded with the presentation of prof. Dragan Primorac about the present and the future of the application of mesenchymal stem cells as part of the regenerative treatment of joint cartilage, which has been successfully implemented at the  St. Catherine Specialty Hospital (

„11th ISABS Conference on Forensic and Anthropologic Genetics and Mayo Clinic Lectures in Individualized Medicine“ (, organized by the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS), is held from June 17th to 22nd 2019 in Split, Croatia, and it is one of the most prestigious scientific gatherings this year. The conference will be attended by over 600 participants from 45 countries around the world. The fact that more than a million visitors have visited ISABS official website ( since the foundation of ISABS, and 6000 scientists and 600 invited lecturers from more than 70 countries participated in these congresses, clearly explains the strength of this Croatian scientific brand, recognized worldwide.

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