Stem cell profiteering is focus of June 11 luncheon and Omaha Science Cafe

The irresponsible use of stem cells for profit is the focus of the next Omaha Science Café on June 11, at 7 p.m. at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.

Gary Susser, a trial attorney and vocal activist supporting stem cell research is the featured speaker. Susser, who appeared with his wife, Judith, on “60 Minutes,” will discuss how he and his wife exposed the dangers of stem cells being sold over the Internet by profiteers on the prime time program.

In 2011-12 "60 Minutes" worked with the Sussers, whose child Adam suffers from cerebral palsy, to investigate one of the online purveyors of stem cell treatments, Stem Tech Labs of Ecuador. The show captured American doctor Dan Ecklund on a teleconference from Ecuador promising the Sussers that their son would improve from four treatments at a cost of $5,000 each. The Sussers did not let this doctor treat their child, but instead helped expose the scam on national television in hopes of helping prevent other families the pain, expense and heartache of such false promises.

Susser will be joined by David Crouse, Ph.D., president of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures and emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Crouse has taken a lead role in promoting an understanding of the science and ethics in stem cell research, as well as developing programs and teaching courses on "Responsible Conduct in Research" for graduate students, post-doctorate and junior faculty of UNMC.

Both Susser and Dr. Crouse will present on this topic at a luncheon, also on June 11 at 11:45 a.m. at the Thompson Alumni Center, 6705 Dodge St. on the UNO campus. Reservations are required for the luncheon and can be made by calling 402.390.2461 or emailing Victoria@nebraskacures.com

This Science Café is presented by the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

Science Cafés involve a face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics. They are open to everyone (21 and older), and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. Each meeting is organized around an interesting topic of conversation. A scientist gives a brief presentation followed by a question and answer period.

Pizza will be provided by The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures for the first 50 people. For more information about Science Cafes, go to www.unmc.edu/sciencecafe.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Lisa Spellman
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4353