Changing the Face of Modern Medicine: Stem Cells & Gene Therapy

Florence, 18 to 21 October 2016

Recordings of the plenary talks will be available in a few weeks, these will be available to congress delegates and members of the society.


Have a look at the final program.  and the program at a glance

The ESGCT Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for scientists, clinicians and industry professionals to share new data, learn from peers, and discover global advances within the Gene and Cell Therapy field. With over 1000 participants from 40 countries, the ESGCT Annual Meeting is this year organised in collaboration with the ISSCR and ABCD

Palazzo dei Congressi e Palazzo degli Affari
Piazza Adua 1
50123 Firenze

Palazzo dei Congressi is hosted inside the nineteenth-century Villa Vittoria, between 1886 and 1891, Gerolamo Passeri, a pupil of architect Giuseppe Poggi, directed the construction works of this luxurious and welcoming venue on behalf of Marquis Massimiliano Strozzi di Mantova. In1925, according to a project by architect Michelucci, the villa was enlarged by building a mezzanine (Belvedere), and this led to reach the current structure. The original building was based on a rectangular plan with two floors and two extensions on both sides, following the schemes of the neo- 16th century villas, and with a monumental staircase connecting the groundfloor to the first floor and to a gallery overlooked by large reception halls….more


Scientific Programme

Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 October: 
9th Stem Cell Clonality Meeting
, click on the title for the program.  You can REGISTER from here.

Tuesday 18 October: Education Session (Education day programme)

Tuesday 18 October: Commercialisation and Clinical Trial Workshop (Commercialisation and clinical trial programme)

Tuesday 18 October: Molmed Symposium (Molmed Symposium programme)

Tuesday 18 October to Friday 21 October
Main congress full program

5 reasons to register to the ESGCT Congress

There are no shortages of compelling reasons why attending ESGCT is beneficial to you and your lab or institution!
Following are the many benefits you can present to your supervisor.

Be exposed to the entire breadth of the stem cell research field. Learning about the advances and breakthroughs in other focuses of study can translate to new approaches for your own lab’s work that you may not think to explore without this exposure. ESGCT is the best place to gain a broad perspective on the field.

Bring information and training back to the lab. Findings presented at the conference can be shared with other lab and team members to extend the benefits of attending to your entire research group.

Learn about the newest data and tools from the poster sessions and the exhibition. Labs save time and money by improving their research methods. New tools and technologies are unveiled to attendees of ESGCT annual meeting.

Investigate potential opportunities for collaborations or develop relationships with other organisations on behalf of your research team. ESGCT provides ample opportunity to meet with attendees with similar interests.

Present your work to an international audience. Attendees who present at ESGCT’s annual meeting receive excellent exposure for their work and their lab.


Please click here for a overview of all fees, and available discount codes for your registration category.

All registrations are discounted as early-bird registrations up to and including 30th June 2016. Payment for early bird invoices are due within 2 weeks of invoice date. Early bird invoices that are left unpaid by the 15th July will be changed to the higher congress registration rate. Registration is in English, and the congress currency is EURO €.

Payment by PayPal is preferred and will ensure your registration is activated immediately.

Abstracts can be submitted once your congress registration is complete; you will be able to submit your abstract as part of the congress registration process.

You can register GUESTS to accompany you, which means they would have access to the opening and closing ceremonies, and all coffee and lunch breaks BUT NOT the scientific sessions or the workshops.

This year the programme includes a CLINICAL TRIAL / COMMERCIALISATION WORKSHOP. Access to this course is by registration tickets only. You can either purchase this as an optional extra during the congress registration, or as a stand-alone ticket with access to the Trial/Workshop ONLY, and not the congress itself.

Attendance at the MOLECULAR MINGLE can be purchased as an optional extra during the registration process. Guest tickets are also available.

Payment of your congress registration fee entitles you to the following:

- Participation at all scientific sessions
- Access to poster exhibitions
- Congress bag and materials including Full Scientific Programme
- Daily coffee breaks and lunch, welcome and closing, and award ceremonies

Generous sponsorship enables us to keep the registration rates well below the market norm, especially for students.

Catering (avrg of 1 x lunch and 2 x coffee breaks per day) 23%
AV 7%
Venue 15%
Admin and organisation incl. sponsorship and exhibition 10%
Printing and congress materials incl. bags 6%
Travel expenses & scientific programme 22%
Awards 2%
Social programme incl. welcome and closing, award ceremony, networking evening & speaker dinner 15%

The congress is pleased to be able to offer complimentary ESGCT society membership to students registering for the Congress.

Please note that this offer has no exchangeable cash value; refunds will not be given on any existing society memberships. For the current 2016 congress year, please use discount code Student16 to reduce your membership fee due to '0'.

Delegates must be registered for the congress prior to submitting an abstracts. Registrations must be paid for based on the general payment guidelines for all registrations; however those submitting abstracts can avail of a full refund should their abstract not be selected for presentation and the delegate no longer wish to attend the congress.

Please refer to the ‘abstract submission guidelines’ should you wish to submit an abstract, and note that all submitting authors will have to read and accept the Abstract Submission Agreement prior to submitting their abstract.

Payment by credit and debit card is preferred; our payment services are handled by PayPal. Please note that you do NOT need to have an account with PayPal in order to use this service.

Payments by bank transfer must be received within 2 weeks of your invoice date.

Early-bird registrations must be paid in full at the very latest by 15th July, otherwise they will be bumped up to the regular congress rate. All unpaid registrations for which correspondence has not been received by the 1st September will be deleted.

We will refund as follows:

  1. for cancellations received by June 30th: 95% refund

  2. for cancellations received by July 31st: 80% refund

  3. for cancellations received by August 31st: 50% refund

  4. for cancellations received by September 30th: 25% discount, 'Molecular Mingle' tickets are non-refundable

  5. for cancellations received after this date: NO REFUND

Refund / cancellation requests must be sent in writing. Where possible refunds will be processed within 3 weeks of receipt; however based on timing and congress workload, refunds may not be processed until after the congress.

Invoices are available through your profile on the ESGCT website. PLEASE NOTE that no separate invoices will be created / sent by the congress office.

All financial questions and queries can be directed here.

Guided Tours for spouses of Florence and Region

Our local travel agency will be organizing for partners of delegates, a series of guided tours of Florence and of the region at different times during the congress and the weekend following it.  Please go to the dedicated website to book those tours well in advance.

The Molecular Mingle, a night out for all Congress attendees who wish to attend taking place at the MERCATO CENTRALE

Mercato Centrale Firenze is a large covered marketplace where authenticity, spontaneity and tradition play a leading role. Each shop is an ideal place to do your shopping and find real, honest food at the right price; the very best that Tuscany and Italy have to offer. It was the brainchild of Umberto Montano, who with Claudio Cardini launched the project that would give Florence back one of its most important locations: the first floor of the covered market in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. The project became a reality in spring 2014, marking the 140th anniversary of the iron and glass building erected in 1874 according to a design by architect Giuseppe Mengoni – also responsible for the San Ambrogio market and the more famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.  Not only does it revive an area of the city left deserted for many years, but it also fulfils an extremely relevant and necessary goal: to bring people back to a highly important and vibrant piece of Florence’s old centre, with traditional shops that give food artisans centre stage. Bread and confectionary, fresh fish, fried food and rissoles, fruit and vegetables, meats and salamis, buffalo mozzarella, cheeses, chocolate and ice cream, fresh pasta, wines, lampredotto and sandwiches: all shops are run by artisanal traders who share a passion for their craft.... and for one evening, on the 20th October 2016, this space will be open for the ESGCT delegates only.  You will be able to register during your congress registration process for 30 Euros only

Abstracts submission guidelines


More than 50% of the programme is dedicated to selected abstracts because we want to ensure that the best and most current research is presented. A large panel of international moderators reviews abstracts so that every abstract receives at least 3 reviewer scores.

Abstract submission guidelines: Make sure your abstract is in, on time and in the right format by following these simple steps:

1: The Deadline for abstract submission is 17th July 2016.

2: Your abstract should be no more than 250 words and should be in English.

3: Keep your title concise and informative and only use capital letters for the beginning of a sentence or an acronym/name. DO NOT USE CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YOUR ENTIRE TITLE.

4: List all authors’ name in full and it is compulsory to identify a presenting author. Please note the email address supplied when you submit your abstract will be used for all correspondence pertaining to the abstract.

5: Addresses should be in the following format: Group, Department/Institute, Organisation, Town/City, Postcode/Zip, Country

6: Do not include acknowledgements in your abstracts – these will be included in your word count.

7: Select the subject area that best fits your abstract as this is a guide for review allocation.

8: Please ensure that the email provided when submitting the abstract will still be valid in early-September when the abstract notification is emailed.

Poster Guidelines

Posters should be made in a single A0 size (841mm wide x 1189mm high), portrait orientation. If your poster does not match these dimensions we cannot guarantee that it will fit the poster boards. Each poster will be allocated a number with your notification that you must bring with you.

What happens after you have submitted?

Your abstract will be sent for review and you will be notified of the outcome by email in mid September. Please note the notification email will be sent to the email given when you submitted your abstract. If you have not received notification by the end of September please contact the ESGCT Office immediately

PLEASE NOTE that all submitting authors will have to have read and agreed to the Abstract Submission Agreement prior to submission.

Where is the Palazzo dei Congressi e degli Affari

click on the map for detailed version

If you would like help with  your travel arrangements you can contact a local agency who can arrange your entire trip.  For more information please

Arriving by plane

The international airport 'Amerigo Vespucci', is located in the north-west suburban area of Florence. There are many airlines arriving there and connecting the city to some of the most important European airports. The airport is only 4 km from the city centre, which can be easily reached by taxi or with the Ataf/Sita 'Vola.  ATAF offers a special and frequent bus line from and to Florence Airport. It is a 25 minutes ride by shuttle bus, called Vola in bus, operating between the airport and the central railway station. Tickets can be bought on board or in advance in any newspaper stand. The price per person is € 6.00 (one way) or € 10 (return ticket).
If you prefer to reach the city centre by your own you can easily take a taxi. Taxis can be found outside the airport and it will take 15 minutes to get to the city centre, at a price of € 20.00 (any city location).

The international airport of Pisa is located 80 Km from the city centre of Florence and is connected to the Tuscan capital by train (every hour) and 2 different bus services (Terravision or Autostradale) the journey time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes. To reach Pisa railway station, take the CTT bus from outside the airport, direct trains to Florence depart at different time during the day.

After the upgrading of the railway line "Freccia Rossa" between Florence and Bologna in just 35 minutes, also Bologna airport is a stop of easy access to Florence.

Arriving by Train

The main central railway station of Santa Maria Novella (one of the most important railway junctions as well as an interchange point of the Florence public transportation) is located just a few steps (2 minutes on foot) from the main entrance of the congress-exhibition area and from the main reception of Firenze Fiera, located on the ground floor of Palazzo degli Affari.
Italo website

Arriving by Car

Florence is well connected to the main Italian cities through an efficient motorway network, which allows an easy access to the city centre, where the congress and exhibition centre is located.

Florence is on the Milano-Roma A1. You pay a toll on Italian motorways. The closest A1 motorway exit to reach the Congress’ venue is Florence South (Firenze Sud).
If you arrive in Florence by car, it is worth parking it and using public and tourist transport to get around.
Particular attention should also be given to signs indicating that you are entering the Restricted Traffic Zone (ZTL) which covers the area of the historic city center, roughly speaking the area within the inner ring road formed by the “viali”.
Access is controlled by video cameras and you will need prior authorization to enter if you want to avoid a hefty fine. Access is granted to visitors who need to reach a hotel or garage where they have a booking; in both cases, all visitors have to do is to give the hotel or garage their car number plate details. During the customer’s stay, the car must be parked outside the ZTL or in a privately run garage.

Download the map how to reach our venues

For your hotel reservation you can go to our dedicated website set up for the congress.

PLEASE NOTE that prices will be going up as we get closer to the congress, Florence is a very popular destination and does not have many big hotels so they get filled extremely quickly.

Please book as soon as your travel plans are set even if it is before you are registering to the congress.

Guide to ESGCT sponsorship and exhibition

Registration to the congress
As a sponsor or exhibitor you are entitled to  a number of free registrations to the congress as well as reduced fees for additional members of your team.  Please check your contract to find out what your entitlements are.   To register, please update your membership if needed, and register via the website; at checkout, please use the discount code Sponsor&Exhibitor16  which will reduce your registration fee to ZERO.

We can offer a variety of opportunities for sponsoring ESGCT; full details can be found in our brochure

If you have already signed up as a exhibitor or sponsor you can download our exhibitor pack with full details on the venue here. 

Outstanding Achievement Awards

Each year a set of high profile Outstanding Achievement Awards are presented during the ESGCT congress. Sponsors of the awards get high visibility promotion and the opportunity to present the award during plenary sessions. To find out more please read our awards page, or download the ESGCT award prospectus.


Each year we have a minimum of 800 congress delegates. Let them know about your organisation, your products and services by being an exhibitor at the Congress. If you have any queries please contact

Bespoke package

We appreciate that you are living through tough economic times, so we want you to know that we can be flexible and are more than happy to talk with you about ways in which we can develop a mutually beneficial partnership.

If you would like to discuss the options offered or how we might tailor these options to best meet your particular needs please don't hesitate to contact us.

Press registration

We require for members of the press to register to our congress, complimentary ESGCT media registration is intended for professional science communicators (those whose primary income comes from science communication).  Print and broadcast reporters, freelance reporters with appropriate credentials may attend the meeting for the purpose of editorial coverage via complimentary press passes which you can access through the usual registration path.  Once you have registered you can apply the following voucher code: Press16 which will reduce your registration fee to ZERO.  

Exclusions extend to companies, organisations and individuals producing publications, blogs, videos and/or other electronic media intended for marketing, advertising, financial analysis or public relations purposes. 

Embargo Policy

Media are required to abide by the embargo policies governing the ESGCT Annual Meeting. The ESGCT embargo policy states that coverage of meeting abstracts and poster presentations pre-published online, included in the printed abstract books and/or otherwise available is strictly prohibited until the start of each individual presentation. This embargo extends to blogging, tweeting and content dissemination through all other online and offline communications channels.

For more information members of the press can contact

Speaker Guidelines and Information

Speaker registration
To register for the congress, please update your membership if needed, and register via the website as normal; at checkout, please use the discount code Speaker16 which will reduce your registration fee to ZERO. If you are speaking at the Clinical Trial & Commercialisation Workshop, please select this as an extra and apply voucher code CWCT16 at checkout.

Please note than any extras in addition to your registration need to be booked and paid for during this process.

Audio-visual equipment

Please check your presentation into the speaker preview room, situated in the Palazzo dei Congressi, near the main auditorium, at least 4 hours before your talk. It is also a good idea to bring a backup flash memory stick in the unlikely event of equipment failure.

There will be PowerPoint facilities in all Congress rooms - if you require any equipment aside from this please let us know. If you use PowerPoint slides, you are asked to ensure that the font size is large enough to be seen from the back of the room. A PowerPoint slide, for example, would normally contain a maximum of 8 lines of type in 24pt size or larger. Try to keep visual aids simple and to use them to highlight only the major points of your discussion.

AV technicians will be available each day so that presentations pre-loaded on Congress laptops may be viewed by speakers and they will be on hand to sort out any formatting issues should they arise. Speakers should inform AV technicians of special AV equipment needs BEFORE the session begins. Please be aware if you use MAC software you will need to supply your own laptop so please check this in with technicians at least 4 hours before your presentation.


All presentations must be made in English. Whilst all the Congress lecterns have microphones, you should speak loudly, slowly and clearly enough so that everyone can hear and understand you

The audience should be able to comprehend and recall the key points of your talk. Use visual aids during your presentation, clarify or emphasize key ideas and details and increase audience recall of presented information. Your presentation is designed to inform and instruct. You are also encouraged to use colour and graphics, use light text on a dark background in dark rooms.

Speaker etiquette

Each year our delegates feedback to us how important it is for the sessions to run on time. Sessions that overrun have a detrimental impact on all aspects of the congress so please carefully note the amount of time you have been allocated for your talk and ensure that you rehearse to these timings. Please note that your allocated time includes question time which, as you know, is an essential part of the congress.

Delegate attendance is based on the advertised programme; therefore it is imperative to follow the session structure of the Congress programme. The title of your presentation and your affiliation will be taken directly from your abstract.

Your presentation should not have been presented at any other event, unless it contains new information and has been adapted for the audience.

Please avoid misusing the Congress platform to promote or sell your company and its products or services. Corporate speakers should introduce their company briefly and provide relevant background information but please move to the focus of the session quickly. Speakers from the corporate sector must not have branding on presentational material, and will need to declare any conflicts of interests at the outset of the session. Universities and hospitals will be allowed to have branded logos on the front page of their presentations only.

Speaker and Chair Responsibilities

All speakers and Chairs should check in at the registration desk upon arrival at the Congress. Access to the Congress will only be granted with a registration badge which you should collect from the registration desk upon arrival.

Please arrive at the room approximately 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session. Speakers should check-in with the Session Chair before session begins.

Expenses Reimboursement Guidelines

Thank you for being part of our annual congress, as specialists in your field you are vital in ensuring the relevancy and quality of our annual programme.

As such we aim to cover your travel and accommodation costs, but are bound by the congress budget to ensure its longevity, and the access to its programme for students from all over the world, one of our main aims. To this end the ESGCT operates a capped system to reimburse your expenses. These caps are outlined in your speaker information letter.

As the congress is inclusive of meals and refreshments during the main days and the accommodation is inclusive of breakfast, meals are generally not covered, as well as entertainment costs. You will be able to upgrade your room at your own cost, we will cover the standard room for yourself only, as well as economy class only for all travel.

The expense reimbursement form will be emailed to you after the congress. Funds will be processed in EURO and sent via bank transfer, and depending on when your form is received can take between 2-4 weeks to be processed and reach your account.

If you are representing a company, it is assumed that your company will be covering your costs in full to attend the congress and you will not be submitting an expenses claim.

Please send any questions regarding this process to

In the event that you cannot attend the Congress

We appreciate that unforeseen circumstances can sometimes result in you not being able to deliver your session. Under these circumstances we hope that you would be able to find a replacement speaker, and inform the Local Organising Committee and session Chairperson in good time so they are able to step in where necessary. We in turn ask that delegates arrive promptly for sessions and respect the speakers, chairs and data that is being presented.

Finally, we appreciate your involvement and the organisers welcome all feedback on any aspect of the Congress.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Gaëlle Jamar  if you do have any questions.
Mobile Phone: +44 (0)7766475379

Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Norway, and Switzerland (the Schengen Area Member Countries) do not require a visa to enter Italy.

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa for tourism or business travel to Italy, up to a maximum stay of 90 days:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Marianas, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Santa Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St, Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Timor L’Este, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Vanatu and Venezuela.

Note that passport holders from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia may enter Italy visa-free only if their passports contain biometric data.

Citizens from countries not listed above must obtain visa to enter Italy.
A visa may be requested at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate for stays of up to 90 days.

Related information

Local Time
Italian Standard Time (IST) is Central European Time Zone and it corresponds to UTC/GMT +1:00 hours.
Italy has daylight savings time.

Italian; English widely spoken.

The weather should be pleasant at the period of the Congress, with a temperature varying between 12ºC (53ºF) and 23ºC (73ºF), and relative humidity ranging around 68%. Clothing should be warm, and some rain can be expected.

Electrical Current
AC line (mains) voltage in Italy is 220 volts nationwide and AC frequency is 50 Hz. Power outlets are flat, parallel 2-prongs identical to North America.

Euro, the same currency used in most countries of Europe. Almost all restaurants, hotels, bars, and shops accept international credit cards such as MasterCard, Visa, etc. The cash machines with the Mastercard or Maestro signs allow cash withdrawals in local currency with direct access to the user account in a foreign bank. Most commerce stores and restaurants accepts the same cards as debit cards. See current exchange.

There is no tipping in Italy. Customers pay the exact amount that appears on the bill. Italy has a 22% consumer tax nationwide on all goods and services. All published prices (including restaurant menus, taxi fares, supermarket prices) include consumer tax.

The VAT in Italy is the value-added tax. It is an indirect tax on all business transactions involving goods and services, and is also known as “imposta sul valore aggiunto” or IVA. The VAT is applicable for all countries in the European Union and is different for each country. Italy’s VAT for business transactions and purchases is 22 percent, and the tax for basic products 4 to 10 percent. The VAT is only paid by European Union consumers.

Driving and parking
The whole area of the historical center of Florence is part of the Unesco Heritage sites and has very strict rules about driving and parking. This area is known as ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato), which literally means Limited Traffic Zone. Only cars with special permits are allowed to drivie and park within its limits. Cars without permits can expect to pay fines – starting at 100 Euros and up – and might take up to 6 months to reach your mailbox with payment being mandatory. Its known that the city department responsible for these charges issue a large number of fines, every day. The ZTL is surrounded by several ‘access passages’ which are controlled by telematic doors and marked by special signs. These access passages are equipped with devices that automatically ID the license plate of the car and send the information to a central data base.

Street Numbering
The civic numbers in Florence’s historical center can be confusing for newcomers. Note that civic numbers for residential, hotels, and some offices are the color black; whereas civic numbers for business and shops are red (followed by the letter “r”). Therefore it is normal, for example, to find 34 black next to 160/r on the same street.

Main Shopping Areas for partners
Florence offers a vast variety of shops, from famous designers’ boutiques to vintage shops, from hand-crafted products to mass produced souvenirs and much more. If you are looking for: Luxury  items in Via Tornabuoni and Via della Vigna; leather goods in Piazza Santa Croce and Piazza San Lorenzo; antiques in Via Maggio and Via de’ Fossi, Jewellery on Ponte Vecchio.

Typical Opening Hours
Shops open from 10.00am-1pm and 3.30pm-7.30pm daily. In the main shopping area you find all day opening stores.

Useful Numbers
Florence Airport – switchboard Ph. +39 055 3061300
Florence Airport Lost Luggage Ph. +39 055 3061302
Trenitalia (National Railway Information) Ph. +39 892.021
Tourist Information Center in Via Cavour 1/r Ph. +39 055 290832
Tourist Information Center in Piazza Stazione, 4 Ph. +39 055 212245
Taxi +39 055 4242 / +39 055 4390

Emergency Numbers
Carabinieri (local police) Ph. 112
Police Emergency Ph. 113
Fire Station Ph. 115
Ambulance – First Aid Ph. 118

We welcome members of the ISSCR to this collaborative congress in beautiful Florence!

All members of ISSCR are eligible for reduced member rates for the congress. In order for members to be given these rates during registration, ESGCT membership will have to be recognised.

Your ISSCR membership will be equal to the ESGCT complimentary membership in the following way:

After having set up an ESGCT account, please register for complimentary ESGCT membership:

As an ISSCR member who is an academic, please take out ESGCT Academic membership, and at check-out use discount code ISSCR16Aca to reduce your fee to '0'

As an ISSCR member who is industry, please take out ESGCT Industry membership, and at check-out use discount code ISSCR16Ind to reduce your fee to '0'

As an ISSCR member who is a Trainee, please take out ESGCT Student membership, and at check-out use discount code ISSCR16Tra to reduce your fee to '0'

You can then continue to congress registration, where you will be shown your applicable reduced congress rates. You will then also be able to submit your abstract.

Please also refer to the REGISTRATION tab above for more information and overview of the general registration guidelines.

If at any stage you have a problem, please do let us know.