June 7, 2023

Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center hosts Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 07 June 2023: Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) has hosted His Excellency Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Pontifical Academy of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican. His Excellency’s visit to ADSCC highlighted his support for scientific advancements and research in healthcare between scientists in UAE and Italy and his commitment to promoting peace and hope on a global scale.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia was received by ADSCC’s CEO Dr Yendry Ventura; Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Program Dr Fatima Al Kaabi; and Chief Medical Officer Dr Maysoon Al Karam.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia was on an official visit from the Vatican to the UAE to sign an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace that focuses on artificial intelligence systems and aims to promote a culture of tolerance and ongoing dialogue that integrates technology, ethics, philosophy and theology, while recognizing the impact of scientific research on various aspects of human life. During his time in the UAE, the archbishop sought to visit ADSCC acknowledging its esteemed reputation and notable efforts in the scientific research field.  

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who is also the President and Founder of the not-for-profit Foundation Revert Onlus, has been instrumental in spearheading and sponsoring clinical trials on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with stem cells. Discussions on extending the ongoing clinical trials and related scientific endeavors to the UAE and specifically to ADSCC were held, solidifying the partnership between both entities and nurturing their shared commitment to advance medical research and provide innovative solutions to complex health challenges.

His Excellency Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said: “The power of research and technological advancements bring positive change in the lives of patients worldwide, and I am truly proud to witness first-hand ADSCC’s state-of-the-art capabilities and infrastructure, which are at the forefront of regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy and research. With our shared vision, we stand united, transcending borders and cultures, dedicating ourselves to serving humanity on a global scale and forging a brighter future for generations to come.”

Dr Yendry Ventura, CEO of ADSCC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center is truly honoured to host Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. The visit follows the ongoing research workforce between our scientists in UAE and Italy, which was established in 2021 at ADSCC, and aims to discover innovative solutions for complex diseases like neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis. His Excellency has been supporting technology transfer and knowledge exchange in the field of stem cells and advance cellular therapies, and his visit strengthens our mission as a global leader in this field. As an organization at the forefront of medical innovation, we look forward to further soldifying our collaboration with the Foundation Revert Onlus and realizing the shared vision of advancing medical research for the benefit of patients in the UAE and globally.”

Dr Fatima Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Program at ADSCC, said: "His Excellency empathic visit not only underscores his commitment to scientific advancements in healthcare but also resonates with the spirit of tolerance and peace that the UAE embraces. The UAE has been at the forefront of promoting collaboration, unity, and respect among diverse cultures and religions, and the Archbishop Paglia's visit further strengthens our mission to foster international cooperations in the pursuit of medical breakthroughs."

During the meeting, Archbishop Paglia shared a statement as he reflected on the future of health. The statement Common Battle, Common Hope, was then agreed to be used as the official slogan for the upcoming ADSCC Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Congress, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from 18 to 19 November 2023. The statement by Archbishop Paglia resonates with ADSCC’s mission of bringing hope through ground-breaking medical interventions.

The Pontifical Academy for Life is dedicated to study, information and formation on the principal problems of biomedicine and is responsible for the development and promotion of many of the Catholic teachings on questions of medical ethics including reproductive health, IVF and gene therapy.