2012 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

Turning Stem Cells into Cures

President’s letter
Alan Trounson,

Therapies in
our sight

We adopted a revised strategic plan this year that refines and re-enforces our founding goals: developing therapies to relieve human suffering. That plan reacts to the rapid evolution of stem cell science, incorporates more closely the biotechnology sector and positions the agency to further accelerate the path to therapies.

Our funding actions this year make clear we are already heeding the goals laid out in our new strategic plan. We ended the year with 77 projects in the later stages of translation for clinical use. This represents an 80 percent increase in these clinically directed projects in just one year.

We closed out the year with a round of grants designed to further hasten the pace to the clinic. We made a dozen New Faculty awards to junior faculty who are both physicians and scientists and understand the lab and the clinic. They are often key to moving therapies forward.

The year also saw another round of Basic Biology awards. Those fund transforming new ideas that are changing the stem cell field and will eventually result in novel approaches for the therapies that motivated all those who supported the creation of CIRM.

Alan Trounson

Chair’s letter
Jonathan Thomas, J.D., Ph.D.


My excitement about this year’s progress was neatly summarized by a “Celebration of Science” event I attended in Washington D.C.. It highlighted the inexorable march of scientific achievement over the past decades and the role biology plays in improving the world. In creating CIRM, the voters of California have made the state the epicenter of the regenerative medicine revolution promising to accelerate that historic march toward new and better therapies.

Our expanding portfolio of projects is funding 60 institutions and companies looking to conquer no fewer than 31 currently incurable diseases or conditions, aiming to deliver on the technology’s promise to all those patients in desperate need of therapies or cures. A principal goal going forward is to connect our groundbreaking scientists with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, which could provide additional funds and ultimately bring cellular therapies to market. This process is well underway, with several CIRM-funded clinical trials expecting to enroll their first patients this year.

While we can’t guarantee success, we feel with each passing year that we’re getting closer to profound results that would have an enormous impact on the citizens of California, the nation, and the world.

Jonathan Thomas

Progress Toward Therapies

In the past year, we’ve increased the number of projects headed toward patients by 80%.

We’ve invested more than $600 million in 77 projects moving toward therapies for 31 currently incurable diseases.


News From CIRM: 2012 in review

A principal goal going forward is to connect our groundbreaking scientists with biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies, which could provide additional funds and ultimately bring cellular therapies to market.

Jonathan Thomas, CIRM board chair

Three projects in clinical trials

At the end of 2011, we had 14 projects attempting to reach clinical trials. One year later, we have 18 projects at that stage, and 10 projects aiming to complete a trial. Three of those are already enrolling patients. Read about our therapy development projects

Scientific progres

This year alone CIRM grantees published more than 150 papers describing their scientific progress. Stay up to date on these advances by reading our blog, or following us on either Facebook or Twitter.

Institute of Medicine Review

The Institute of Medicine reviewed CIRM’s progress and called the agency a “bold social innovation.” We held a workshop to address their recommendations. Read our response

New Strategic Plan

Our new strategic plan refines how we expect to acheive our primary goal of bringing new therapies to patients. Read more about the plan

Training the next generation

CIRM has programs to bring students at all levels into stem cell science careers. These students will be tomorrow’s stem cell scientists, continuing Caliornia’s leadership in developing therapies for incurable disease and injury. Read about our training programs

Global partnerships

CIRM’s partnerships with governmental funding agencies and institutions have leveraged more than $75 million for research toward stem cell-based cures. With partners working around the world the sun never sets on CIRM teams. Read more about our partners

New research space opens

All 12 CIRM-funded lab spaces are now open, bringing together stem cell researchers and speeding discovery. Our $271M investment leveraged more than $800M in public and private support, and created 25,000 job-years for the state. Read about these facilities

CIRM congratulates
Dr. Shinya Yamanaka on his 2012 Nobel Prize for advances in stem cell biology


Funds leveraged from private donors/institutions: $884M read more

Follow-on research funds from NIH, etc: $379M read more

Funds leveraged from collaborative partners: $75M read more

Job-years forecast by 2014: 38,000 read more

Tax revenues forecast by 2014: $286M read more

Funding Commitments

See all of our commitments


Total Funding:


Total Grants:


Institutions Funded:


Researchers Funded:


Funding in 2012:


Grants in 2012:


Therapy projects


Clinical trials:


Where our funding goes

See a complete list of grants

Disease Category
by award number

Read about diseases we fund

“Our Programs train California’s diverse young people to build the state’s stem cell workforce and develop the next generation of new therapies”

Bertram Lubin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, CIRM Board Member

Read about our training programs

Stem Cell Type Funded
by award number

See more funding charts

Stories of Hope

Throughout the year we hear from people who have benefited from stem cell therapies or who are still waiting for cures. These are their stories.

Spinal Cord Injury

Read Katie’s story
Watch videos

Liver Disease

Read Vanessa’s story
Watch videos

Bone Repair

Read Diane’s story
Watch videos

Multiple Sclerosis

Read Nan’s story
Watch videos

CIRM Financials