April 2012 Newsletter

CIRM April Newsletter

CIRM Awards $1.7 Million for High School Stem Cell Research Internships 

On March 22nd, the CIRM governing board approved nine high school internship opportunities worth $1.7 million over three years. The programs each support students carrying out stem cell research in California labs for the summer. As a way of fostering creativity, the students also carry out a research project in a second discipline of their choice. These CIRM Creativity Awards will encourage California’s young people to pursue careers developing the next generation of stem cell-based therapies.


New Video Features Diabetes Advocates and CIRM Disease Team

In March, CIRM released a new video which features conversations with Chris Stiehl and Sarah Young, both of whom live with type 1 diabetes, as well as Kevin D’Amour, the chief scientific officer at Viacyte, Inc., which has a $20 million CIRM Disease Team award to bring an embryonic stem cell-based diabetes therapy to clinical trials.

type 1 diabetes measuring blood sugar levels

CIRM Rolls Out Stories of Progress and Hope from 2011 Annual Report 

Each year, the CIRM Annual Report highlights recent progress in CIRM-funded research and includes some of the patients and scientists who came to speak to our governing board about the search for cures. CIRM rolled out its 2011 Annual Report stories throughout March. See the links below. The full report will be posted online and available for download in a few weeks.

Spotlight on
Heart Failure

Spotlight on

Spotlight on
Sickle Cell Disease

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    Read these additional Annual Report stories:


    CIRM President's March Stem Cell Research Highlights

    Each month CIRM President Alan Trounson reports on advances in stem cell science by highlighting recently published papers from CIRM grantees and other leading research teams around the world. One of the March papers that Trounson highlights showed that an anticancer antibody first developed for leukemia shrinks many human solid tumors when they are transplanted into mice. These results were reported by the lab of CIRM-grantee Irv Weissman at Stanford.

    CIRM Extends its Collaborative Research Partnerships to South America

    On March 29th, CIRM signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with state funding agencies in Brazil and Argentina. Both agreements will facilitate funding collaborative research projects between California experts and experts in their respective countries. The agreements also call for exploring opportunities for exchange programs for active researchers and trainees, and for considering joint seminars, conferences and workshops to foster collaborations.

    Upcoming Events


    Public Meeting: Institute of Medicine Review of CIRM

    On April 10th, the Institute of Medicine will hold its third public meeting as part of its independent review of CIRM's programs, operations, strategies, and performance. The committee will hear a range of perspectives on CIRM. Individuals from academia, industry, the public, as well as from the consumer perspective will be invited to share their thoughts. An agenda will be available this week.

    Public Webinar: Focus on the Eye

    On May 2nd, CIRM will host a free webinar about the issues and challenges of developing therapies for retinal disorders. Speakers will include the FDA, executives from Advanced Cell Technology who currently have three open human embryonic stem cell-based clinical trials, two in the US and one in the UK, and also speaking is the principal investigator of a CIRM Disease Team who is focusing on age-related macular degeneration. Advanced registration is required.

    ICOC Governing Board Meeting

    May 23 & 24: The CIRM governing board will hold its third meeting of 2012 in San Francisco. You can get location and agenda details by watching our meetings page. The agenda will be posted 10 days before the meeting. You can also sign up to receive announcements about CIRM meetings on our website.