January 2013 Newsletter
CIRM January Newsletter
- CIRM Looks Back at its Most Popular Stem Cell Stories of 2012
- Institute of Medicine Report Praises Stem Cell Agency as a “Bold Social Innovation”
- CIRM Awards Therapy Research for Preeclampsia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Hearing Loss
- CIRM Staff Participates in World Stem Cell Summit 2012, Blogs in Real-Time
- CIRM President Alan Trounson's Stem Cell Research Picks
- Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa Videos Now Available
- 1200 and Counting: The Latest Publications on CIRM-Funded Research
- Upcoming Events
The entire CIRM family hopes you had a wonderful holiday and we wish you the best in 2013. To look back at 2012, CIRM communications manager Amy Adams posted our top five most read blogs and most viewed videos. Not surprisingly, most of the stories focus on progress toward therapies.
On December 6th, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its in-depth report on CIRM, praising the agency for its ground breaking work in helping advance the science of stem cell research, and helping researchers, scientists and biotech companies accelerate the most promising research from the lab into clinical trials. The report also had a number of recommendations to make the agency a better and more effective organization. CIRM commissioned the IOM review in 2011 with a goal of ensuring that all aspects of CIRM’s operations are functioning at peak performance, and to make recommendations on short/medium/long-term actions to improve the agency’s performance. Harold Shapiro, PhD, the IOM committee chair and the former president of Princeton University, presented the report at the December 12th CIRM governing board meeting. The board will hold a workshop on January 23rd to discuss the report and make decisions about how to move forward with the recommendations.
At its December 12th meeting, the CIRM governing board awarded over $36 million in funding for the New Faculty Physician Scientist Translational Research Awards – an initiative that is designed to encourage and support the career development of promising physician scientists, a group with one foot in the lab and one foot in the clinic that are believed to be best at advancing therapies to clinical use. The physician scientists' projects focus on therapy research for diseases that affect millions of Americans including preeclampsia, a serious complication affecting up to 8 percent of all pregnancies; irritable bowel disease, a painful condition that can cause intestinal failure and lead to cancer; hearing loss; and peripheral nerve disease, a painful and often debilitating condition.
This year's World Stem Cell Summit took place December 3-5 in West Palm Beach, Florida. A handful of CIRM staff were in attendance to participate in panels and presentations. They also reported on the events in ten, real-time blogs over the course of the three day meeting. Topics included the latest research advances, the role of the patient advocate, the concerns of unproven stem cell therapies, legal and policy challenges to stem cell research, to name a few. Read the CIRM WSCS 2012 blogs here:
- World Stem Cell Summit kicks off: opportunities and threats to the research
- Near-term use for iPS cells: repurposing existing drugs
- Advances in stem cell research: like going from a landline to an iPhone
- Legal and Policy Challenges to Stem Cell Research
- Panel investigates unproven stem cell therapies
- NIH vs. CIRM funding of stem cell research
- "If they feel the heat, they see the light": the role of the stem cell advocate
- Stem cell action awards gives nod to scientists fighting unregulated stem cell clinics
- Sabrina Cohen honored for providing inspiration and raising awareness
- Short takes from patient advocates at the World Stem Cell Summit
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. His November report includes new characterizations of reprogrammed adult cells as well as new insights into the specialization of early stage pancreas cells into insulin-producing beta cells.
Video recordings of the 2012 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa conference are now available on The Science Network website. The meeting, organized in part by CIRM, was held in late October in La Jolla, CA and brought together senior members of the business development and scientific research communities in regenerative medicine to help advance stem cell science into cures for debilitating diseases and injuries. The videos include talks and/or interviews with CIRM President Alan Trounson, several CIRM grantees, and other leading researchers in the field.
With over 1200 published discoveries, CIRM grantees are making steady progress on understanding the molecular basis of stem cell biology and moving stem cell-based therapies toward clinical trials. Here is a partial list of science journals that published CIRM-funded research in December along with press releases from the grantees' home institutions and entries from the CIRM Stem Cell Research Blog:
December 2nd - Nature Methods
- Salk Institute Release: Salk scientists develop faster, safer method for producing stem cells
December 4th - Nature Communications
- Stanford Release: Embryo-analysis technique developed at Stanford may boost in vitro fertilization success
December 12th - Science Translational Medicine
- UCLA Release: Scientists find drug that may help in fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- CIRM Blog: Old drug finds new life treating muscular dystrophy
December 19th - Science Translational Medicine
- Sanford-Burnham Release: Transplanted neural stem cells treat ALS in mouse model
- CIRM Blog: Neural stem cells show signs of treating ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in mice
ICOC Workshop and Governing Board Meeting
Jan 23-24: The CIRM governing board will hold its first meeting of 2013 at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. The meeting will include a January 23rd workshop during which the governing board will consider how best to respond to the Institute of Medicine report and its recommendations. The agenda and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before the event.
Upcoming Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Progam Announcements Schedule (PA)
RFA 13-01: CIRM Disease Team Therapy Development Awards III - Anticipated RFA Release Date: January 2013
RFA 13-02: CIRM Basic Biology Awards V - Anticipated RFA Release Date: January 2013
RFA 13-03: CIRM Tools and Technologies Awards III - Anticipated RFA Release Date: Late Spring 2013
RFA 13-04: CIRM Strategic Partnership III Awards - Anticipated RFA Release Date: Summer 2013
RFA 13-05: CIRM Early Translational V Research Awards - Anticipated RFA Release Date: Late Fall 2013
PA 12-08: CIRM Patent Assistance Fund Awards - Application opportunities on a monthly basis until June 30, 2014
Eligibility: Only Technology Transfer Officials at current CIRM Grantee institutions are eligible to apply for funds under this program. For more information, visit the PA 12-08 webpage.