November 2012 Newsletter
CIRM November Newsletter
- Stem Cell Pioneers Gurdon and Yamanaka win Nobel Prize
- CIRM Awards Biotech Firms $20 Million for Diabetes and Deadly Blood Disorder Therapies
- CIRM Wins National Honor for Health Research Advocacy
- California and the World Celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day
- New Videos: Ask the Stem Cell Expert - Larry Goldstein UCSD
- CIRM and ARM Publish How-To Guide for Stem Cell Clinical Trials
- 1200 and Counting: The Latest Publications on CIRM-Funded Research
- Upcoming Events
This year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine went to two stem cell pioneers: John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka. Their prize-winning discoveries made decades apart were fundamental to our understanding of cellular reprogramming. Read our series of blogs about the prize winners:
- Stem cell pioneers Gurdon and Yamanaka win Nobel Prize
- Nobel prize follow up: all types of stem cells needed in the search for therapies
- Yamanaka: "slow and clumsy" and other tales of his path to the Nobel
At its October 25th meeting, the CIRM governing board awarded biotech companies ViaCyte and Bluebird Bio with a total of almost $20 million dollars to move promising therapies in diabetes and beta-thalassemia from the lab and into clinical trials in people. These are the first awards under CIRM's Strategic Partnership Awards initiative, which is designed to engage more effectively with industry and to increase outside investment in CIRM-funded stem cell research.
In early October, Research!America named CIRM one of the winners of its 2013 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award for what Research!America calls our “role in accelerating stem cell research and the potential development of a new generation of promising therapies for previously untreatable human disorders.” They also praise us saying we “have laid the foundation for a new industry in California and attracted top-level stem cell researchers to the state.”
Stem Cell Awareness Day took place on October 3rd this year. CIRM staff and scientists visited high school classes throughout the state to give presentations about stem cell research. Those talks reached roughly 4,000 students. For a list of the events that took place in the state, the U.S., and throughout the world, visit the Stem Cell Awareness Day website.
In July, we kicked off our new Ask the Stem Cell Expert video series by interviewing UC San Diego’s Larry Goldstein about stem cell research and Alzheimer’s disease. We posed questions to him that had been sent in by followers of our Facebook, twitter, and blog pages. We recently posted the rest of the interview in three short videos which includes more discussion of Alzheimer's as well as stem cell tourism and the future of stem cell research.
In October, CIRM teamed up with the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) to publish a new step-by-step guide on how to navigate the tough regulatory waters and get approval from the Food and Drug Administration to move a cell-based therapy into clinical trials. The article appears in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
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 November along with press releases from the grantees' home institutions and entries from the CIRM Stem Cell Research Blog:
October 11th - Nature
- UCSF Release: Transplantation of Embryonic Neurons Raises Hope for Treating Brain Diseases
- CIRM Blog: CIRM-funded researchers restore “balance” to brains disrupted by epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons
October 21st - Nature Neuroscience
- Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education Release: Study identifies natural process activating brain's immune cells that could point way to repairing damaged brain
- CIRM Blog: Who's the boss of the brain? How stem cells repair damage
ICOC Governing Board Meeting
Dec 12th: The CIRM governing board will hold its final meeting of 2012 at the Lux hotel in Los Angeles. The agenda and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before the event.
Bay Area Science Festival - Discovery Days at AT&T Park
Nov 3rd: Bring the family to AT&T Park for some hands on science fun at the Bay Area Science Festival. Last year 21,000 people enjoyed the 150+ interactive exhibits. CIRM's booth will have some games to help explain how the cells work.
Upcoming Requests for Applications (RFAs) Schedule
- RFA 12-06: CIRM Genomics Award - Applications due 5:00 pm, November 28, 2012
- RFA 09-04: CIRM Research Leadership Award - Applications due due 5:00 pm, November 28, 2012