November 2015 Newsletter

Video: Update on Stem Cell-Based Spinal Cord Injury Trial

At the July 23rd CIRM governing Board meeting, Dr. Jane Lebkowski, Asterias Biotherapeutics’ VP of R&D, gave a lunch time presentation about the company’s CIRM-funded clinical trial for spinal cord injury. Richard Lajara, the fourth participant in a previous trial, provided a patient’s perspective. 

Join CIRM at AT&T Park for the Bay Area Science Festival!

On November 7th from 10am to 4pm, AT&T Park will host the fifth annual Discovery Day, the final day of the Bay Area Science Festival. Children of all ages, even the grown-up kind, will be able to participate in over 150 hands-on science and engineering activities throughout the stadium. Over 25,000 attendees are anticipated, each with an opportunity to engage with scientists from a wide-range of fields. If you go, visit CIRM's booth, located at Promenade P50, for some play dough stem cell fun. And it's all free. 

Blog Series: Catching Up with our CIRM Scholars

Achieving our mission of accelerating stem cell treatment for patients with unmet medical needs, requires an investment in a trained workforce for California. That's why our highly successful training programs are a source of pride at CIRM. Altogether we've helped thousands of young people pursue their dream of becoming the next generation of stem cell scientists. To follow their achievements, Website and Social Media manager Dr. Karen Ring is catching up with past and present CIRM Scholars through informal interviews which are summarized on CIRM's blog, The Stem Cellar. In October, Dr. Ring spoke with CIRM Scholars Dr. Ke Wei, a postdoc at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and Dr. Helen Fong, a research scientist at the Gladstone Institutes. 

CIRM and the World Celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day

On October 14th, the world celebrated Stem Cell Awareness Day. The annual event's mission is to engage the public with the stem cell research community. Activities included guest lectures by stem cell scientists in high school classrooms, public tours of state-of-the-art stem cell research facilities and social media campaigns, to name just a few. At CIRM headquarters, stem cell research advocate Don Reed hosted a book reading to celebrate the publication of his book, STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond. Through personal stories and firsthand accounts, Reed's book chronicles California's fight against disease through stem cell research. 

Exclusive Interview: Masayo Takahashi, iPSC Clinical Trial Pioneer

In September, Dr. Masayo Takahashi from the RIKEN center in Japan received the inaugural Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize for developing a human iPS cell therapy to treat a debilitating eye disease called macular degeneration. The event was held locally at the Gladstone Institutes and we were honored to get an exclusive sit down interview with her. We put together a two minute video based on the interview with her as well as with Dr. Deepak Srivastava, Director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Mr. Hiro Ogawa, a co-founder of the Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize.

From Stem Cells to Cures with Google Ventures & Shinya Yamanaka

In mid-October, two leaders on different sides of the stem cell arena – research and investment – came together at the Gladstone Institutes’ Fall Symposium to discuss how stem cell research can be translated into effective cures. Nobel prize winner, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, and Google Ventures partner and Stanford PhD, Dr. Blake Byers, shared their thoughts on where stem cell research is now and the future of stem cell therapy for treating and curing disease. CIRM's communications team was on hand to blog about the event.

The Latest Publications by CIRM-Funded Researchers

CIRM grantees are making steady progress on understanding the fundamentals of stem cell biology and moving stem cell-based therapies toward clinical trials. Here are examples of CIRM-funded research that was published in October along with press releases from the grantees' home institution and essays from The Stem Cellar, CIRM's official blog:

October 8th - Cell Stem Cell

October 14th - Nature Communications

October 25th - Nature

Upcoming CIRM Events

November 19th and December 17th: CIRM Board Meetings
The CIRM governing Board will hold a telephonic meeting on Thursday, November 19th and its last in-person meeting of 2015 on Thursday December 17th in Los Angeles, CA. Agendas and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before each event. 

CIRM 2.0 Funding Opportunities




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CIRM Job Openings

The following positions are now open. Follow the links below to apply or go to our jobs page: