October 2013 Newsletter

CIRM October Newsletter

Is a HIV Cure Possible? CIRM Sponsors Free Town Hall Forum

Tonight, Oct 1st, from 6-8pm, CIRM teams up with the UCSF AIDS Research Institute and the Gladstone Institutes to present a free community town hall forum where a panel of experts will update the community on the latest news in HIV cure research. The speakers' brief presentations will be followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

The scheduled speakers include Steven Deeks and Mike McCune from UCSF, Hans-Peter Kiem from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Warner Greene from Gladstone, Alan Trounson and Maria Millan from CIRM, and Louis Breton from Calimmune. The event takes place at the San Francisco State Building.

October 2nd is World Stem Cell Awareness Day

"Every family knows they are one phone call or one diagnosis away from needing what stem cell research can yield for us." - Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House of Representatives

On Wednesday Oct 2nd, CIRM will join the global community in celebrating Stem Cell Awareness Day. Research and academic institutions and educators will be hosting public talks and other activities and events in their community. In California, stem cell experts will speak to over 100 high school classrooms to explain stem cell biology and describe the latest progress in developing therapies. For the millions of people around the world who suffer from incurable diseases and injury, Stem Cell Awareness Day is a day to celebrate the scientific advances made to-date and be hopeful of what is yet to come. 

Día de la Ingeniería: CIRM Joins the Exploratorium's Latino Engineering Day

On September 29th, CIRM science officers Rahul Thakur and Rosa Canet-Aviles participated in the Exporatorium's Día de la Ingeniería, or Latino Engineering Day.  The event, sponsored by the museum and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, included panel discussions, presentations on the science and engineering heritage of Latinos, and playful activities for kids and grown-ups alike. Dr. Canet-Aviles presented an introduction to stem cell biology and Dr. Thakur spoke about the role of stem cells in tissue engineering, an area of study which aims to replace or regenerate human organs and tissues to repair the body. Dr. Canet-Aviles provided Spanish translation of both presentations.

CIRM Website Gets a Fall Cleaning: Same content, Different Organization

You spoke, we listened. Based on both comments from our website visitors and an analysis of our web traffic, we did some autumn cleaning on the CIRM website. We made a slight move here and a little renaming there with the goal of making our content as intuitive as possible to find. All the content you know and love is still there, but some of it might be in a new place.

New Video: Spotlight on Muscular Dystrophy - Building a Path to Therapies

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) affects 1 in 3500 boys and leads to progressive muscle degeneration and death by the second decade of life. It’s been nearly thirty years ago that dystrophin, the mutated gene that causes DMD, was identified and a mouse model of DMD has been available nearly as long. A lot of therapies have been tested in this model and then tried in humans and not worked. In this new video, Dr. Helen Blau, a CIRM grantee from Stanford University, reports to the CIRM governing board that her lab has generated a new mouse model that more accurately mimics the Duchenne symptoms observed in humans. This breakthrough opens up opportunities to better understand the disease and to develop novel therapies.

CIRM President Alan Trounson's September Stem Cell Research Picks

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.  

1700 and Counting: The Latest Publications on CIRM-funded Research

With over 1700 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 July along with press releases from the grantees' home institutions and entries from the CIRM Stem Cell Research Blog:

September 3rd - Stem Cell Reports

September 4th - Biomaterials

September 5th - Stem Cells

September 6th - Stem Cells Translational Medicine

September 9th - Neuron

September 11th - Nature

Upcoming CIRM Events

October 9th: The CIRM governing board will hold its 6th meeting of 2013 at the Hilton in Burlingame. The agenda and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before the event.

October 7-13th: The CIRM Spotlight seminar, "Seeing Stem Cells in the Body" airs ten times in October on University of California Television (UCTV). Follow this link and click "TV Schedule" for air times. Click here for information on where to watch in your area. You can also view the seminar anytime on our video page

October 14th-16th: The 3rd Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa, organized by CIRM, the Sanford Consortium, and Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, will be held in La Jolla, CA. The meeting includes the RegenMed Partnering Forum and Scientific Symposium that aim to bring together senior members of the business development and scientific research communities in regenerative medicine to advance stem cell science into cures for debilitating diseases and injuries. Six CIRM grantees are scheduled to speak at the forum. For more information, visit the meeting website.

CIRM Funding Opportunities

RFA 13-04: External Innovation Pilot Program - Prior to submitting an application, a PI must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) describing the proposed project. CIRM will evaluate the LOI -- refer to Section VIII.A. of the RFA for evaluation criteria. This RFA is targeted at only the most exceptional proposals: CIRM expects to support only one or two such projects each year.

RFA 13-03: CIRM Strategic Partnership III Awards - CIRM intends to offer repeat calls under this initiative every 6-9 months. The focus, scope and objective may differ with each solicitation. CIRM conducted a webinar for prospective applicants on August 7, 2013 to address questions about the RFA and application process. Click here to watch webinar and view Q & A.

RFA 09-04: CIRM Research Leadership Awards - Applications due on January 14, 2014. 

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.

PA 08-06: CIRM Conference Grants - Applications for conference grants will be accepted, reviewed and approved periodically
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