September 2012 Newsletter
CIRM September Newsletter
- High School Students Talk Stem Cells at CIRM Creativity Awards Meeting
- Chief Medical Officer of Affymax Appointed to Governing Board
- Jeff Sheehy Sworn in to 2nd Term as Patient Advocate Board Member
- Video: Huntington's Community Cheers UC Davis Disease Team Award
- Appeals Court Upholds Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research
- Alan Trounson's Stem Cell Research Picks
- 1000 and Counting: The Latest Publications on CIRM-Funded Research
- Upcoming Events
On August 13th, a group of 63 students from throughout California gathered with their mentors and CIRM staff at Stanford University to present the results of their stem cell research summer internships as part of CIRM's Creativity Awards program. In March, the governing board approved a $1.7 million grant over three years to nine institutions to fund these summer programs. The aim is to inspire more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to pursue careers in stem cell science and nurture the creative thinking that will help them be successful.
In August, State Controller John Chiang appointed Anne-Marie Duliege, MD, to the CIRM governing board. She is filling one of the CIRM board positions reserved for someone from the life sciences industry that was previously filled by Ted Love. Dr. Duliege has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working at Chiron Corporation before Affymax and at Genetech prior to Chiron.
On August 27th, Jeff Sheehy was sworn in by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to a second term as a patient advocate for HIV/AIDS on the CIRM governing board. He was re-appointed by State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. Jeff is a member and active participant on six of the seven governing board subcommittees, including being Co-Chair of the Science Subcommittee. Jeff is a longtime HIV/AIDS and gay civil rights activist and a person living with HIV. He is Director for Communications at the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF.
On July 26th, the CIRM governing board approved $150 million for eight new Disease Team grants. These awards included a $19 million grant to the UC Davis Huntington's Disease Team which aims to bring a stem cell-based treatment to clinical trials. Several members of the Huntington's Disease community were on hand to celebrate. CIRM posted this video that captured the moment.
On August 24th, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's July 2011 dismissal of a lawsuit which sought to ban federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. The lawsuit claimed that the research violated the Dickey-Wicker amendment that prohibits federal funding of research in which human embryos are destroyed.
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 August report includes three stem cell studies related to heart research.
With over 1000 publications and counting, 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 August along with press release and blog links from the grantees' home institutions as well as entries from the CIRM Research Blog:
August 2nd - Cell
- UCLA Release: Embryonic blood vessels that produce blood stem cells can also make heart muscle cells
August 2nd - Cell Stem Cell
- Sanford-Burnham Science Blog: Mending a broken heart—with a molecule that turns stem cells into heart cells
CIRM Research Blog: Needle in a haystack search turns up compound that might mend broken hearts
August 10th - Science
- Scripps Release: Neuroscientists find brain stem cells that may be responsible for higher functions, bigger brains
- CIRM Research Blog: Newly discovered brain stem cell could aid in therapies for Alzheimer's, autism
ICOC Governing Board Meeting
Sept 5-6: The CIRM governing board will hold its fifth meeting of 2012 at the Crown Plaza SFO-International Airport Hotel in Burlingame, CA. See the meeting agenda for more details. A Spotlight on Liver Disease seminar will be presented at noon by CIRM grantee Holger Willenbring, M.D. and a patient advocate speaker.
Webinar - Immune Response in Stem Cell-based Therapy
September 27: Presentations by the FDA and leading expertise. See agenda for more details and registration instructions.
Stem Cell Awareness Day - What are you doing to spread the word?
October 3rd: Patients, advocates, researchers and students around the globe will celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day with classroom lectures, tours of stem cell facilities, and other special activities. Read our blog for details.
Stem Cells on the Mesa - Registration Now Open
October 29-31: The 2nd Annual Investor and Partnering Forum, organized by CIRM, Sanford Consortium, and Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, will be held as part of the Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa. The conference aims 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 Disease Team prinicipal investigators are scheduled to speak at the forum.
Upcoming Requests for Applications (RFAs) Schedule
- RFA 12-02: CIRM Disease Modeling Awards - Applications due 5:00 pm (PDT), September 27, 2012*
- RFA 12-03: CIRM hiPSC Derivation Award - Applications due 5:00 pm (PDT), September 27, 2012*
- RFA 12-04: CIRM hPSC Bank Award- Applications due 5:00 pm (PDT), September 27, 2012*
- *an eligible LOI is a pre-requisite for submitting an application for RFAs 12-02, -03, and -04
- RFA 12-06: CIRM Genomics Award - Letter of Intent (LOI) due 5:00 pm (PDT), October 3, 2012
- RFA 12-07: CIRM Early Translational IV Research Awards - Anticipated release date: September 2012
- RFA 11-03: CIRM Basic Biology IV Awards - Pre-Applications due 5:00 pm (PST), January 10, 2012