Stem Cell Agency Wins National Honor for Health Research Advocacy

San Francisco, CA – California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has been named one of the winners of Research!America’s Advocacy Awards for 2013 for our pioneering work in health research.

We will receive the 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.”

“This is a wonderful tribute to the hard work that everyone at the stem cell agency, from our front line science staff to our governing board, puts in every single day,” says Jonathan Thomas, PhD, JD, Chairman of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, the agency’s governing board. “It’s also recognition that the people of California acted wisely in creating CIRM and setting us on a pioneering course in stem cell research.”

The annual Research!America Advocacy Awards program honors outstanding advocates for medical, health and scientific research. Recognized individuals and organizations are those whose leadership efforts have been notably effective in advancing the nation’s commitment to research.

“This year’s awardees embody the spirit of pioneers in advocacy, setting high standards for others to follow in achieving a greater awareness and appreciation for research to improve health,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America.”We applaud their leadership and tenacious dedication to informing and engaging the public.”

“As the father of a paralyzed young man I am reminded every day why California voted to create CIRM,” says Don Reed, Vice President for Public Policy at the Americans for Cures Foundation. “We want to heal our loved ones and CIRM is working on doing just that, helping fund new research facilities and cutting edge science, attracting the best scientists to California, and laying the groundwork for a whole new industry.”

This is the second time that CIRM has been honored by Research!America. In 2010 our then Chairman, Robert Klein, was given the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for his advocacy of stem cell and diabetes research.

Other winners of the award this year include Diane Rehm, author and host, The Diane Rehm Show; John F. Crowley, JD, patient advocate and business leader; John Mendelsohn, MD, director, Khalifa Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and former president at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Mark Rosenberg, MD, executive director, Task Force for Global Health. A sixth Advocacy Award winner will be named by Research!America’s Board of Directors in December 2012.

The awards will be handed out at a gala celebration on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. CIRM’s President Alan Trounson, PhD, and Chairman Jonathan Thomas will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

About CIRM: CIRM was established in November 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. A list of grants and loans awarded to date may be seen here:

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans. Visit

Kevin McCormack