Get Involved

CIRM’s mission is to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs. Join us in this mission by getting involved with stem cell outreach and advocacy. Here’s how:

Help Us Create a Better System

To succeed in our mission we not only need to support the best science and the best scientists, we also need to support the work of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in trying to crack down on predatory stem cell clinics which offer unproven and unapproved "therapies" to patients. There is a growing number of these clinics around the US. They make unsupported claims about what they can do and charge patients thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, for these "treatments". Many of the people who turn to these clinics are desperate because they have a debilitating condition and have run out of conventional treatment options.

In 2017 CIRM partnered with California state Senator Ed Hernandez to draft a new law requiring these predatory clinics to post a notice in their waiting room that the treatments being offered were not approved by the FDA. But more needs to be done. The FDA is working to try and tighten up the regulations around the use of stem cells, and to crack down on the bad actors taking advantage of existing loopholes in the law. However, they lack the manpower to do this as quickly as all of us would like.

Join us and change the face of regenerative medicine by helping CIRM and the FDA create a faster, more efficient, but no less safe, way of approving new, potentially life-changing therapies.

Email Kevin McCormack, Sr. Director Public Communications & Patient Advocate Outreach, at kmccormack@cirm.ca.gov.

Educate Yourself

The most important thing you can do to promote stem cell research is to know the work. Those opposed to stem cell research circulate myths about the ethics of stem cell research and about the superiority of other avenues of research. Counter those arguments with facts. Below are resources to help.

Find Out More:

  • Learn about the research on our Stem Cell Basics page
  • Discover the truth behind common myths and misconceptions about stem cell research
  • Follow the latest in regenerative medicine research on our blog, The Stem Cellar
  • Follow us on Instagram   Instagram

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Educate Others

Patient Advocates

People living with disease—or those who care for those who are—understand why we need cures better than anyone. If you support stem cell research, become a patient advocate and join us to help accelerate stem cell treatments to patients by emailing Kevin McCormack, our Sr. Communications Director for Public Communications and Patient Advocate Outreach at kmccormack@cirm.ca.gov.

You can also contact your local disease association chapter and offer to share its resources on stem cell research. Or you can contact your chamber of commerce or other community groups to educate people about the value of the research and the value of CIRM for the state of California. Many of the links on this page will take you to resources you can share.

Scientists

Industry professionals, professors, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates with knowledge of regenerative medicine or biotechnology can educate high school students across California. You can submit your own materials for teachers to use, present in classrooms using existing CIRM-developed materials, or start a Stem Cell Education Outreach Program.

Find Out More:
Get involved in stem cell education
Download prepared PowerPoint presentations on stem cell research

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Celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day

Stem Cell Awareness Day brings together organizations and individuals around the world working to ensure that we realize the benefits of one of the most promising fields of science in our time. The day - celebrated on the second Wednesday in October - is a unique global opportunity to foster greater understanding about stem cell research and the range of potential applications for disease and injury.

Research and academic institutions and educators are encouraged to participate by hosting public talks and other activities and events in their community.  In particular, we encourage efforts to get stem cell researchers into high school classrooms that day.

Find Out More:
Visit the Stem Cell Awareness Day Page for a List of Events

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Speak Up

If you see good, well-balanced stories about stem cell research, share the story on social media. Most newspapers and magazines allow comments to stories online. While you are there, correct people who have posted erroneous information.

This is the best way of correcting common misconceptions such as the idea that embryonic stem cells come from aborted fetuses (they don't) or that embryonic stem cells are no longer needed (they are).

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Tissue Donation

We receive many requests from people interested in donating tissue for stem cell research. CIRM does not directly accept tissue donations. We fund stem cell research at institutions throughout the state of California but do not run labs of our own.

However, institutes around the state are doing work that could benefit from donated samples, such as cord blood, embryos, eggs, and sperm. Below are some resources to help you learn more about tissue donation.

Find Out More:
Grantee institutions carrying out stem cell research near you.
CIRM-funded Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative.
Sign up to be a bone marrow donor through the National Marrow Donor Program.
Watch Cord Blood Banking: What expecting parents should know about the collection process an informative animated video produced by Consumer Affairs:

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The Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Initiative

The iPSC Initiative is a major effort of California's stem cell agency. The goal: to create a collection of stem cells developed from thousands of individuals like you.

Collected into a cell bank, the stem cells will represent a wide range of diseases and conditions such as heart, lung, liver, eye disease, Alzheimer's disease and childhood neurological disorders like autism. These banked stem cells will be made available to researchers around the world. Such a resource will hopefully help spur large-scale research that cannot be accomplished by a single laboratory working in isolation.

Find Out More:
CIRM iPSC Initiative webpage
Read the iPSC Initiative brochure for more information
Read our blog and press release about the initiative

Additional Resources:
See our printable documents to take to meetings and events that explain CIRM’s progress and value to accelerating stem cell research
Stem cell images, logos and background materials to educate others

For further questions please contact us: info@cirm.ca.gov

Disease Programs

Learn about how CIRM-funded stem cell research could generate treatments for many chronic diseases and injuries.

See disease fact sheets

CIRM Stem Cell Blog