Advocates to Celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day Around the Globe October 5, Gather in Pasadena for World Summit
San Francisco, Calif.,—Patients, advocates, researchers and students around the globe will celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day on October 5, with special activities planned in six countries and five states in the U.S. with at least 25 events at academic and research institutions in California alone. Stem cell researches will also visit over 50 high school classrooms in California.
Coinciding with Stem Cell Awareness Day is the October 3-5 World Stem Cell Summit in Pasadena. The summit includes more than a thousand advocates, scientists and industry leaders expected to share information on ways to accelerate the advancement of therapies.
The theme of this year’s meeting is translational science—that phase of the research that prepares potential therapies for clinical trials. Many of the CIRM Disease Teams will be prominently featured in the presentations. These teams backed by $250 million in awards from CIRM in late 2009 have a goal of applying to begin a clinical trial within four years.
CIRM’s board chair Jonathan Thomas is hosting a reception at the Summit on October 4 to kick off the Stem Cell Awareness Day activities. Throughout the meeting CIRM will be posting short video interviews with patient advocates talking about their hopes for stem cell research.
Designed to be a grass roots activity with local organizers setting the tone for local events, Stem Cell Awareness Day has been fostered by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state stem cell agency, since the first celebration in 2008 organized in partnership with Monash University in Victoria, Australia. See the activities scheduled for this year, as well as highlights from last year at www.stemcellday.com.
In a statement urging people to mark the day, CIRM president Dr. Alan Trounson declared “Stem cell science is advancing at as fast a pace as it is in large part because of pressure from grass roots campaigns that have created momentum to secure government funds for research and challenged researchers to think differently about the pace of bringing basic discoveries to the clinic. Stem Cell Awareness Day was created as a way to spread information and excitement about this field and to fertilize those grass roots to keep the pressure on everyone to further accelerate the field.”
One of CIRM’s direct activities for the day has been matching CIRM funded stem cell researchers with California high school teachers who have requested a guest lecture on Stem Cell Awareness Day. Over 50 student groups and classes throughout California will learn about stem cell science through guest lectures by visiting stem cell scientists this week. Potential photo/video opportunities may be possible in some locations.
In California, events are planned for University of California campuses in San Francisco, Berkeley, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Merced and Davis (Sacramento site), as well as San Diego and Sonoma State Universities, Santa Clara University, the Parkinson’s Institute in Palo Alto, Stanford School of Medicine, Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, the Sanford-Burnham Institute in La Jolla and the Buck Institute in Novato. Activities range from lectures and lab tours to hands-on experiences.
Other states with major activities include Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota and Maryland. Countries with organized events include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and Turkey.
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