Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Stem Cell Confab Attracts Modest Media Attention

The World Stem Cell Summit generated light news coverage on the first day of its meeting in Pasadena, Ca., while the California stem cell agency posted on the Internet six videos filmed during the three-day conference.

Our search turned up only three news stories this morning on the meeting: One in the Pasadena Star News, one on the Chinese news agency Xinhua and one on radio station KPCC. The first two focused largely on efforts to turn research into cures.

Beige Luciano-Adams of the Pasadena paper wrote,
"Hundreds of pioneers and leaders in stem cell research are in Pasadena this week for the World Stem Cell Summit. They're discussing stem cell breakthroughs – and roadblocks."
She quoted Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and now a patient advocate, as saying,
"'Today patents are used to keep products off the market. This is lethal. This is not what the founders of the (U.S.) patent office envisioned."
Xinhua wrote,
"How do you take the phenomenal scientific research going on in labs and translate it into medical treatments?' said Bernie Siegel, the founder and co-chair of the summit and executive director of the Genetic Policy Institute, which organized the event."
CIRM's communications manager, Amy Adams, posted six videos of interviews with attendees at the conference. One 2-minute, 30-second spot featured Jonathan Thomas, chairman of the California stem cell agency.

He said the single thing he hoped attendees would take away from the conference was the "grand scale of things we currently have in the pipeline." He said the agency has funded research on 26 different diseases. Overall, CIRM has given away $1.3 billion to 453 recipients since 2005.

More videos are likely to be posted in the next two days by CIRM, which has a booth at the meeting and provided $175,000 to support the conference, including funding to send as many 125 persons to the affair.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this item carried an incorrect identification of the Pasadena Star News reporter.)

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