Tuesday, October 06, 2020

California's Alpha Stem Cell Clinic Network: Online Symposium Set for Thursday

Science Direct graphic

Californians -- not to mention the entire world -- will have a chance Thursday to get a close-up look at one of the signature efforts of the state's $3 billion stem cell agency -- the Alpha Clinic Network, which stretches from San Diego to Sacramento. 

The online occasion is the annual symposium for the network, which was started with $50 million from the stem cell agency, known formally as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). 

The meetings have not always been available online.  This year, Covid-19 forced the session into cyberspace, making it available to vastly larger numbers of persons. 

CIRM's blog, The Stem Cellar, yesterday highlighted a couple of topics. Kevin McCormack, CIRM's senior director of communications, wrote, 

"One of the topics being featured is research into Covid-19. To date CIRM has funded 17 different projects, including three clinical trials. We’ll talk about how these are trying to find ways to help people infected with the virus, seeing if stem cells can help restore function to organs and tissues damaged by the virus, and if we can use stem cells to help develop safe and effective vaccines.

"Immediately after that we are going to use Covid-19 as a way of exploring how the people most at risk of being infected and suffering serious consequences, are also the ones most likely to be left out of the research and have most trouble accessing treatments and vaccines."
The agenda also includes a look at rare diseases and unmet medical needs. You can register for the event here. It begins at 9 a.m. PDT (4 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time).

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