Weekly reads: Kevin McCormack passes, HSCs & RXR, Ethics

Out of the blue this past week we lost Kevin McCormack of CIRM to a heart attack.

When I first heard, my reaction was that can’t be, but it is.

About Kevin McCormack

If you aren’t familiar with him, Kevin was officially Director of Patient Advocacy at our state’s Stem Cell Agency. However, he was much more than that, both for CIRM and many other people.

My sense was that Kevin functioned as the lead contact with the public and press. He did a fantastic job at that.

At the same time, Kevin impacted many people directly. He was just an amazing person in a small group or one-on-one with a unique and very funny sense of humor. That sense of humor made people at ease and communication just worked better around Kevin.

I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that I can’t call him up or email him to talk.  The CIRM blog has a tribute to Kevin with many stories from those who knew him.

They included a picture of the two of us together, which I’ve pasted below as well.

Kevin McCormack, Paul Knoepfler, stem cell research
Kevin McCormack politely listening to Paul Knoepfler go on about something at a stem cell meeting.

I’ve also pasted a video of a recent talk by Kevin that was just great and includes some bits of humor too.

Just over a year ago, I lost another stem cell friend when scientist Meri Firpo passed away from metastatic breast cancer. As we all get older, it seems inevitable that more people we know are going to die, but it doesn’t get any easier.

I wasn’t going to do a weekly reads after a super busy week and Kevin’s death, but he’d probably say we have to continue with the work of stem cells.

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3 thoughts on “Weekly reads: Kevin McCormack passes, HSCs & RXR, Ethics”

  1. Thank you for posting this news and the associated video. I was unaware of the CIRM, and have gone to the website for more information.
    From watching the video, Kevin McCormack seems like an excellent patient advocate, and has played a significant role in the advancement of the mission of CIRM.
    We are very fortunate to have people of his nature and character assisting in the advancement of stem cell application. A genuine and sincere soul.

  2. This was such incredibly sad news. Every conversation with Kevin included “some bits of humor.” Hard to fathom that we won’t see him again.

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