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My Cancer: how I became an advocate too

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There is a kind of invisible cultural wall between patients such as cancer patients and biomedical scientists like me, but this wall does not have to exist and indeed it is a negative wall as patients, scientists, doctors, agencies, and advocates can achieve far more together than apart. But the wall is surprisingly strong. Last …

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From Point A to Point Z: thinking outside the box about stem cells

What is the best way to get new stem cell-based therapies to the millions of patients who need help? I would argue that this is the key question in the field of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Sometimes I think it is easy for folks to lose sight of that and fall into traps. …

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Great news: FDA gives ACT the green light bringing hope to millions of people with blindness

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The FDA has given Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) the go ahead to begin their clinical trial using retinal progenitor cells derived from hESC by clearing the company’s IND application, bringing hope to those with vision loss and even blindness. The trial will be a combined Phase I/II to treat Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and has huge …

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Why scientists must be advocates too: Jeff Sheehy

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CIRM Board Member, Jeff Sheehy, has a wonderful piece in Nature Medicine on why patient advocates play a critical role in decision making on research priorities (hat tip to Amy Adams who first blogged on Sheehy’s piece). Patient advocates bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table. Their role in guiding CIRM research funding …

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Grim reality of the impact of judge’s ES cell decision is emerging

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The Obama administration has announced it will “quickly” appeal the ES cell decision, but I’m not hearing anything about a stay on the judge’s order in the meantime or anything like that. It’s quite the opposite. The NIH, in the form of Director Francis Collins, has finally spoken about the federal judge’s ruling that apparently banned …

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Parkinson’s Disease, promising new results on iPS cells

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UPDATE: A second recent study, this one in Nature Genetics has found a novel genetic link between the immune system and Parkinson’s Disease. The authors were screening for genomic variants unique to Parkinson’s patients, finding known ones but also a novel linkage. The link was with the HLA region, known to play a key role …

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Regenerative Medicine outlook: Five simple ways to protect your stem cells and your health

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Regenerative medicine is very exciting. But what’s even better than regenerative medicine? Preventative medicine. If one can prevent a problem for occurring in the first place, it is far better than trying to treat it after the fact. Of course in many cases we do not know the causes of diseases so it is difficult …

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