Watch out Gangum Style and Miley Cyrus: CIRM’s YouTube stem cell channel tops half a million views.

Another month, another milestone. In February I took a moment to pat ourselves on the back as the CIRM communications team surpassed 1000 entries in our Stem Cell Research Updates blog. Now, just a few days into March, we’ve topped another social media milestone: half a million views on our YouTube video channel, CIRM TV, which debuted in January 2009.

It’s true, those 500,000 views in five years pale in comparison to the two billion Gangum Style views racked up in the past 18 months. And yes, we don’t stack up well against pretty much any cat or Miley Cyrus video. But considering that 100 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube every minute, we’re gratified that a decent slice of the population is watching our videos, learning about stem cells, and staying informed about the progress of CIRM-funded research and training.

Here are our all-time top ten most watched videos:

  1. Parkinson’s Disease: Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  2. Jerome Zack: Creating iPS Cells 
  3. Macular Degeneration: Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  4. Diabetes: Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  5. Hans Keirstead: Developing Therapies Based on Embryonic Stem Cells 
  6. Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS): Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  7. Huntington’s Disease: Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  8. Irv Weissman: Differences Between Adult and Embryonic Stem Cells 
  9. Spinal Cord Injury: Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research 
  10. Neural Stem Cells Reverse Alzheimer’s-Like Symptoms

You’ll quickly notice that over half of the titles belong to our Progress and Promise in Stem Cell Research video series. These 3 to 5 minute videos tell the stories of people living with incurable diseases who could be helped by stem cell therapies. Each video also includes interviews with the scientists working hard to develop those therapies. The other main batch of titles come from our Stem Cell Basics video series in which CIRM grantees explain the fundamentals for stem cell newbies. The videos also complement our Stem Cell Basics page.

Our current collection of videos stands at nearly 400 so there are plenty of videos that didn’t make this list but are worth watching. Here’s a small sample:

  • CIRM Spotlights on Disease: this video topic includes over 30 disease-specific seminars recorded during CIRM governing Board meetings. They include presentations by stem cell scientists and patient advocates 
  • CIRM’s Elevator Pitch Challenge: To help promote better science communication with the public, we held this video challenge at the 2013 CIRM Grantee Meeting. Participants recorded short pitches describing the importance of their research. 
  • Through their Lens: CIRM funds summer stem cell research internship for high school students all across California. In this video collection, the students describe their experiences.

To dive even deeper into our video collection, check out our website’s video page, which allows viewers to search for videos by disease focus, video topic, or a specific event.

What videos would you like see us produce over the next 500,000 views? Please comment below or drop us a note at info@cirm.ca.gov

Todd Dubnicoff