The World Stem Cell Summit is going on now in Pasadena. This is the primary meeting for pulling together scientists and patient advocates to talk about progress in the field.
CIRM has transformed our booth into a mini recording studio to film interviews with advocates and scientists at the meeting. They talk about the importance of advocates spreading the word, what they hope to learn from the meeting and what they think all people should know about the field. Here’s the first batch of videos:
Jonathan Thomas, Chair of the CIRM governing board: What do you want all people at this meeting to know about CIRM?
I don’t think there’s a real comprehensive feel for the fact that we are engaged in research going after 26 different diseases.
Keri Kimler, Vice President for Texans for Stem Cell Research: What is the reception to your message about the power of stem cell research in Texas?
There’s a lot of misconception. I think that we do everything we can to educate on the true purpose of the research and that’s to find solutions to unmet needs and to find cures and to find new treatments and I think that that usually works very well.
Roman Reed, Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act: Is there something all advocates should learn and take home from the meeting?
It’s incumbent on all of us to get the message out there because when you really know about stem cell research you know it’s the right thing to do. What’s wrong with trying to help the suffering?
Laurel Barchas, PhD candidate at UC Berkeley: Is there a point about stem cell research that you think all people should take away from this meeting?
What’s striking about this conference is that I’ve met people who are working in law, working to educate people, working to educate patients, patient advocates. All of these people are coming together with the common goal of advancing stem cell research. No matter what you are interested in you can use your talents to push this research forward.
Don Reed, Vice President for the Americans for Cures Foundation: Is there a message that all patient advocates should go home and tell their friends and family members?
Get involved. There’s so many opportunities for patient advocates to get involved. Everybody knows somebody with a disease or disability for whom the doctors have said there’s no chance, there’s no hope.
Judy Roberson, past president of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America: Is there some important role you think advocates play at this meeting?
I feel like patient advocates get a lot from listening to the hopeful messages and I think they get encouraged by hearing our personal stories about how Huntington’s disease as effected my family and that we are very hopeful about stem cell research.