Looking ahead to 2012

Yesterday CIRM president Alan Trounson took a look back over his science picks from 2011. Today, we’re looking ahead to what’s in store in 2012.

First, anyone interested in participating in the 2012 board meetings should take a look at the governing board meeting schedule. That’s available here. We’ll be having seven meetings at locations throughout California. As always, you can see any scheduled subcommittee or working group meetings on this page and you can also sign up to receive email notifications whenever we post new agendas. That sign up is here.

Those meetings will be action-packed in 2012, with $370 million in new awards slated for review by the governing board and a new strategic plan that will help guide the agency’s priorities going forward. The awards scheduled for review this year include the next round of Creativity Awards worth $2.2 million, which fund high school students to carry out research in California stem cell labs. Last year’s students who participated in our pilot program were outstanding, as you can see in this video:

The governing board will also be considering research awards that cover the complete therapy development pipeline (you can read more about that development pipeline on our website). The fourth round of Basic Biology awards, worth up to a total of $35 million, will continue CIRM’s commitment to funding the basic discoveries that fuel new therapy ideas and also help resolve scientific issues that arise further down the pipeline.

The Early Translational III awards, worth up to a total of $95 million, will fund researchers who are in the early stages of translating a basic discovery into a future therapy. Some of our past recipients of Early Translational Awards have had such success that they are now applying for our second round of Disease Team Awards, worth up to $240 million. As with the past round of these awards, the disease teams include people with clinical, research and regulatory expertise who work together to bring their therapy candidate to clinical trials.

If you don’t already receive CIRM press releases or monthly newsletters you can sign up here. They’ll include information about awards we’ve funded and other decisions by the governing board.