Keeping up with stem cell research: it takes a village

Cynthia Schaffer supports CIRM’s Business Development and Industry Engagement and Commercialization activities.

Keeping up with the news in the Stem Cell world is a bit like riding a hurricane. We could not do it without the dedicated efforts of our friends who devote their precious free time to giving back to the community via their blogs, forums and newsletters.

I would like to highlight a few of the dedicated professionals whose newsletters help me with my job tracking industry news, clinical trials and regulatory advances.

Paul Knoepfler publishes the Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog. Paul regularly uses his humor and insight to spark insightful discussion on the positive and negative news of the day. One of my favorite pieces is Paul’s cartoon depicting one possible future scenario for the stem cell industry. From my perspective, Paul’s blog is great at translating scientific developments. Paul is rare in that he is also an active stem cell researcher at the UC Davis school of Medicine.

Lee Buckler is the genius behind both the Cell Therapy blog as well as the Cell Therapy Industry Group on LinkedIn which he started in 2008 and which now has over 4,500 members. I treasure Lee for his valuable analysis on the business side of the regenerative medicine industry including the way he tracks a constructed portfolio of 34 public cell therapy companies. One of favorite recent posts from Lee is his 2012 Financing Recap. I like others believe in the maxim, that once the profits start to flow in a new industry, investment money will pour in.

Alexey Bersenev produces the excellent Stem Cell Assays Blog. Alexey continually amazes me with the quality of the data he compiles on everything from cell culture to lists of cell therapy clinical trials. One of my recent favorite posts includes Alexey’s prognostications for 2013.

Of course we are thrilled with the work of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) who collaborates with the Genetics Policy Institute to produce the Regenerative Medicine Forum Newsletter. Their bi-weekly newsletter includes important business announcements, a listing of clinical trial updates, pressing policy and advocacy developments and several of the research community’s major scientific advancements

Remarkably, none the four resources I have mentioned above tend to overlap and provide the same story. Each of them comes from a unique perspective and there always seems to be plenty of news for them to analyze and aggregate.

I cannot conclude my list of favorite information sources without mentioning the amazing efforts of CIRM’s Communications Staff. Amy Adams has written 545 blogs while maintaining and building the CIRM website and managing our LinkedIn and Facebook forums and generally doing handstands with one hand tied behind her back [Editor’s note: Amy Adams cannot to handstands]. Todd Dubnicoff has produced 194 videos for the CIRM website and is very skilled at making the complex seem accessible and the dry seem engaging.

CIRM made an investment in information sharing, specifically focusing on sharing the results of clinical trials, via the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, which CIRM supports. We were very pleased by the recent inaugural online edition of Stem Cells eSource from the publishers of Stem Cells Translational Medicine. (subscription information at

It takes a village to make all of us as knowledgeable as we are. Luckily the resources above are free and available to everyone. Happy reading.


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