Actress, screenwriter and stem cell agency Board member talks about her commitment to Alzheimer’s

Lauren Miller being sworn in as a member of the stem cell agency Board

The members of our governing Board do an incredible job helping fund the best science and ensuring that we do everything we can to fulfill our mission. But even though they work hard most people know very little about them, how they ended up on the Board or what their goals and aspirations for their work with the stem cell agency are.

So it was a pleasant surprise to read the latest blog from U.C. Davis stem cell scientist and CIRM grantee, Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D. It’s an interview with one of the newest members of our Board, Lauren Miller.

Along with her advocacy credits Lauren is also an accomplished actress, screen writer and movie producer. In the interview she talks about the family history that pushed her to become a Patient Advocate for Alzheimer’s research, and how she hopes to raise awareness about the disease among younger people.

Here’s Paul’s interview.

In the interview Lauren talks about her husband, Seth Rogen’s testimony to Congress on Alzheimer’s. We wrote a blog about that and included a link to video of the event.

kevin mccormack

The 2013 CIRM Annual Report: a concise, informative and yawn-free update on the state stem cell agency’s progress

2013 CIRM Annual Report cover page

At last week’s governing Board meeting, communications director Kevin McCormack unveiled CIRM’s 2013 annual report. Was that a yawn I just heard, dear reader? Are you about to click away from this blog? It’s true that annual reports can be bulky tomes that make better dust collectors than reading material. But for the past few years, here at CIRM, our approach to annual reports has been keep it concise, get to the point, make it accessible, and provide links to our website for further reading. In a mere four pages, here’s what to expect:

  • Our Accomplishments – read the agency’s achievements in supporting clinical trials, training young scientists and pumping tax revenue into the state economy
  • Stories of Hope – read poignant vignettes and view striking photography of two people, one with pediatric heart disease; the other multiple sclerosis, who help represent the hope that stem cell therapies will treat the millions living with chronic disease
  • Progress Toward Therapies – view a chart of the 81 disease-focused projects (out of 607 total awards) that are on the path toward clinic trials in people. One clear sign of progress since last year: an extra column in the chart to make room for Phase II clinical trials, the stage when the research team begins testing if the therapy works.
  • CIRM Research Funding – get the 2013 and lifetime stats on the number of grants and funding awarded by our agency
  • Letters from the Chairman and President – read President Trounson’s last annual CIRM letter as he is stepping down this year

You can also go online to view past annual reports and stories of hope. If you’d like a hard copy of the 2013 report, send us your name and address to

Todd Dubnicoff