We asked and you answered! In January, we launched our first Stem Cell Resolution campaign to raise awareness about the importance of stem cell research. We challenged scientists, students, institutes and the public to make a #StemCellResolution and share it on social media.
The goal of our campaign was to start a larger conversation about why stem cell research is important not just to advance science but to develop cures for diseases that currently have none.
Our campaign ran for the month of January, and we had global participation on multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, videos and blogs. Some resolutions involved answering important research questions while others involved empowering the public to pursue and understand scientific evidence to make their own informed decisions about the benefits of stem cell treatments for treating disease.
I was thoroughly impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm towards supporting and sharing this campaign that I plan to hold it again next year. But for now, I’ll announce the winners of our 2017 #StemCellResolution campaign. We picked the most inspiring resolution for each social media category and a few honorable mentions. The winner of each category will receive CIRM Stem Cell Champions t-shirts.
You can view the full list of this year’s stem cell resolutions on our Storify.
Winner: Hamideh Emrani (@HamidehEmrani)
Hamideh is a science and technology communicator and the founder of Emrani Communications.
Honorable Mention: Christine Liu (@Christineliuart)
Christine is a neuroscience phd student at UC Berkeley and a science communicator and artist.
Winner: Pedro Soria Jr. (@shadowtype)
Pedro is a former CIRM Bridges student who is conducting stem cell research in neural regeneration at Western University in Southern California.
Winner: Samantha Yammine (@SamanthaZY)
Samantha Yammine is a science communicator and a PhD candidate in Dr. Derek van der Kooy’s lab at the University of Toronto. You can learn more about Sam and her research on her website. She also recently wrote a guest blog for CIRM about a Keystone stem cell conference that you can find here.
Honorable Mentions: Paul Knoepfler (@pknoepfler)
Paul is a biomedical scientist at UC Davis, a science writer, advocate, and cancer survivor. He writes a popular stem cell blog called the Niche.
Honorable Mention: Catia B (@apulgarita)
Catia is a PhD student at MIT and is conducting research on programming & stem cells. She is originally from Portugal and has a personal blog about traveling and the PhD lifestyle.
Honorable Mention: Gladstone trainees (@Gladstone_GO)
Gladstone students and postdocs stepped up to the challenge and filmed stem cell resolutions about their research.
Winner: Sophie Arthur (@SophArthur)
Soph is a PhD student in Southampton, K studying embryonic stem cell metabolism. Her goal is to find ways to maintain the pluripotent quality of stem cells. She has a personal science communications blog called Soph Talks Science.
An excerpt from Soph’s blog is below. I highly recommend reading the entire piece as it is very engaging and inspiring!
“For my Stem Cell Resolution – I couldn’t decide on one, so instead, I’ve made 4! Oops!
First, I want to raise awareness that stem cell biology is as important as stem cell treatments! There is lots of hype over stem cell treatments across the globe, but I want to stress that there are only a handful that have actually been approved! I could very well be biased as I’m studying stem cells and their biological mechanisms that exist normally in our bodies – but I want to stress the importance of this work. Simple biology – as I think it will hold the key to all the future stem cell medicine! Once we know how stem cells work in our bodies we can exploit that to make the treatments, or even learn more about our normal development!
Honorable Mention: Stacey Johnson (@msstaceyerin)
Stacey is the Director of Communications and Marketing for CCRM, the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Canada. She also is a regular contributor to CCRM’s Signals Blog.
“Since I’m not a scientist, a student or a patient, but I regularly communicate about stem cells to raise awareness and educate the public, my #stemcellresolution is to use this forum to spread the news – what I do best – about this fun and important challenge.”
Read Stacey’s full blog here.
Thank you and see you next year!
Science communications is a vital tool that scientists and science enthusiasts need to leverage now more than ever to support stem cell research. Speaking out through social media or blogs is a great way to do this, and I want to congratulate all those that participated this year. I’m grateful for your support!
We look forward to doing this again next year and this time, you’ll have an entire year to ponder your next #StemCellResolution.