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.
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My Stem Cell Resolution for 2017 is to create a social media page dedicated to educating, enlightening and disseminating information about past, current, and future stem cell related studies to the general public, as well as those in science, in order to bring to light the importance of stem cell research. My objective is to bring people together regardless of whether or not they Originate from the natural sciences and spark an interest in this emerging field. Coming from a family where I'm first generation Mexican American and the only scientist has shown me the importance of communication amongst those that have little knowledge of the natural world especially people that come from countries that aren't scientifically advanced. Both my parents are born and raised in Michoacan, Mexico, in a small mountain town called Ario de Rosales. Back in my parents day, most people were farmers that worked from sun rise to sunset in order to feed and provide for their families. Naturally, they had little time for education because of the need to survive but had a positive work ethic, which I was lucky to inherit. My parents came to America for an opportunity to improve their situations and provide for themselves and families back home. They worked so hard to obtain what they have and to give me the chance they never had, which I'm so deeply grateful for each and every day of my life!! I had always felt destined for more than mediocre and enjoy taking on challenges to improve myself mentally, physically and spiritually. As a stem cell scientist, it is my responsibility to share my knowledge with everyone I encounter in order to bring change to this world. I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for the support of my family, friends, professors, colleagues and of course #CIRM . Please join me on this journey and spread the word to anyone that will listen because we're all on this ride together in one way or another. That is my #stemcellresolution #soriaclan #bringingchange #cellculture Look out for my social media page #cellculture for all your stem cell info and check out the @cirm_stemcells to see what this beautiful institute is doing this year!!! #StemCellResolution
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.