The Most Read Stem Cellar Blog Posts of 2022

This year was a momentous one for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). You can read some of our achievements in our 2021-2022 annual report.  

As always, we shared our most exciting updates and newsworthy stories—topics ranging from stem cell research to diversity in science—right here on The Stem Cellar. More than 100,000 blog visitors followed along throughout the year!  

In case you missed them, here’s a recap of our most popular blogs of 2022. We look forward to covering even more topics in 2023 and send a sincere thank you to our wonderful Stem Cellar readers for tuning in!   


In Memory of Kevin McCormack 

We cannot close out the year without honoring our dear friend and colleague Kevin McCormack, who passed away suddenly in December. Kevin was CIRM’s Director of Patient Advocacy and loved writing for The Stem Cellar. He did a wonderful job in translating complex science for the general public and was a great mentor to the CIRM team. Many of his closest friends and colleagues wrote memories about him, and we compiled them in this blog post honoring his life and dedication to CIRM and patients everywhere.  

How stem cells helped Veronica fight retinitis pigmentosa and regain her vision 

We shared the story of Veronica McDougall, who thought everyone saw the world the way she did: blurry, slightly out-of-focus and with tunnel vision. When she was 24, she went to see a specialist who told her she had retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative condition that would eventually leave her legally blind. Click through to read about her experience participating in a CIRM-funded clinical trial with a company called jCyte

Smoking marijuana could be bad for your heart, but there is an unusual remedy 

Millions of Americans use marijuana for medical reasons, such as reducing anxiety or helping ease the side effects of cancer therapy. Millions more turn to it for recreational reasons, saying it helps them relax. Now a new study says those who smoke marijuana regularly might be putting themselves at increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. Check out this blog to learn how a team at Stanford Medicine used the iPSC method to create human endothelial cells and, in the lab, found that THC appeared to promote inflammation in the cells. 

A pioneering couple uproot their lives to help their baby 

This year, we shared some encouraging news about a CIRM-funded stem cell clinical trial for spina bifida at UC Davis Health. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly and can result in life-long walking and mobility problems for the child, even paralysis. This blog told the story of parents Michelle Johnson and Jeff Maginnis, who learned 20 weeks into the pregnancy that the fetus had spina bifida. Read the whole story to learn about their experience and the status of their baby Tobi.  


And that wraps up The Stem Cellar’s top blog posts of 2022! If you’re looking for more ways to get the latest updates from The Stem Cellar and CIRM, follow us on social media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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