High school students SPARK an interest in stem cell research

High school is a transformative time for any student. It marks the transition from childhood to adulthood and requires discipline, dedication and determination to excel and get into their desired college or university. The barrier to entry for college now seems much higher than when I was eighteen, but I am not worried for the … Continue reading High school students SPARK an interest in stem cell research

School is out which means SPARK is in for the summer!

It’s mid-June, which means that school’s out for the summer! While most students are cheering about their newfound freedom from the classroom, a special group of high school students are cheering about the start of the CIRM SPARK internship program. SPARK is CIRM’s high school educational program that gives students from underrepresented communities the opportunity … Continue reading School is out which means SPARK is in for the summer!

Life after SPARK: CIRM high school intern gets prestigious scholarship to Stanford

As part of our CIRM scholar blog series, we’re featuring the research and career accomplishments of CIRM funded students. Meet Ranya Odeh. She is a senior at Sheldon high school in Elk Grove, California, and a 2016 CIRM SPARK intern. The SPARK program provides stem cell research internships to underprivileged high school students at leading research … Continue reading Life after SPARK: CIRM high school intern gets prestigious scholarship to Stanford

Young Minds Shine Bright at the CIRM SPARK Conference

Yesterday was one of the most exciting and inspiring days I’ve had at CIRM since I joined the agency one year ago. We hosted the CIRM SPARK conference which brought together fifty-five high school students from across California to present their stem cell research from their summer internships. The day was a celebration of their … Continue reading Young Minds Shine Bright at the CIRM SPARK Conference

California high schoolers SPARK interest in stem cell research through social media

I have a job for you today and it’s a fun one. Open your Instagram app on your phone. If you’re not an Instagrammer, don’t worry, you can access the website on your computer. Do you have it open? OK now type in the hashtag #CIRMSparkLab and click on it. What you’ll find is around … Continue reading California high schoolers SPARK interest in stem cell research through social media

Out with the Old and in with the New: Starvation Sparks Stem Cells to Replenish Immune System

New research from California scientists has revealed a startling side effect to prolonged starvation, or fasting. In the latest issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell, scientists from the University of Southern California describe how fasting triggers the human immune system to flush out old, damaged cells and replace them with new ones. This marks … Continue reading Out with the Old and in with the New: Starvation Sparks Stem Cells to Replenish Immune System

Hanging out after the Hangout – how a talk about a new treatment for type 1 diabetes sparked a deeper conversation

You know you have hit on an important topic when the conversation continues long after you expected it to end. That’s certainly what happened with yesterday’s Google Hangout on Diabetes that we hosted. While the Hangout itself was, I thought, engaging and informative, it clearly only began to touch on the full scope of the … Continue reading Hanging out after the Hangout – how a talk about a new treatment for type 1 diabetes sparked a deeper conversation

Blocking spike in stem cell growth after brain injury may lessen memory decline, seizures

Survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) often suffer from debilitating, life changing symptoms like memory decline and epileptic seizures. Researchers had observed that following TBI, a stem cell-rich area of the brain provides a spike in new nerve cell growth, presumably to help replace damaged or destroyed brain cells. But, like a lot of things … Continue reading Blocking spike in stem cell growth after brain injury may lessen memory decline, seizures

Stem Cell Stories That Caught our Eye: Duchenne muscular dystrophy and short telomeres, motor neurons from skin, and students today, stem cell scientists tomorrow

Short telomeres associated with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscle wasting disease that typically affects young men. There is no cure for DMD and the average life expectancy is 26. These are troubling facts that scientists at the University of Pennsylvania are hoping to change with their recent findings in … Continue reading Stem Cell Stories That Caught our Eye: Duchenne muscular dystrophy and short telomeres, motor neurons from skin, and students today, stem cell scientists tomorrow