Celebrate International Stem Cell Awareness Day Online

On Oct. 3, scientists, researchers and supporters around the world will celebrate International Stem Cell Awareness Day. Advocates are asked to visit a new interactive website, www.StemCellsOfferHope.com, to share a wide range of key facts, downloadable images and links to other valuable resources within their social networks. It also features links that enable visitors to easily post information and images with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Supporters are also encouraged to help drive visitors to this website through the use of blogs and social media networks.

“This is a critical and historic time for stem cell research,” said Peter Donovan, Ph.D., director, Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine. “We’re literally on the brink of developing new treatments to some of the world’s most devastating diseases and injuries and the act of simply raising awareness about this research is one of the best things people can do to help accelerate the process.”

Researchers have been working diligently to unlock the potential of stem cells and have made significant strides since the discovery of a method to grow and duplicate human stem cells less than 15 years ago. Their efforts to develop cures for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, as well as traumatic brain injuries and paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries are moving forward at a rapid pace. For more information visit www.stemcellsofferhope.com.

About the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine:
The Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, UC Irvine is one of the largest most technologically advanced stem cell research facilities in the world. The center was established in 2010 in part through a $10 million gift from Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of international investment firm PIMCO, and his wife Sue. For more than 40 years, its team of scientists and multiple research and graduate assistants have worked to unlock the potential of stem cells for treating and curing an estimated 70 major diseases and disorders. The research center has devised new methods for growing stems cells that are 100 percent more effective than previous techniques. Other advances have led to the world’s first clinical trial of a human neural stem cell-based therapy for chronic spinal cord injury and the first FDA-approved clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cells are produced from embryos donated for research purposes during fertility treatments. These cells would otherwise be destroyed. For more information, visit stemcell.uci.edu.