Right Turn: Kevin McCormack in your face

Author: Stacey Johnson, 09/18/15


Ever since Kevin McCormack, Director of Communications at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), produced the first episode of “Stem Cells in Your Face,” I’ve been waiting for the sequel.

If you, like me, are a fan, then the wait is over. (Truthfully, it’s been available since May. Just as well I didn’t go into investigative journalism.)

CIRM’s first video in this series was about treating ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in a dish, using stem cells. I featured that video here, in a post about the ALS #icebucketchallenge, and, if you haven’t seen it, I recommend a viewing. (While I’m on the topic of the ALS #icebucketchallenge, the ALS Association raised $115 million from its six-week fundraising effort in 2014. Of those funds, $77 million, or 67 percent, were directed to research in five key areas: biomarker discovery; gene discovery; disease model development; clinical studies; and drug development. Here’s a list of where the money was spent.)

Like the first one, this second video tackles a serious disease in a light-hearted, clear way that non-scientists can understand. It focuses on using stem cells and gene therapy to treat sickle cell disease and features Donald Kohn of UCLA’s Broad Stem Cell Research Center. If his name is familiar, it could be because Dr. Kohn was big news just last year when he pioneered a gene therapy cure for children with “bubble baby” disease.

Dr. Kohn is currently leading a clinical trial using a combination of stem cells and gene therapy to cure patients. You’ll hear about this, and much more, in CIRM’s video. The production value is great, it’s interesting to watch and you may even learn a thing or two. Kevin, please send me a tweet when #3 is ready.

Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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2 Responses

  1. Kevin McCormack says:

    Thanks for the plug Stacey. I was blushing as I read the intro. I’m delighted you like the videos. We try to be creative and have fun but also get across the science behind this research.

    We are now editing SCIYF #3 and will hopefully have that up before too long. I’ll let you know when it’s ‘live’.



  2. Stacey Johnson says:

    Please do let me know Kevin. I really am a fan. As for the “plug,” I’m a little late doing that, but it was a busy summer! Give me a heads up and I’ll have my popcorn ready.

    Congrats on another great effort. Now you just need to encourage Paul Knoepfler to hold another video contest 🙂


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