From Dr Graeme Blackman, Chairman of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia
I'm writing to brief you on progress in establishing the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.
The Foundation is a legacy of the Australian Stem Cell Centre, Australia's first biotechnology Centre of Excellence, which wrapped up when our funding ended in 2011.
We felt that the outreach and research support work we did at the centre was important, so we've established the Foundation as a charity to continue that work.
During our nine years of operation, the Centre was fortunate to receive many donations and bequests. When the Centre closed, our board and stakeholders agreed to transfer the residual funds to the Foundation.
Through the new Stem Cell Foundation, we'll continue to invest these funds in public education and research efforts. Over the coming months we'll start work to build the profile of the Foundation, announce our first grants, and invite the community to support the work of the Foundation.
Our first public activity is support of a free public forum at Ausbiotech. Re-seeing the future: how technology may restore vision loss is at 2pm this Friday 2 November at the Melbourne Convention Centre. You'll find more details below.
We'll formally launch the Foundation along with our first grant early in the new year and follow that with a series of activities through 2013 to promote stem cell research and engage the public in thinking about potential of stem cells to cure disease.
We also hope to build a community of people with a stake in stem cell science and to promote collaboration between scientists locally and internationally. One of the mechanisms will be this occasional email bulletin.
I welcome your comments on the stories below and on the work of the Foundation. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Dr Graeme L Blackman OAM
Chairman, National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia
By the end of the decade, 800,000 Australians over 40 will suffer some vision loss, and 100,000 of those will go blind. But stem cells and biotechnology could restore sight to people with profound vision loss.
'Re-seeing the future' brings together experts from stem cell research, bionics and diseases of the eye. How can we combine advances in biotechnology with regenerative medicine to prevent blindness as we age?
This Friday afternoon, join media medico Dr Feelgood (aka Dr Sally Cockburn) for a public discussion at the Melbourne Convention Centre with researchers from the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), Stem Cells Australia and Vision Australia.
The National Stem Cell Foundation is supporting this free public event at AusBiotech 2012 as part of our commitment to educating the community about the potential of stem cell science.
When: 2.30pm-4.00pm, Friday 2 November
Where: Level 2, Melbourne Convention Centre
More event details at the Centre for Eye Research Australia website, or download the event flyer.
To book a place for you and your guest, please RSVP to (03) 9929 8142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia is up and running.
This new charity been established to support stem cell research and to continue the outreach work of the former Australian Stem Cell Centre.
"Australian scientists have been pioneers in stem cell research, which has great potential to change people's lives by reducing the burden of disease," says Dr Graeme Blackman OAM, founding Chairman of the Foundation.
"The Stem Cell Foundation is committed to building on Australia's successes, growing a spirit of collaboration locally and internationally, and engaging the broader public, the people we ultimately serve."
The Foundation's mission is to promote the study and use of stem cells in the prevention or control of disease in human beings and to enhance public education in this field.
Our aims are to:
The Foundation was established by the Australian Stem Cell Centre in mid-2011. Since then, work has focused on establishing an internet presence for the organisation, working on processes and registration to enable donations, and consolidating links with the stem cell and biotechnology community by supporting events such as a public forum at AusBiotech 2012. The Foundation will be formally launched in early 2013.
"The Foundation has an exciting year planned for 2013, starting with the launch and continuing with expert visits, grants, fundraising, and public education initiatives," says Dr Blackman. "We look forward to sharing these initiatives with the stem cell community in the coming months."
A non-executive board of directors providing their time on a pro-bono basis govern the Foundation. The current directors are:
We're keen to build a community of people with a stake in stem cell science to educate the community and support patients, clinicians and researchers. Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone who might be interested.
If you have any comments, questions or news you think might be of interest to the stem cell community, we'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line on email@example.com
Follow us on Twitter: @AusStemCell
Sent by Science in Public on behalf of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia
Promote the study and use of stem cells
Prevent or control diseases or illness
Enhance public education about stem cells