Targeted Hope Newsletter 

May 2011
In this Issue
From the Chairman
Heart Disease
Macular Degeneration
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Inherited Diseases
Stem Cell Ruling April 29th
Patient Advocacy
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May 13th 5:30 PM


Science in the Pub at Cactus Cafe           

2247 Guadalupe Street Austin, Texas


Special guest:

Representative Mark Strama


Science in the Pub is a happy hour for the science-loving community. Their goal is to bring together fans of science from all walks of life, be they professional scientists or amateur admirers, for a bit of socializing and entertainment. Texans for Stem Cell Research will join the discussion on Friday the 13th. Join us for an evening dedicated to our favorite topic, Stem Cell Research.   


RSVP and Check out SITP's Website! 





Read About Our Distinguished Guest Speakers Coming This Fall


 Pre-Register Here 



As part of TSCR's ongoing public outreach and education initiative, this event is free and open to the public. However, if you would like to assistus in underwriting the cost of the program and support our ongoing work,we would be very grateful.

 Click Here to Make Secure Donation  




 Join Our Mailing List    


Things only seem to be getting better!   

UT Southwestern researchers, Eric Olson, PhD and Jay Schneider, MD, PhD investigations could significantly help advance the understanding of stem cells' role in heart disease and repair, leading to new ways to care for patients with heart attacks or congestive heart failure by stimulating heart cell regeneration. (Photo courtesy of UT Southwestern) 

Isn't that a line to a popular song? Well, in our case it's the truth. Just this month, renowned scientist, Eric Olson, Ph.D.- UT Southwestern, Dallas, and Jay Schneider. M.D., Ph.D- UT

Southwestern, Dallas, agreed to serve on our Medical Advisory Council and also to speak at the annual symposium on September 30, 2011.
With the addition of Professor Olson and Dr. Schneider, TSCR's Medical Advisory Committee is represented by most of the major medical universities in Texas. This makes us very proud!


We also are proud to announce two new members to our Advisory Council.  Jim Henson, Ph.D. coordinates the Government Department's internship program, directs the Texas Politics project, and is Associate Director of the College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services. He also codirects the University of Texas/Texas Tribune statewide poll of public opinion. In 2009 Dr Henson was appointed to the City of Austin Ethics Review Commission in 2009 by the Austin City Council, and was named Chairman of the Commission in 2010.  

Benedicte Callan, Ph.D., Sid Richardson Fellow at The Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) Research Affiliate at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, UT at Austin will also join us this month. Previously, Dr. Callan worked at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she served in a number of capacities, most recently Head of the Biotechnology Unit which focuses on the development and diffusion of innovative biotechnologies in a broad range of industrial sectors. She has also been Principal Administrator for Health, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary General charged with overseeing OECD work on development and the environment, and an Administrator for science and technology policy.

Our team is getting stronger during one of the most exciting months for stem cell research. (See "Appeals Court Restores Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research" below)


Update on events...


Our APRIL 19, 2011 event "Singin for the Cures" at Antone's, featuring Dr. Jay Schneider was very informative and well received.   


Dr. Schneider is the primary investigator for a $9 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that focuses on the epicardium - the layer of cells that surround the heart. These cells might be a key source of adult heart progenitor cells capable of repairing damaged

Jay Schneider, MD, PhD presented at the TSCR April 19th Learn for Life "Texas Medicine Meets Texas Music" held at Antone's in Austin on April 19th. Over 100 were in attendance at the legendary Austin venue where Dr. Schneider discussed the exciting momentum in the stem cell field and unique connections and collaborations between music and medicine, including the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research at UT Southwestern. 

muscle.  Dr. Schneider and his colleagues are investigating whether progenitor cells can repair damage sustained by heart disease or heart attacks. His research group works with another team of physician-scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital, which also received $9 million for its portion of research for the study. Together the two institutions form one of nine "hubs" comprising the NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, a $170 million, seven-year initiative aimed at developing the high-potential field of stem and progenitor-cell biology. 


Music by Malford Milligan and the Tuesday Blues band was wonderful. But, the hit of the night was the debut of TSCR's own Regenerative Blues Band. Led by board member Lee Leatherwood and Dr. Tom Caven featuring Lee's son and cousin and Tom's friends, they laid down the blues!   


Here are a few more exciting community events... 


May 13, 2011 -  

Science in the Pub, Cactus Cafe- (5:15pm -6:45)  We've been invited by this progressive group of Phd and grad students to give an update on legislative and medical developments in the stem cell world. Representative Mark Strama has agreed to take time out of his busy schedule to let us know how the budget situation will affect medical research at our major universities.


August 16, 2011 - Learn for Life Series Livestrong Headquarters- (5:30pm 9-00)  Dr. Roger Gammon, Austin Heart will give updates on  research into new treatments to potentially prevent or delay major amputation and/or death in patients  

Roger S. Gammon, MD  Director of Research,
Austin Heart, PA
research Interests include adult stem cells for cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease.

suffering from Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) due to severe Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).  We will have more information and invitations out in the coming weeks. Chefs Catering has graciously agreed to provide appetizers and we will have refreshments along with the second

installment from our very own House Band to warm up for Dr. Gammon's presentation. 


Thanks again to Antone's, Shoal Creek Saloon, the TSCR board and all of our wonderful volunteers who made April 19th Learn for Life event a great success. We could not accomplish our goals without all of you. 


Please let your friends know about all the excitement TSCR is stirring up in the stem cell world!


More to came and Stand Up for Stem Cells!




David L. BalesChairman

Texans for Stem Cell Research   


Adding Stem Cells to Common Bypass Surgery May Improve Heart Failure 


Newswise - HOUSTON (April 4, 2011) - In a new research study under way at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, surgeons are adding a patient's own stem cells to the heart during cardiac bypass surgery. The goal of this research study is to determine whether the stem cell infusion will generate new blood vessels and improve heart function more than what is seen through bypass surgery alone. The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is one of only three (3) centers in the country to have this study available.

Read More

Blastomere Technology Provides Alternative Way to Derive Embryonic Stem Cells


Embryonic stem cells can now be derived from a single blastomere taken from an eight-cell embryo, in a procedure similar to that used during genetic testing on embryos created by in vitro fertilization.  After the blastomere is removed, the embryo remains viable and is refrozen. Although this procedure does not destroy human embryos, cell lines derived in this fashion are currently awaiting further review by NIH.  Earlier this year, the FDA granted Advanced Cell Technology clearance to start clinical trials for macular degeneration using cells produced with this technique.  

Schizophrenic Brain Cells Created in Lab


Neurons derived from schizophrenic patients. CREDIT: Dr. Kristen Brennand, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

FoxNews| LiveScience (April 14, 2011)

Skin cells taken from four individuals with schizophrenia have been turned into brain cells, or neurons, and grown in lab dishes, the first time a complex mental disorder has been examined using living brain cells. The research not only will assist scientists in understanding the causes of a mental disease that plagues about 1 percent of the world's population (and about 3 million people in the United States), but also takes a step toward personalized medicine for those afflicted.  Read More 

Read More 

New Reason to Love Fat

First FDA-approved Clinical Trial for PVD Begins


HONOLULU PRNewswire (April 19, 2011) Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects over 8 million people in the United States.  By 2020, the number is expected to increase by 43 percent.  PVD includes damage to or blockage in the blood vessels of the peripheral arteries and veins, causing pain and weakness.  Approximately 25 percent of patients progress to critical limb ischemia (CLI), often times leading to amputation. Researchers have been actively seeking a way to coat the inside of synthetic grafts used to treat PVD so that they more closely resemble native vessels and increase long-term graft survival.  A specific fraction of adipose tissue contains millions of regenerative cells, which can be used to coat the inner surface of vascular grafts. Tissue Genesis is the first to initiate a FDA-approved trial using the patient's own adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs) prepared at the point-of-care. They are also the first company to conduct a FDA-approved clinical trial for PVD in the U.S. utilizing ASCs recovered at the point-of-care with an automated device.

Video   Read More

Tools for Researching Inherited Diseases 


The Detroit News (April 4th, 2011) A collaboration between the University of Michigan and a renowned Detroit doctor has led to new embryonic stem cell lines that will allow researchers to study how certain diseases form and progress. The development puts U-M in the forefront of research that some regard as unethical, others as life-saving.  Only a few other U.S. universities have created disease-specific stem cell lines.  These are a milestone because they will give researchers tools they have never had before to study and possibly find ways to delay, better treat or even cure diseases.

Read Full Story

"Once you have a new tool in science,  

it really opens up an avenue for  many, many different discoveries"

-Dr. Gary Smith, co-director of the U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies.

Appeals Court Restores Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research 


United States and Around the Globe (April 29th, 2011)  For those of you who were tweeting, blogging and reporting about the royal wedding, you could not have missed the bigger news heard around the globe in the stem cell world.

In summary,  An appeals court ruled on Friday the Obama administration can continue using federal money to fund human embryonic stem cell research, a possible avenue toward new treatments for many medical conditions. A panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, all appointed by Republican presidents, voted 2-1 to vacate Lamberth's injunction, saying the challengers were unlikely to win on the merits.  The U.S. law was "ambiguous" and "did not prohibit funding a research project in which an ESC (embryonic stem cell) will be used," the majority opinion said.  

"This is a momentous day -- not only for science, but for the hopes of thousands of patients and their families who are relying on NIH-funded scientists to pursue life-saving discoveries and therapies that could come from stem cell research"      

-NIH Director Francis Collins


Although the ruling was positive, the Genetics Policy Institute wisely cautions us to read the succinct report relating to the case before celebrating just yet.  Be sure to Read "Message from Bernard Siegel, Executive Director, Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and Founder of the Stem Cell Action Coalition" below or here.   In short, the announcement brought a victory for science and patients, but was only one battle in the ultimate war.  The plaintiffs in the case have legal options available to them to continue their fight.  It seems reasonably likely that in the end, the final say on the embryonic stem cell case one way or another will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.  A faculty level scientist explained the ruling in easy to understand language that we have included links to below.    



Read More

Court backs federal embryonic stem cells funds 

Victory for science and patients: what the appeals court ruling means 

How would the Supreme Court rule on embryonic stem cells? 

Message from Bernard Siegel, Executive Director, Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) & Founder,Stem Cell Action Coalition 


...What the Recent Ruling Means for Patients



Bernard Siegel, J.D. Executive Director Genetics Policy Institute & Robert Klein, J.D. Chair, CIRM Governing Board:  April 30th, 2011

The news certainly has good days and bad days.  However, April 29th falls into a whole different category for our favorite industry.  I woke early Friday morning to royal wedding "red carpet"  coverage and ended the day in California where the "red carpet" was rolled out for our "stars" you read about in these newsletters.  The stem cell world was focused on the news of the US ruling and stories were flooding the media outlets.  Coincidentally, a few of our most talented researchers and advocates were gathering in LA for the 1ST ANNUAL STEM CELL THERAPIES FOR NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS: Overcoming the Current Barriers to Clinical Translation held at Cedars-Sinai in collaboration with the Genetics Policy Institute.  This meeting drew an elite group of researchers and I experienced the emotion some get when they meet their favorite athlete, film star, or public figure.  I always enjoy this feeling at conferences and will undoubtedly feel the same way in the fall at our September 30th program in Austin, Texas.  As I expected, the presentations were fantastic.  What stood out most for me was the sincere passion everyone in attendance shared for not only this amazing research but for the dedication and contribution of patient advocates.   


I was reminded once again, why we strive to bring quality education to you.  This trip reassured me that our education efforts here in Texas are a valuable piece of the beautiful puzzle.  Expect more programs from us...


I also heard a very heartfelt and overwhelmingly positive reaction to exactly what Friday's court ruling means to millions of people suffering from debilitating disease and injury.  There are far too many people around the world who stand to benefit from groundbreaking medical research. The ruling is symbolic and we hope more good news will soon follow.  


I heard this message loud and clear from those living and breathing the subject every day

Patrick Healy and Mike Tauber


On the day that an appeals court overturned an earlier order which would have blocked federal funding for research, one man continues his campaign for stem cell research.

personally and professionally.   


This message is perhaps no better expressed than by one of the most dedicated patient advocates we have today.  Roman Reed, paralyzed since a college football injury,  is a passionate supporter of stem cell research and he is not afraid to promise the world that he "will get up out of the chair and walk again along side the 5.6 million Americans who suffer from some form of paralysis."  We believe him and we are not alone.  If California AB190 scheduled to go before the appropriations committee passes, the Roman Reed Law will be funded; providing $11 million each year to find spinal cures through a logical $3 add on surcharge funding mechanism.  



"When 46% of adult spinal cord injuries and 60% of spinal cord injuries in children are caused by auto accidents, it is a clear nexus between those who cause paralysis and those paying a few dollars each for research to help find a cure."        

                                  - Roman Reed AB190 Stand, So One Day-Everybody Can!



I hope everyone will take a minute  to watch the news story filmed last Friday. 




So once again, we encourage you to register today for our September 30th Annual Symposium in Austin.  You will have a chance to meet Roman and all of the leading researchers who are traveling here to share with us the most recent developments in this exciting field.  You must see and hear these messages for yourself.  

Targeted Hope is very real.  Let's Learn for Life together!




Keri Kimler 

Vice Chair

Texans for Stem Cell Research





Special Announcements  

Texans for Stem Cell Research (TSCR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of stem cell clinical applications for the treatment of millions of people living with disease and debilitating injury. TSCR strives to educate our citizens and state leadership through the cooperation of researchers, doctors, patients, and leaders in the regenerative medicine field.


(Office)  900 Congress Suite L-119,  Austin, TX 78701

(Mailing Address) 112 Windsor Suite 106,  Austin, Texas 78703


You can help our organization continue to provide important education about promising stem cell research through your donations.  Your contributions provide support for our educational programs and advocacy efforts. We must keep our community informed about the importance of this research and it's potential to provide treatments and cures for diseases and debilitating injuries. You can make a gift through our secure website donation page, cause page or by check.  We thank you in advance for your support and hope you will join our growing organization in 2011.   

   Cause Page Find us on Facebook             Secure Online Donations  

Contact David Bales for additional opportunities