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STEMCELL Technologies - Enhancing research with science communication

Diciembre 2015
Nicole Quinn, PhD

Our tagline at STEMCELL Technologies is Scientists Helping ScientistsTM. This was born organically when someone used it in a meeting, and it stuck because it really describes what we do. Everyone at STEMCELL is passionate about the pursuit of scientific knowledge and our mission to create innovative tools and resources for scientists.

When we mention STEMCELL's "research tools", most people think of the products that we sell, such as the specialized media used to culture human and mouse cells in research labs, magnets that allow the isolation of specific types of cells from cord blood and other tissues, and robotic instruments that enable scientists to perform routine experiments much faster than can be done manually. Of course, these products are the core of STEMCELL's business, but they are not the whole story. STEMCELL also recognizes the importance of science communication.

Science moves quickly, and researchers don't always have time to find and read every journal article or press release, or to attend every conference or seminar relevant to their research. That's why, in addition to improving efficiencies in the lab, our goal is to help scientists stay current with the latest technology and discoveries in their fields and to connect them with the broader scientific community. We offer a suite of resources tailored to specific cell and tissue types of interest, including content relating to hematopoiesis and cord blood specifically. Examples of these resources are listed below.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Webinars - Think of webinars as mini-lectures given by experts in the field (either our in-house scientists or scientists from research institutions around the world) that can be attended from anywhere. Webinars are presented live, allowing attendees to interact with each speaker during question periods following the seminar. This past May we held a webinar highlighting new tools for the culture and expansion of hematopoietic cells isolated from cord blood and bone marrow. More than 200 scientists and technicians working with cord blood and other hematopoietic tissues registered to take part in the live version of our webinar and many more have viewed the archived recording since then.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Wallcharts - These are expertly-produced poster-sized diagrams, charts and graphics that visually summarize complex scientific information. Wallcharts are an excellent resource for researchers, not to mention that they double as great decor for the lab! Our Human Hematopoietic Progenitors wallchart helps researchers identify colonies produced by hematopoietic cells in a colony-forming unit (or CFU) assay. If you would like to learn more about this type of experiment, Dr. Steve Szilvassy discussed the CFU assay and other potency assays in the January 2013 issue of this newsletter.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Quick Reference Apps - A high-tech alternative to the wallchart, we have created several apps that serve as quick references for scientists in the lab. For example, our Hematopoietic Colony Compass App provides a library of images and accompanying descriptions for the identification of colonies produced by hematopoietic cells in CFU assays.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Videos - Because many people learn best by watching others, we create informative videos showing our scientists and technicians performing the experiments associated with our products. We also use 3D animations (click on this video to explore neurons in the brain!), or may even go as far as outer space (Star Trek Fans should watch our new MesenTrek video!) to communicate with scientists.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Social Media - We share exciting new research and highlight upcoming educational events such as webinars and conferences via our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. We interact with the scientific community by creating fun social campaigns, such as #WallchartWednesday, which had researchers posting selfies with their STEMCELL wallcharts, and by participating in trending topics from around the world, like #sciart, encouraging scientists to share their science-themed art.

STEMCELL Technologies resource Science Newsletters - STEMCELL supports the Connexon Creative science communication service, which publishes 19 free newsletters every week. The newsletters, which have about 65,000 subscriptions combined, summarize the top scientific publications and news, as well as events and jobs every week. For example, Cord Blood News features the most recent cord blood research publications and review papers from relevant, high impact peer reviewed journals, top research organizations and institutions, and leaders in the stem cell research and regenerative medicine industries. The newsletter features information about research, clinical trials and policy and regulation issues relevant to cord blood banking and stem cell therapies in general. Cord Blood News also has a very active Twitter account, which is a fantastic way to keep current with new developments in the world of cord blood research.

Other newsletters that may be of interest include Hematopoiesis News, Cell Therapy News, and Human Immunology News. You can subscribe to these, as well as follow their Twitter accounts, via the Connexon Creative website.

Please visit STEMCELL's website at www.stemcell.com to access more educational resources, such as mini-reviews, technical bulletins, research area summaries, white papers, and brochures. We are truly Scientists Helping ScientistsTM, and are always working to develop new, engaging ways to communicate science.

STEMCELL Technologies logo STEMCELL Technologies Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company based in Vancouver, Canada, that develops, manufactures and sells products and services that support scientists performing stem cell, immunology, cancer, regenerative medicine and cellular therapy research. STEMCELL is the largest biotech company in Canada and sells products globally. The company was launched by Dr. Allen Eaves - a hematologist and cancer researcher - in 1993, with a mission to provide tools that increase the efficiency, accuracy and effectiveness of scientific research.