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2016 San Diego JDRF Annual “ONE Walk”

Team ViaCyte Participates in Ninth JDRF “ONE Walk”

2016 marks the ninth year Team ViaCyte has participated in the JDRF One Walk by fundraising and walking in the San Diego event.  The walk took place Saturday, November 12, at Balboa Park, where the ViaCyte team and family members joined others in the San Diego community to show our support.

In a special tribute this year, Team ViaCyte dedicated our walk to Jordan Klein.  As the son of Robert Klein, who led the successful Proposition 71 campaign that established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), Jordan was an important part of our type 1 diabetes (T1D) community.

Jordan passed away earlier this year, at the age of 26, from complications related to T1D.  We at ViaCyte are extremely saddened by his untimely death.  This tragic loss only further shows us the urgency of our mission and the importance of not stopping until we can deliver a cure.  We walked this year in memory of Jordan, and in support of all of the efforts that seek to one day turn Type One into Type None.

Each year, JDRF holds more than 200 walks across the country with more than 900,000 people who raise over $68 million annually for life-changing T1D research that focuses on development of treatments that will reduce or eliminate the need for daily insulin injections.

We are proud to participate in the JDRF One Walk because JDRF and all the walk participants have been, and continue to be, tremendous supporters of our research.  At ViaCyte we are dedicated to developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications.  The ongoing research and development of ViaCyte’s product candidates, PEC-Direct and PEC-Encap, has been made possible by the vision of, and critical funding from, JDRF and CIRM.

At this year’s walk, Team ViaCyte had over 70 supporters who have registered as walkers, virtual walkers, or donors.  Thanks to our friends and family, we have already surpassed our 2016 fundraising goal of $15,000 and we continue to welcome donations through and beyond the date of the walk.

To donate to JDRF through Team ViaCyte, please visit our fundraising webpage.

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Team ViaCyte’s 2016 T-shirt dedicating our walk to Jordan Klein.

Images from present and previous JDRF Walks

2016 San Diego JDRF Annual “ONE Walk” 2017-01-31T10:06:39+00:00

ViaCyte and CIRM Collaborate to Train the Next Generation of Stem Cell Scientists

In ViaCyte’s ongoing efforts to train and support future generations, we are proud to be a part of the Bridges to Stem Cell Research and Therapy Awards Program, which was established by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).  ViaCyte, along with several other California companies, institutions, and universities volunteer to assist in the training and development of undergraduate and masters students interested in pursuing careers in regenerative medicine.

As soon as I learned about the incredible potential of regenerative medicine, I was drawn to the idea of using stem cells to replace or augment biological systems. The CIRM Bridges program provided a unique opportunity to intern, and eventually work, at ViaCyte, which continues to further my understanding of the complexity and promise that stem cells hold for regenerative medicine.

Leah Elliott, former CIRM Bridges trainee, became an engineer at ViaCyte

CIRM recognizes that continued advancement in stem cell research requires an increasing number of experienced and highly skilled scientists who are passionate about stem cell biology.  CIRM’s Bridges program provides funding to support a two-year hands-on experience with coursework, lab internships, educational enhancement activities, and, importantly, engagement with patients.  Undergraduate or masters students who are enrolled at an accredited California academic organization can apply for the program.

Each year, ViaCyte hosts and trains several promising young scientists for the internship portion of the Bridges program.  To date, ViaCyte has hosted ten students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and we have been incredibly impressed with the caliber of students who have interned with us.  In fact, one intern who completed the Bridges training at ViaCyte was subsequently hired by the company as a full-time engineer.

The Bridges program has proven highly successful overall, with 95 percent of the 700 students who have completed the program now either working in laboratories, enrolled in school, or applying to graduate school.  And in January of 2016, CIRM re-upped the Bridges program with an additional $42 million investment .

CIRM president and CEO Randal Mills said, “It’s not just a matter of giving them money, but also of giving them good mentors who can help train and guide them, giving them meaningful engagement with patients and patient advocates, so they have a clear vision of the impact the work they are going can have on people’s lives.”

ViaCyte is proud to be a part of such a strong program that is inspiring the next generation of regenerative medicine researchers who will advance stem cell therapies to improve lives.

Watch what these students do next after the Bridges program.

Read about what the students at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo are doing in the Bridges program.

ViaCyte and CIRM Collaborate to Train the Next Generation of Stem Cell Scientists 2017-03-06T18:08:44+00:00

Fueling Innovation: ViaCyte’s Medical Biotechnology Career Showcase 2015

Investing in the Future

Here at ViaCyte, we believe in the importance of teaching and supporting our future generations in their scientific endeavors in order to fuel innovation.  With that, we were happy to host our first Medical Biotechnology Career Showcase where we provided high school students from around the San Diego region the opportunity to explore careers in regenerative medicine with the insights, knowledge, and guidance from the professionals at ViaCyte.

Students learned what it means to pursue a career in science by participating in discussions and demonstrations from a number of members of the ViaCyte team including execs, scientists, and engineers.

Lab 1: Stem Cells & Cell Culture – fed a mock flask of cells, and observed and imaged cultured cells using a microscope

Lab 2: Design Engineering – reviewed the medical device design process, from initial CAD to finished device and observed 3D printer in action

Lab 3: Medical Device Manufacturing –operated laser cutting materials, part inspection, and assembly of a mock device by ultrasonic welding

Lab 4: Product Manufacturing – performed a mock device filling operation in a barrier isolator

Lab 5: Histology & Imaging –observed stages of histological specimen preparation and performed inspection of stained tissue slides

A big thank you to all of the students who participated in making our first career showcase a great success!

Fueling Innovation: ViaCyte’s Medical Biotechnology Career Showcase 2015 2016-11-17T12:28:23+00:00