We build collaborations to solve problems
The National Stem Cell Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that funds adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research, connects children with limited resources to clinical trials for rare diseases and underwrites the National STEM Scholar Program for middle school science teachers inspiring the next generation of STEM pioneers nationwide.
We partner with other foundations, organizations and institutions to co-fund research and clinical trials that advance therapies and technologies with the potential to significantly reduce the physical and financial burden of diseases and conditions that affect millions worldwide.
We believe in the power of collaboration to maximize donor dollars and speed research into therapies for currently incurable diseases. We look for the most promising developments in the fields of neurodegenerative disease, autoimmune disease, rare childhood disorders and regenerative repair. We actively seek partnerships to co-fund projects with the greatest potential to impact healthcare.
In 2015, NSCF partnered with The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, consistently named one of the best high schools in America, to develop and underwrite the National STEM Scholar Program, a professional development program for science teachers motivating students at the tipping point of life-long science interest – middle school. Research shows that children in middle school who become excited about science are the ones who will pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses in high school and major in STEM subjects at the technical and college level.
Each year, 10 middle school science teachers are selected from a national pool of applicants based solely on the description of a Challenge Project they would implement if funds were available. STEM Scholars convene each June on Gatton’s campus at Western Kentucky University (WKU) for a week of advanced STEM training, national network building, uncommon access to STEM thought leaders and Challenge Project development. They leave with a laptop/tablet to facilitate ongoing collaboration, a generous stipend for technology and supplies to implement their Challenge Projects at home, and sponsored attendance at the National Science Teaching (NSTA) National Conference the following spring. They are mentored throughout the year by WKU master faculty. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 Scholar classes have all received prestigious, peer-reviewed invitations to present their Challenge Projects at NSTA National Conferences in Atlanta, St. Louis and Boston.
With the delayed addition of our 2020 class, we now have 49 Scholars representing middle schools in 26 states, from Alaska to New York and Wisconsin to Florida. They’ve been selected from more than 850 applicants in 40 states. You can meet the Scholars and learn about their Challenge Projects by scrolling over the Scholar Map or read about them in List View.
We believe focusing our education efforts and resources on reaching the particularly influential middle school science teacher will bear fruit now and far into the future.
America Needs More Scientists - So We’re Growing Them Ourselves
Our patient advocacy programs connect people to life-saving treatments and potential cures.
In partnership with the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (PBMT) program at Duke University, we help cover insurance deductibles and co-pays for children eligible to participate in potentially life-changing clinical trials when the out-of-pocket costs are beyond a family's means. Children from all over the United States and around the world travel to PBMT for access to clinical trials for rare, disabling and sometimes fatal diseases. These are children with no other treatment options and often limited financial resources.
We work to advocate for bone marrow registration. In continuation of the advocacy initiative that began with our sponsorship of Sharing America's Marrow (S.A.M.), we continue to work toward significantly increasing the donor pool for life-saving bone marrow transplants. In 2015 and 2016, the S.A.M. team enrolled over 24,000 new donors on the National Marrow Donor Registry and found more than 500 matches for people on the waiting list. In 2016, they received the RARE Champion of Hope Award from Global Genes. Their story was captured in the touching and award-winning documentary, “In Our Bones.” Champion of Hope Award from Global Genes.