CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health

UC San Diego Medical Center
Clinical Trials video

An overview of the CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic
at UC San Diego Health



CIRM logo

Mission Statement

The mission of the Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health is to accelerate the development, implementation and administration of safe and effective stem cell-based human therapies.

About the Alpha Stem Cell Clinic

The Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health is one of five “alpha clinics” in a network designated by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency. It is the cell therapy arm of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center that specializes in early phase, first-in-human trials.

The alpha clinics are intended to create the long-term, networked infrastructure needed to launch and conduct numerous, extensive clinical trials of stem cell-related drugs and therapies in humans, including those developed by independent California-based investigators and companies. These trials are requisite before any new drug or treatment can be approved for clinical use.

The clinics will emphasize public education to raise awareness and understanding of stem cell science. This will combat “stem cell tourism” and the marketing of unproven, unregulated and potentially dangerous therapies. The clinics will also help establish sustainable business models for future, approved stem cell treatments.

Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network


To learn more about participating Alpha Clinics, please visit each clinic's dedicated webpage:

City of Hope logo

UCSF lobo


UCLA Stem Cell Clinic logo

        UC Davis Health logo

UC San Diego Health logo

Our current clinical trials include:

Breast Cancer

Chronic Heart Failure

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Myelodysplastic Syndrome Spinal Cord Injury Type 1 Diabetes

Learn more about our clinical trials

The Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health can provide administrative and other relevant support to scientists and physicians at various stages of development and implementation of clinical trials using stem cell-related therapies.

Administrative Support

Admin Support Graphic 


Early Feasability 
  • Support the development of regulatory strategies
  • Assess source material
  • Assist product classification
Early Product Development  
  • Facilitate communication with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (e.g., pre-pre-IND meeting)
  • Assist initial documentation and document control
Late Product Development  
  • Facilitate communication and compliance with the FDA (e.g., pre-IND meeting)
  • Support the preparation of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application or cross reference
Clinical Trials 
  • Prepare and submit regulatory documentation
  • Assist trial billing set-up and maintenance support
  • Assist with patient care coordination and support
  • Schedule clinical trial protocol procedures
  • Assist biospecimen collection, shipping, and follow-up of research protocol studies
  • Provide trial monitoring
  • Data management planning and implementation

Division of Regenerative Medicine

The Division of Regenerative Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine is dedicated to delivering superb state-of-the-art clinical care and bringing the advancement of scientific research in regenerative medicine to the forefront of public and scientific spheres both locally and globally.

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

The UC San Diego Health / Sharp HealthCare Joint Blood and Marrow Program is the largest blood and marrow transplant (BMT) program in San Diego, one of the largest in California, and a national leader in physician expertise and state-of-the-art treatment.

Sanford Surgical Training Center

The Sanford Surgical Training Center supports pre-clinical studies and hands-on training of neurosurgical techniques. Experimental models of spinal and peripheral nerve injury are available for testing pre-clinical cell replacement therapies, clinical immunosuppression protocols in allogeneic and syngeneic cell grafting designs, and organ experimentation and cell grafting. Qualified investigators may be trained on the use of FDA-approved spinal and brain injection devices. The Sanford Surgical Training Center is also working to partner with local contract research organizations (CROs) to develop the infrastructure and administrative support needed to conduct good laboratory practice (GLP) studies.

Translational Regenerative Medicine Course

Current Enrollment Period: Spring 2018
The UC San Diego CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic is committed to educating patients and professionals, including study staff. We are pleased to invite all clinical research professionals, from coordinators to physicians, to enroll in Translating Stem Cells (CLRE-237).

This 20 hour course is offered via CTRI CREST program. The course may also count as an elective in the MAS program, but applicants do not necessarily need to be enrolled in either the CREST or MAS program to take this course!

The enrollment period is currently closed. Please contact CTRI CREST program with questions, and apply here.

See this downloadable flyer for more information.


Betty Cabrera, MPH, CCRC
Clinical Operations Manager, UC San Diego CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic
Phone: 858-534-5932

symposium photos

Third Annual CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network Symposium
UCLA-UC Irvine, April 19, 2018

 The UCLA-UC Irvine CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic hosted the 2018 Symposium, "Delivery of Stem Cell Therapeutics to Patients." This symposium highlighted the CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic Network, focusing on what has been achieved to date, and the participants discussed the pathways to commercialization and reimbursement of newly developed therapies. 

See the agenda for a list of speakers

Fourth Annual UC San Diego Division of Regenerative Medicine Symposium 
UC San Diego, March 9, 2018

Watch these talks all in one place on YouTube

The UC San Diego Division of Regenerative Medicine held its 4th Annual Symposium on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. 

This symposium brought together stakeholders from academia, industry, government and the public to discuss developments needed to turn stem cell-based therapies into approved products for patients in need. The program highlighted stem cell regeneration in different disease areas and developments with industry partners. An interactive discussion panel addressed the pitfalls and successes of current stem cell clinical trials.

See the agenda for a list of speakers


Virtual Grand Rounds

For more information about the program, please contact:

Betty Cabrera, MPH
Clinical Operations Manager, CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic

Phone: 858-534-5932  


Meet our stem cell physicians:

  • Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
    Deputy Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
    Program Director, CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health
  • Eric Adler, MD
    Trial Expert, Cardiology
  • Edward Ball, MD
    Clinical Advisor, UC San Diego CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic
    Director, Blood & Marrow Transplant Program
  • Michael Choi, MD
    Trial Expert, Hematology/Blood Diseases
  • Wolfgang Dillmann, MD
    Trial Expert, Endocrinology
    Chair & Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor of Medicine
  • John Evans, PhD
    Ethics, Policy & Counseling Task Force Lead
    Professor of Sociology
    Associate Dean, Division of Social Science
  • Gary Firestein, MD
    Professor of Medicine
    Dean & Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine
    Director, Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI)
  • Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD
    Trial Expert, Cancer
    Evelyn & Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research
    Deputy Director of Research Operations, Moores Cancer Center
  • Martin Marsala, MD
    Trial Expert, Neurosurgical technique
  • Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH
    Data Management Lead, CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health
  • John Ravits, MD
    Trial Expert, Neurology

To view the Alpha Clinic's full multidisciplinary team, please see our Leadership and Staff and Meet the Experts pages.

"Meet the experts" videos

Meet our stem cell experts in this video playlist

For more information about the Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UC San Diego Health, please call 844-317-STEM (7836) or email