When asked why stem cell research matters, guests at this year’s Stem Cell Awareness Day gave many creative answers.

“Because it has unlimited potential to treat human diseases.”

“Because every part of us except the soul comes from stem cells.”

“Because it’s the future.”

Held on October 8 at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, this annual open house attracted more than 100 guests ranging from high school students to patients to alumni.

All the guests had the opportunity to enjoy stem cell-inspired paintings, sculpture and images; tour the labs; view research posters; participate in a wide array of fun activities; and nibble on light refreshments. They also mingled with researchers and faculty at this event hosted by USC Stem Cell and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“Our public events give us the opportunity not only to educate our friends and supporters about the research that we do here at USC, but also to come face to face with the real-world significance of our work,” said Andy McMahon, PhD, FRS, who spearheads the university-wide USC Stem Cell initiative. “Whether it’s a patient hoping for a cure, a clinician waiting for better treatments or an average citizen dreaming of a brighter future, every person who comes to our events is a reminder of the urgency of our mission — to translate discoveries to cures.”

To view more photos from the event, visit flickr.com/photos/106541334@N04/sets/72157648762895182.

— By Cristy Lytal