Jan 13, 2023 · 5 min read

2022 Look Back: Our 10 Favorite Stories From Last Year

Join us in celebrating our favorite moments of 2022, from highlighting innovative technology and scientific breakthroughs to reflecting on strengthened partnerships and community impact.

A variety of people and illustrative images compiled on a green background.

The Stories team is gearing up for a new year filled with inspiring content about the people and organizations working to build a more inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. Before we forge ahead, we’re pausing to reflect on 2022 and the incredible people and organizations we got to know through the CZI blog.

Join us in celebrating our favorite moments and stories from last year.

1. Putting Carbon Dioxide to Use: Meet Twelve Co-Founder Etosha Cave

A woman smiles in a lab.

After finding inspiration in NASA’s human waste management systems, Dr. Etosha Cave co-founded Twelve, a CZI-supported venture transforming the infamous pollutant — carbon dioxide — into useful industrial products, such as carbon-neutral jet fuel. Cave and her team call the process carbon transformation, and it’s one of the many ways we can address the climate crisis.

2. Uncovering Sarcoidosis: The Rare Disease Impacting Black Women in the U.S.

A compilation of colorful illustrations of diverse women conversing or working in a lab.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that causes granulomas, or tiny clumps of inflammatory cells, to form in one or more organs. It’s affecting Black women at an alarming rate, and The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is on a mission to address the problem of misdiagnoses, which are typical for women experiencing the disease’s symptoms. In partnership with CZI’s Rare As One Project, the foundation is developing and strengthening its research network and solving diagnostic and equity-related challenges surrounding sarcoidosis.

3. 5 Ways To Support Teacher Well-Being

A teacher and two students look at a laptop in a classroom.

It continues to be a challenging time for teachers. The pressures of adapting to new learning methods and tending to students’ trauma are taking a toll. So we must go beyond appreciating teachers with words and commit to supporting their well-being all year with action and resources. Thankfully, there are proven ways school and district leaders can support teacher well-being, helping teachers reengage with what they love about the profession and revitalizing their relationships with students.

4. 7 Ways To Address California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

Photos of different types of homes on a blue, violet and yellow background.

Everyone deserves a safe, stable and affordable place to call home. But right now, in California, demand for housing outpaces supply. Costs have skyrocketed, and many families cannot afford necessities like food, transportation and healthcare. But, with an all-in approach, activists, organizers, nonprofits, philanthropies, the private sector, and community members can do something about it. Alongside our community partners, we’re working on various creative ways to solve the housing affordability crisis alongside our community partners.

5. A Housing Affordability Manager Reflects on the Intersection of Her Story and CZI Work

A woman smiles while on a hike. Greenery, trees and mountains are in the background.

Michelle Kai, a manager on CZI’s housing affordability team, is on a mission to increase equity and access in California’s housing space and support organizations and bold ideas aiming to do the same. As a daughter to a small local landlord and someone who’s witnessed first-hand the power of communities who come together to support its members, Michelle brings an essential perspective to her work and team.

6. What Is Carbon Dioxide Removal?

An illustration of a landscape with small trees and blueish-white mountains.

We can all see the intensifying effects of climate change. And one of the most significant causes is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists agree that we must dramatically cut our carbon dioxide emissions to avoid future climate catastrophes, but we also need to remove the CO2 that’s already there. Many types of carbon dioxide removal can move us closer to meeting the world’s climate goals.

7. A Day in the Life of an Imaging Scientist: Laura Waller

A woman in a black shirt smiles in front of a college building.

Laura Waller is a rising star in the computational imaging field who builds microscopes to help neuroscientists understand the brain. After 10 years as a principal investigator and now leading her lab at the University of California, Berkeley, Waller remains fascinated by her work as an imaging scientist. She does all this while navigating the pandemic, juggling parenting duties, and making her team’s methods accessible to the open science community.

8. How a Parent of a Child With a Rare Disease Built a Team To Find Answers

A father kneels next to his son. The words “seizures, speech issues and brittle bones” are in the background.

Michael Raymond is a father with no background in science who brought together researchers to investigate one of the rarest diseases on the planet. Snyder-Robinson Syndrome causes intellectual disability, muscle and bone abnormalities, developmental delays and other medical problems. On his journey to better understand the disease that threatened his son’s life, Raymond and his colleagues helped to change the course of science.

9. What Causes Inflammation and How Does It Affect Our Health?

A physician discusses paperwork with two patients.

Inflammation is a term we’ve probably all heard. But what’s not as familiar is what inflammation is. Researchers are working to better understand the role of different types of inflammation in disease and how it affects our health. CZI’s single-cell biology team funds inflammation grants and brings together researchers with a variety of expertise to develop tools to study inflammation at the cellular level.

10. How the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute Is Preparing Future Black Leaders

Headshots of four smiling HBCU leaders on a yellow and pink background.

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played an outsized role in preparing science, technology, engineering and math leaders. And they boast a long list of notable alums. Despite their noteworthy accomplishments and impact, HBCUs have faced financial challenges and president and board member turnover. The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute is working to support the next generation of HBCU leaders to ensure these colleges and universities are well-positioned for long-term success.

Looking Ahead to 2023

We have a lot of great content planned for our readers in 2023. Stay up to date with our collective work and partnerships in science, education, technology and community by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

Check out our annual letter for a more in-depth look at our 2022 milestones.

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