Friday, March 16, 2007

CIRM Press Release on the Latest Grants

The following is the complete press release on the latest grants from CIRM. It should be posted shortly on the CIRM. We are posting it here because of a delay in the posting.

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For release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Dale A. Carlson

415/396-9117





$75 MLLION BOOST FOR CALIFORNIA STEM CELL SCIENTISTS



Assembly Speaker says California on the path to cures



State now largest source of funding for embryonic stem cell research



LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2007 – Just a month after approving nearly $45 million for embryonic stem cell research, California’s stem cell agency authorized another $75.7 million in additional funds for established scientists at 12 non-profit and academic institutions.



The 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), today approved 29 Comprehensive Research Grants for approximately $74.6 million over four years, to accomplished stem cell investigators at academic and non-profit research centers throughout the state. The grants were selected from 70 applications from researchers at 23 institutions, who sought more than $175 million in CIRM funding.

“This time of the year new life and new hope seem to be everywhere you look,” said Fabian Núñez, Speaker of the California State Assembly. “With these new grants, California is continuing on the path of turning the hope and promise of stem cell research into the reality of therapies and cures for millions of Californians and people across the globe. The California spirit – the perseverance, creativity and resourcefulness that has made us a leader on everything from gold mining in the 19th Century to fighting global warming in this one -- is fully present in our stem cell research teams. With today’s grants California shows we are again blazing the trail.”

Speaker Núñez joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Robert N. Klein, chairman of the ICOC, at a press conference to review the latest research grants.

“As of today, California is the largest and most stable source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world,” Klein said. “The scientific projects proposed for our third set of grants are very strong, and it’s clear that there is an abundance of scientific opportunities for the state’s investments. We are off to an extraordinary start towards fulfilling the mandate of 7 million California voters, and the hopes of patients and families worldwide.”

The Comprehensive Grants approved today will support mature, ongoing studies on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by scientists with a record of accomplishment in the field. They were designed for investigators with well-developed expertise in hESC research or in a closely-related field to pursue new directions in hESCs based on their current research.

“These grants provide substantial support to a pool of very distinguished researchers in human embryonic stem cell research,” declared Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., CIRM’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. “These grants are larger than the Leon J. Thal SEED grants approved in February and extend over four years rather than two. Accordingly, our reviewers had higher expectations and more rigorous standards for judging this set of applications.

“The ICOC has approved a very well-balanced portfolio of research proposals, including those aimed at understanding stem cell differentiation and identifying new ways of obtaining hESCs, and many that target specific diseases,” Hall said. “Combined with our training and SEED grants, the CIRM is now funding embryonic stem cell research in more than 100 California laboratories.”

“We focused our initial grants on human embryonic stem cells specifically,” Klein said, “because human embryonic stem cell research receives minimal funding from the federal government, and even those funds are restricted to lines of questionable value. Going forward, we will support a diverse range of stem cell research projects. There are a number of California institutions that have strong programs in adult and other stem cells, for example, that are just beginning to build embryonic stem cell capabilities. Many of these institutions may be prominent names in future grant awards. We need them to be fully engaged in this project, if we’re going to achieve our objectives. Fortunately, we have 10 years and $3 billion to build a strong program encompassing all of California’s research institutions.”

Like the Leon J. Thal SEED grants, the Comprehensive Grants will fund a broad range of projects, including:

* A study of how chemical modification of DNA in hESCs impacts nerve formation and the ability of stem cells to repair brain damage caused by stroke (UCLA)



* Development of new ways of deriving hESCs and investigating the special capabilities of newly-derived human cell lines. (UCSF)



* A proposal to develop neural cellular models of Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) that could be used to screen chemical libraries for novel drugs and to develop preclinical models of human disease (Salk Institute)



* Building tools to better isolate heart and blood cells from differentiated populations of hESCs (Stanford)



* A proposal to optimize the creation of liver cells for transplantation, and be able to monitor their in-vivo fate non-invasively (UC Davis)



* A study of molecular mechanisms regulating hESC survival, focused on a very specific and promising class of growth factors (UC Irvine)



The ICOC approved Comprehensive Research Grants to the following researchers (Note: the dollar amounts shown are the four-year budgets requested by each applicant and are subject to review and revision by CIRM, prior to the issuance of grant awards):



Application #


Principal Investigator


Institution


Title


Amount

RC1-00100-1


Baker, Dr. Julie C


Stanford University


Functional Genomic Analysis of Chemically Defined Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$2,628,635

RC1-00104-1


Bernstein, Dr. Harold S


University of California, San Francisco


Modeling Myocardial Therapy with Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$2,229,140

RC1-00108-1


Crooks, Dr. Gay Miriam


Children's Hospital of Los Angeles


Regulated Expansion of Lympho-hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC)


$2,551,088

RC1-00110-1


Donovan, Professor Peter


University of California, Irvine


Improved hES Cell Growth and Differentiation


$2,509,438

RC1-00111-1


Fan, Dr. Guoping


University of California, Los Angeles


Epigenetic gene regulation during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells: Impact on neural repair


$2,516,613

RC1-00113-1


Fisher, Dr. Susan J.


University of California, San Francisco


Constructing a fate map of the human embryo


$2,532,388

RC1-00115-1


Gage, Professor Fred H.


The Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Molecular and Cellular Transitions from ES Cells to Mature Functioning Human Neurons


$2,879,210

RC1-00116-1


Goldstein, Professor Lawrence S. B.


University of California, San Diego


USING HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS TO UNDERSTAND AND TO DEVELOP NEW THERAPIES FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE


$2,512,664

RC1-00119-1


Heller, Professor Stefan


Stanford University


Generation of inner ear sensory cells from human ES cells toward a cure for deafness


$2,469,373

RC1-00123-1


Lee, Dr. Jang-Won


CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute


Establishment Of Stem Cell Lines From Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer-Embryos in Humans


$2,556,066

RC1-00124-1


Lee, Dr. Randall James


University of California, San Francisco


Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Therapies Targeting Cardiac Ischemic Disease


$2,524,617

RC1-00125-1


Lipton, Dr. Stuart A.


Burnham Institute for Medical Research


MEF2C-Directed Neurogenesis From Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$3,035,996

RC1-00131-1


Marsala, Dr. Martin


University of California, San Diego


Spinal ischemic paraplegia: modulation by human embryonic stem cell implant.


$2,445,716

RC1-00132-1


Mercola, Dr. Mark


Burnham Institute for Medical Research


Chemical Genetic Approach to Production of hESC-derived Cardiomyocytes


$3,036,002

RC1-00133-1


Nusse, Dr. Roel


Stanford University


Guiding the developmental program of human embryonic stem cells by isolated Wnt factors


$2,354,820

RC1-00134-1


Palmer, Professor Theo D


Stanford University


Immunology of neural stem cell fate and function


$2,501,125

RC1-00135-1


Pleasure, Dr. Samuel J.


University of California, San Francisco


Human stem cell derived oligodendrocytes for treatment of stroke and MS


$2,566,701

RC1-00137-1


Reijo Pera, Dr. Renee A.


University of California, San Francisco


Human oocyte development for genetic, pharmacological and reprogramming applications


$2,469,104

RC1-00142-1


Srivastava, Dr. Deepak


The J. David Gladstone Institutes


microRNA Regulation of Cardiomyocyte Differentiation from Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$3,164,000

RC1-00144-1


Tarantal, Professor Alice F.


University of California, Davis


Preclinical Model for Labeling, Transplant, and In Vivo Imaging of Differentiated Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$2,257,040

RC1-00148-1


Xu, Yang


University of California, San Diego


Mechanisms to maintain the self-renewal and genetic stability of human embryonic stem cells


$2,570,000

RC1-00149-1


Zack, Dr. Jerome A


University of California, Los Angeles


Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapeutic Strategies to Target HIV Disease


$2,516,831

RC1-00151-1


Zarins, Dr. Christopher K.


Stanford University


Engineering a Cardiovascular Tissue Graft from Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$2,618,704

RC1-00345-1


Keirstead, Dr. Hans S.


University of California, Irvine


hESC-Derived Motor Neurons For the Treatment of Cervical Spinal Cord Injury


$2,396,932

RC1-00346-1


Kriegstein, Dr. Arnold R.


University of California, San Francisco


Derivation of Inhibitory Nerve Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells


$2,507,223

RC1-00347-1


Leavitt, Dr. Andrew D.


University of California, San Francisco


Understanding hESC-based Hematopoiesis for Therapeutic Benefit


$2,566,702

RC1-00353-1


Wallace, Professor Douglas C.


University of California, Irvine


The Dangers of Mitochondrial DNA Heteroplasmy in Stem Cells Created by Therapeutic Cloning


$2,530,000

RC1-00354-1


Weissman, Dr. Irving L


Stanford University


Prospective isolation of hESC-derived hematopoietic and cardiomyocyte stem cells


$2,636,900

RC1-00359-1


Zern, Professor Mark Allen


University of California, Davis


An in vitro and in vivo comparison among three different human hepatic stem cell populations.


$2,504,614





Total $74,587,642



Totals for each institution are listed below:



Institution


Comp Grants


Amount

UC San Francisco


7


$17,395,875

Stanford University


6


$15,209,557

UC San Diego


3


$7,528,380

UC Irvine


3


$7,436,370

Burnham Institute for Medical Research


2


$6,071,998

UCLA


2


$5,033,444

UC Davis


2


$4,761,654

The J. David Gladstone Institutes


1


$3,164,000

Salk Institute for Biological Studies


1


$2,879,210

CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute


1


$2,556,066

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles


1


$2,551,088

Total


29


$74,587,642





The ICOC also completed its review of the Leon J. Thal SEED Grant applications. Nearly $45 million was approved in February, to 72 scientists at 20 institutions. Today the ICOC approved two additional grants to the following researchers (Note: the dollar amounts shown are the two-year budgets requested by each applicant and are subject to review and revision by CIRM, prior to the issuance of grant awards):



Application #


Principal Investigator


Institution


Title


Amount

RS1-00308-1


Stainier, Dr. Didier Y.R.


University of California, San Francisco


Endodermal differentiation of human ES cells


$635,242

RS1-00247-1


LaFerla, Dr. Frank M.


University of California, Irvine


Development of human ES cell lines as a model system for Alzheimer disease drug discovery


$492,750



Total $1,127,992

The first scientific grants approved under the Stem Cell Research and Cures Act totaled $37.5 million, and were awarded in April 2006, to train 169 pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical fellows at 16 non-profit and academic research institutions. With today’s decision, the ICOC has now approved more than $158 million for research grants at 23 California institutions:









Institution


Training Grants


SEED Grants


Comp Grants


Grants


Funds (Requested & Awarded)

Stanford University


1


12


6


19


$26,519,988

UC San Francisco


1


9


7


17


$25,796,219

UC San Diego


1


6


3


10


$14,821,287

Burnham Institute

for Medical Research


1


8


2


11


$13,381,881

UC Irvine


1


7


3


11


$13,581,435

UC Los Angeles


1


7


2


10


$12,907,906

UC Davis


1


2


2


5


$8,286,877

The J. Gladstone Institutes


1


3


1


5


$7,920,705

The Salk Institute

for Biological Studies


1


3


1


5


$6,605,126

Children's Hospital of Los Angeles


1


1


1


3


$5,578,107

University of Southern California


1


4





5


$5,405,461

UC Berkeley


1


2





3


$3,446,378

CHA Institute of Regenerative Medicine








1


1


$2,556,066

UC Santa Cruz


1


2





3


$2,132,200

California Institute of Technology


1








1


$2,071,823

The Scripps Research Institute


1


1





2


$1,836,280

UC Santa Barbara


1








1


$1,218,242

UC Riverside





2





2


$1,139,456

Buck Institute for Age Research





1





1


$734,202

Human BioMolecular Research Institute





1





1


$714,654

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research





1





1


$691,489

UC Merced





1





1


$363,707

City of Hope, National Medical Center





1





1


$357,978

Totals


16


74


29


119


$158,067,467





About CIRM

Governed by the ICOC, CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was approved by California voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.







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