Thursday, March 11, 2010

$62 Million Effort: First CIRM-financed Lab Opens at UC Davis

The chairman of the California stem cell agency, Robert Klein, opened its board of directors meeting today by celebrating the opening of a $62 million UC Davis stem cell research center.

The facility, partially financed with a $20 million CIRM grant, was featured in a front page story in The Sacramento Bee yesterday. It is the first to open of a dozen labs that were partially funded by CIRM.

The Bee wrote,
"UC Davis already is testing dozens of therapies in the laboratory, such as HIV treatments and organ regeneration, and is even using stem cells to repair injuries in horses.

“The new $62 million UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures will consolidate those efforts, which are scattered in various locations in the region. The center will bring 200 scientists and laboratory personnel together under one roof.”
Claire Pomeroy, a member of the CIRM board of directors and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, told directors it was a “one of a kind facility.” The directors are meeting in Sacramento in the state Capitol. The Davis facility is actually located in Sacramento – not Davis, which is just west of the larger city.

UC Davis issued a news release that said,
“Over the past 18 months, construction crews renovated 54,000 square feet of space, creating new research facilities that include Northern California’s largest academic Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) laboratory, a state-of-the-art suite of rooms that will enable scientists to safely prepare and manufacture cellular and gene therapies for clinical trials.

“Designed to maximize research collaboration and innovation, the new Institute for Regenerative Cures will be a centralized location for researchers from departments and programs throughout UC Davis as well as a shared-research facility for other institutions to use. The initial phase of the project provides space for approximately 20 senior scientists and 115 other researchers and technicians.”
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