As the California Stem Cell Report first disclosed on Aug. 25, Coffey will begin work in November. UCSB was aided in recruiting Coffey with a $4.9 million grant from the California stem cell agency.
Coffey's move from the University of London represents a significant addition to California's stem cell community, which has been well nurtured with $1.3 billion from CIRM since 2005.
In the school's press release, Coffey said,
"I appreciate being part of a thriving community backed by CIRM, which now allows opportunities that until now were not possible. To work with the UC Santa Barbara group –– the stem cell and macular degeneration centers –– is truly exciting."Coffey will direct UCSB's Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration. The news release said,
"The long-term goal of Coffey's research is regeneration of the diseased eye. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa are leading causes of blindness for which there are no effective treatments in the majority of cases. Loss of vision is due to progressive degeneration of the photoreceptor cells, or loss of cells that support the photoreceptors, such as retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells or cells in the retinal vasculature."Sphere: Related Content