Thursday, February 23, 2006

$25 Million for Stem Cell Research and Other Stuff at USC

Funding for stem cell research in California received a big boost today from a self-made billionaire who is the son of Lithuanian immigrants.

The money -- $25 million – is going to USC to create the Broad Institute for Integrative Biology and Stem Cell Research. The institute will be named after Edythe and Eli Broad, who provided the funds through the Broad Foundation.

USC said the 215,000-square-foot facility will be the largest stem cell research center in California when it opens in 2008. The program will involve Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles and teams from Caltech and other regional scientific institutions.

Eighteen new investigators will be involved in the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and another 18 will be engaged in transplant biology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Broad co-founded the Kaufman and Broad home building firm and once owned SunAmerica insurance company, which he sold to AIG in 1998 for $18 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Broad was estimated to be worth $6 billion by Forbes.

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