Thursday, January 05, 2012

$40 Million Genomic Research Effort Planned by California Stem Cell Agency

The California stem cell agency is proposing a $40 million program to set up two stem cell genomic research centers, including possibly one at a for-profit research enterprise.

The plan would augment an existing program in genomics or bioinformatics, according to a CIRM document. The goal is to rapidly build "an effective stem cell genomics infrastructure that will provide a new platform for the application of genomics tools to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine."

The proposal is scheduled to be considered at a meeting of the CIRM directors Science Subcommittee next Wednesday. It will then go to the full CIRM board at its Jan. 17 meeting.

The stem cell agency's proposal said,
"Genomics technologies and the data sets they yield are fast becoming the currency of biology and medicine. The cost of genome sequencing is dropping exponentially, a trend that will soon make genome-scale characterization a practical tool for fundamental studies of stem cell biology and for advancing therapeutic applications. Meanwhile, cell therapeutics are advancing toward clinical trials, and hES and hiPS cells have become the gold standard for studying human cell biology, tissue and organ development and repair, and disease. Combining genomic technologies with stem cell research will accelerate fundamental understanding of human biology, disease mechanisms, tissue engineering and cell therapies...."
The RFA for the proposal would be released in May with board approval of applications in the winter of 2013.

Interested parties can participate in the meeting at locations in San Francisco, Irvine, Oakland, Pleasanton, Duarte, Los Angeles (2), Stanford, Healdsburg and Irvine. Addresses can be found on the agenda for the meeting.

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