Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UCLA Snags $3.6 Million from California Stem Cell Agency

UCLA scored today with at least two grants, totaling $3.6 million, from the California stem cell agency. 

Seeking the cash were Donald Kohn,  application 6823, and Gerald Lipshutz, application 6831. Both of the  grants are for $1.8 million each. 

Their applications were initially in the agency's tier two category, which means that CIRM's reviewers did not approve them outright for funding.  CIRM staff, however, did under a new procedure, and the agency's governing ratified the recommendation. 

Lipshutz also appeared before the board along with several patient advocates who made emotional appeals for funding. Lipshutz's research deals with urea cycle disorders, which occur in one out of 8,200 births. Current treatment is arduous and can involve liver transplants.  

Kohn's research deals with sickle cell disease, which afflicts primarily African-Americans. His efforts are aimed at correcting the sickle gene defect in the blood stem cells before transplanting them back into the patient.

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