(La Jolla, CA., March 16, 2007) The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will fund comprehensive research projects directed by Dr. Mark Mercola and Dr. Stuart Lipton of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) with grants totaling more than $6 million.
CIRM's comprehensive grant program is intended to support mature, ongoing studies on human embryonic stem cells (hESC) by scientists with a record of accomplishment in the field. The two grants awarded to Burnham were among 29 comprehensive projects approved earlier today by the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (ICOC), the governing body of CIRM, for funding from an allocation of $74.6 million.
Each project at Burnham project will receive $3,035,000 over four years.
"These funds will allow us to use non-NIH-approved hESC to develop a supply of nerve cells for brain repair," said Dr. Lipton. "We will use these new human nerve cells to treat stroke and Parkinson's disease in animal models with an eye to future human therapy."
Dr. Mercola's project will develop drug-like molecules that stimulate generation of heart muscle cells from hESCs. "Drug-like molecules will be used to produce hESC-derived cardiomyocytes," said Mercola, "ultimately for clinical application, and potentially as leads to develop pharmaceuticals to repair the heart through stimulation of its own stem cells."