The National Institute of General Medicine Sciences (NIGMS) announced today that Mount Sinai School of Medicine and two other centers will receive an estimated $9 million dollar grant over the next three years to further stem cell research. The grant supports a three year research initiative to establish a core facility to support and train scientists and to define the growth conditions and molecular characteristics required for maintaining human embryonic stem cells in an undifferentiated state. Scientists at the centers also will work on specific pilot projects to advance fundamental knowledge of human embryonic stem cell properties and functions.
During the first year of funding, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine will study the growth, differentiation and genetic alteration of human embryonic stem
cells. The group will focus on developing methods to genetically modify stem
cells and will study the molecular signals that cause them to differentiate
into red blood cells.
"We expect the center to play an important role in establishing the infrastructure that will enable basic scientists to explore many fascinating questions about stem cell biology," said Marion M. Zatz, Ph.D., program director for the grant at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "This fundamental knowledge is critical for efforts to use human embryonic stem cells therapeutically."
Mount Sinai School of Medicine has been at the forefront of stem cell research. Recently, the School announced a major gift from Mr. Leon Black, the founder of the investment managing firms Apollo Advisors, L. P. and Lion Advisors, L. P., and co-founder of Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L. P., to establish the Black Family Stem Cell Institute. The Institute will foster interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty members from numerous departments who are already working in stem cell research.
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