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UCLA scientists garner 7 grants to fund leading-edge embryonic stem cell research

UCLA scientists received seven of 72 seed grants awarded Feb. 16 by the state to fund stem cell research, the first money distributed for work on human embryonic stem cells since California voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004. Seed grant funding totaled $45 million.

The seven UCLA grants total more than $4 million over two years.

More than half of the applications submitted by UCLA scientists were approved for funding. In all, scientists affiliated with the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at UCLA (ISCBM) applied for 11 seed grants.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state organization overseeing Proposition 71 funding, received 231 applications for seed grants totaling $138.3 million from scientists at 36 non-profit institutions across the state.

Dr. Owen Witte, a renowned scientist and director of the ISCBM, said he is pleased that so many UCLA scientists secured state funding for their research projects.

This is a testament to the leading-edge research being proposed by UCLA stem cell scientists, who rank among the very best in their field, Witte said. UCLAs highly collaborative atmosphere allowed our scientists to develop innovative interdisciplinary research projects that bring expertise from all areas of the campus to bear on this important scientific endeavor.

Funded grants at UCLA include:

  • Principal Investigator Irvin Chen: $642,652 Genetic modification of the human genome to resist HIV-1 infection and/or disease progression.

  • Principal Investigator Zoran Galic: $642,501 Genetic enhancement of the immune response to melanoma via human embryonic stem cell-derived T-cells.

  • Principal Investigator Siavash Kurdistani/Co-Investigator Hanna Mikkola: $641,047 Cellular epigenetic heterogeneity as a blueprint for the identity and function of human embryonic stem cells.

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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles
20-Feb-2007


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