Science Market Update

Life Science Research and Building News at UC Irvine Medical Center

Posted by BCI Staff on Tue, May 10, 2011

irvine life science researchThe University of California, Irvine runs a world-class academic Medical Center in Orange County, and it's getting even better with these recent research and facilities developments:

  • Breast Health Center earns ACS accreditation
  • MIND Institute stem cell therapy research advances toward Alzheimer's treatment
  • Gavin Herbert Eye Institute receives another $5M gift towards 2013 opening

[Photo courtesy of UC Irvine Medical Center]

The American College of Surgeons granted a 3-year accreditation to UCI's Breast Health Center after a rigorous evaluation and performance review.  The honor makes the Center one of only three accredited breast care facilities in Orange County, where over 2000 women have breast cancer.

At the UCI Memory Impairment & Neurological Disorders labs (MIND), researchers are treating mice that have (induced) Alzheimer's with human neural stem cells as a step toward developing a similar procedure for use on human patients.  In 2007 the same researchers successfully implanted mouse stem cells into mice and saw measurably improved memory.  Hurdles still to overcome are tissue rejection and cancerous growth potential in the new cells. [Photo courtesy of UCI MIND]

UC Irvine life science research

The UCI MIND team is headed by Dr. Frank LaFerla, Professor of Neurobiology & Behavior in the School of Biological Sciences and an expert in Alzheimer's disease research.  Dr. LaFerla's lab is working with a Palo Alto company, StemCells Inc., using their "lead therapeutic product candidate, HuCNS-SC(R) cells (purified human neural stem cells)" in the latest mouse study.  Alzheimer's research using these cell products has previously been conducted by scientists at the McLaughlin Research Institute and showed promising results for the cells' survival in the diseased brain.  UCI MIND researchers have also been involved in a Swiss clinical trial of the cells' use to treat spinal-cord injuries.

Progress on the new UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute continues to be made, with its opening expected in 2013. Thanks to the most recent gift of $5 Million by Orange County philanthropists Julia and George Argyros, the Institute will now also house the Argyros Ambulatory Surgery Center when it opens.  The $31 Million building will be the most modern, advanced eye care and treatment facility on the West Coast, with 70,000 square feet of exam, surgery, faculty and conference space. [Rendering below courtesy of UCI News]

Irvine medical researchEponymous contributor Gavin Herbert is the founder and former CEO of Allergan Inc., an Irvine-based pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and vision therapeutic products company (makers of well-known Botox® and Restasis® brands).  The presence of the new Eye Institute should act as a magnet for bringing other vision and eye care product companies and researchers to the Orange County area.  According to funding committee chair for the institute (and CEO of Abbott Medical Optics), Jim Mazzo:

"Bringing eye care services and top researchers to Orange County requires a top-notch facility...we can create a facility that will keep the institute’s researchers, professors, physicians and fellows in the vanguard of innovation, training and care."

If you are a life science research professional looking for networking opportunities and laboratory solutions, or a laboratory equipment supplier in the Orange County area, plan to attend the Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.,  Irvine BioResearch Product Faire™ Event on the UC Irvine Campus this year on October 4, 2011.  The early registration deadline for exhibitors at this successful annual trade show event is July 6, so call or email soon to find out how Biotechnology Calendar Inc. can help you develop quality leads that produce sales with a strong return on investment.

Irvine research

Tags: biomedical research, University of California Irvine, California, Irvine

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