Science Market Update

$12M Stem Cell Research Funding Newly Awarded to UCSD Biomedical Scientists

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Tue, May 29, 2012

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
(CIRM), California's stem cell agency, has just announced a new round of stem cell research funding totalling more than $69M. $12M of that will go to 5 biomedical scientists at the University of California San Diego, with an additional $4.3M awarded to a researcher at Scripps Institute, and a further $4M to two lab teams at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. That brings the total for UCSD and its affiliate La Jolla research institutes to $17.5M for this third round of CIRM's Early Translational Awards program, which supports projects that are in the initial stages of identifying drugs or cell types that could become disease therapies. UCSD alone received almost twice as much stem cell research funding in this round as any other public university, including UCSF.

The UCSD researchers and their labs that won the recent CIRM grants are:

  • $1.8M, Lawrence Goldstein, PhD, professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine  and director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program will continue developing new methods to find and test drug candidates for Alzheimer's disease
  • $4.6MMark H. Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of the Center for Neural Repair will work to develop more potent stem cell-based treatments for spinal cord injuries.
  • $1.6MEugene Wei-Ming Yeo, PhD, assistant professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine will tackle ALS by exploiting recent discoveries that specific mutations in RNA-binding proteins cause neuronal dysfunction and death.
  • $1.7MEric David Adler, MD, an associate clinical professor of medicine and cardiologist will pursue research into Danon disease, a type of inherited heart failure that frequently kills patients by their 20s.
  • $1.8MYang Xu, PhD, a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences, also studies heart failure and will conduct research into using human embryonic stem cells to produce a renewable source of human cardiomyocytes.

At Scripps Research Institute La Jolla, this stem cell researcher was funded:

  • $4.3M, Peter Schultz, PhD, professor of Chemistry, will engage in research to treat multiple sclerosis.

At the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, there was this award:

  • $1.7M, David Schubert, PhD, professor of Cellular Neurobiology, will continue his research into Alzheimer's disease.

In a move to expand its global collaborative research arm, the CIRM has funded first-ever projects with Australia and with China, plus a new project with Germany. According to CIRM president Alan Trounson:

“Our collaborative funding program brings together the best researchers around the world. These partnerships are critical in engaging the best minds and enabling the elite scientists of the world to work together to drive research towards the clinic for patients. Our 25 collaborative projects with nine funding partners have so far leveraged more than $65 million in funding for stem cell research projects worldwide. The sun now never sets on the CIRM collaborative projects and scientists are stretching out to one another across the globe to achieve discoveries that will be game changing in medicine.”

UCSD celebrated the opening of its ultra-modern, $127M, 150,000sf Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine building – dubbed a “collaboratory” – in December of last year. It is located on the UC San Diego campus on Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, adjacent to the Salk Institute.

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[UCSD's new stem cell research building, Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications]

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. was founded 20 years ago to bring scientific events and new technologies to life science researchers at UCSD. Now a nationwide science tradeshow and marketing company, we still hold our popular flagship San Diego Biotechnology Vendor Showcase™ event twice annually on the La Jolla campus, with investigators attending from across the life science community, including affiliate institutions like Scripps Research and the Salk Institute.

Our next BVS expo takes place August 23, 2012. For information on exhibiting and a free funding report, click the button below:

ucsd research

Tags: CA, Stem cell research, Southwest, 2012, Scripps, San Diego, SDVS, UC San Diego, La Jolla, Biotechnology Vendor Showcase, CIRM, San Diego Biotechnology

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