UCR Receives $2.8 Million Grant for Stem Cell Core Facility


UCR Awarded Stem Cell Research Facility Grant $2,795,473 will fund new laboratory on campus
(UCR News: June 5, 2007)


RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside has been awarded a stem cell research facility grant of $2,795,473 by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s stem cell research initiative.

CIRM today approved grants totaling more than $50 million to finance construction of shared research laboratories at 17 academic and non-profit institutions. These facilities are scheduled to be complete and available to researchers within six months to two years of the grant awards.

The grant to UCR will fund dedicated laboratory space, to be built adjacent to Noel T. Keen Hall, for the culture of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), particularly those that fall outside federal guidelines. (Current federal policy prohibits research involving hESCs isolated after August 2001 from being conducted in laboratories constructed with any federal funding.) The grant will support the development of a core laboratory to be used by multiple investigators, and provide an environment for scientific research on hESCs under CIRM’s medical and ethical standards.

The grant also will provide UCR with funds for the design and renovation of laboratory space, equipment for the new research facilities, and operating expenses for three years. Operating expenses include salaries for technical personnel and supplies to grow and maintain the stem cells.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant that will help support our stem cell research program,” said Prudence Talbot, interim director of the Stem Cell Center at UCR. “It will provide 1700 square feet of lab space for our faculty to do research on hESCs and to train postdoctoral researchers and students. Moreover, the lab will be able to provide hESCs for researchers who want to work with them on campus.”

The shared laboratory grants awarded by CIRM require applicant institutions to provide at least a 20 percent match of the total cost for renovation and equipment. Recipients will receive funding for construction and equipment, in addition to three-years operating expenses. CIRM received 22 applications for the grants.

The grants are the final piece of the first CIRM research initiative, Innovation in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which is intended to advance human embryonic stem cell research in California. The initiative was approved by the CIRM governing board in August 2006, following California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s authorization of a $150 million General Fund loan to the Institute. The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), the CIRM governing board, approved more than $158 million for two sets of scientific research grants this past February and March.

The $2,795,473 that the ICOC approved to UCR is the three-year budget requested by the campus. It is subject to review and revision by CIRM, prior to the issuance of grant awards.

In February, two researchers at UCR received CIRM funding totaling $1,139,456 for research on the growth of human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.

Governed by the ICOC, CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was approved by California voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. CIRM is the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.


Colonies of mouse embryonic stem cells.  Image credit: Sabrina Lin, UCR


Colonies of mouse embryonic stem cells. Image credit: Sabrina Lin, UCR


An embryoid body (or aggregate) of stem cells.  Image credit: Sabrina Lin, UCR.


An embryoid body (or aggregate) of stem cells. Image credit: Sabrina Lin, UCR.




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