Stem Cell Agency Earmarks $50.5 Million for Research Facilities
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's oversight board on Tuesday voted to distribute 17 grants worth a total of $50.5 million to help build stem cell facilities devoted to human embryonic stem cell research, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/6).
California voters in 2004 approved Proposition 71 to create CIRM and to provide $3 billion in taxpayer funding over 10 years for stem cell research.
Projects dealing with human embryonic stem cells are a high priority for CIRM because federal funds for such research are restricted. The new facilities grants will help finance construction of research space where scientists can work with human embryonic stem cells ineligible for federal funds (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 6/6).
The grants include $42.6 million for constructing research facilities and purchasing capital equipment, while $7.8 million will support training programs at six of the facilities (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/6).
A total of 22 facilities in California had applied for funding under the shared research facilities grants.
The grants represent the fourth round of grants issued by CIRM, increasing the total state funding to more than $208 million (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/6). The latest round also is the last to be financed through a state loan issued while funding for the agency was frozen pending the outcome of a lawsuit.
The funds are expected to be spent in six months to two years. CIRM could adjust the total amount of funding after a closer review of the projects in the next few weeks.
The grant recipients include:
- Buck Institute for Age Research;
- Burnham Institute for Medical Research;
- Salk Institute for Biological Studies;
- Scripps Research Institute;
- Stanford University; and
- Eight UC campuses (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/6).