Stem Cell Pioneer To Build Lab in San Francisco
A world-renowned Japanese stem cell researcher on Thursday announced he is opening a laboratory at the J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, a significant step in the state's bid to become an international center for regenerative medicine experts, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University said he decided to open the lab in California because there would be less government interference in his research. Yamanaka is studying how adult cells can be programmed to act like embryonic ones, research that could lead to disease- and patient-specific cell lines in the search for new treatments.
Officials at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, created under Proposition 71 in 2004 to manage the $3 billion research efforts, said Yamanaka's move demonstrates the success of the initiative.
CIRM noted that at least 14 established stem cell researchers since 2005 have moved to California, and another six, such as Yamanaka, have part-time positions with medical research facilities in the state.
Interim CIRM director Arlene Chiu said she expects that researchers, using both embryonic and stem cell lines, will continue to be attracted to the state because of the research competition and availability of public and private resources (Ostrom, San Jose Mercury News, 8/17).