UCLA scientists received seven of 72 seed grants awarded today by the state to fund stem cell research, the first money distributed for work on human embryonic stem cells since California voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004. Seed grant funding totaled $45 million.

The seven UCLA grants total more than $4 million over two years. More than half of the applications submitted by UCLA scientists were approved for funding. In all, scientists affiliated with the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at UCLA (ISCBM) applied for 11 seed grants.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state organization overseeing Proposition 71 funding, received 231 applications for seed grants totaling $138.3 million from scientists at 36 non-profit institutions across the state.

Dr. Owen Witte, a renowned scientist and director of the ISCBM, said he is pleased that so many UCLA scientists secured state funding for their research projects.

“This is a testament to the leading-edge research being proposed by UCLA stem cell scientists, who rank among the very best in their field,” Witte said. “UCLA’s highly collaborative atmosphere allowed our scientists to develop innovative interdisciplinary research projects that bring expertise from all areas of the campus to bear on this important scientific endeavor.”

Funded grants at UCLA include: