Four prominent researchers from UCLA’s Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have received Early Translational research awards totaling approximately $13 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) the state stem cell agency. The UCLA researchers received four of the 12 total awards; no other applicant institution received more than one award.

Dr. Jerome Zack professor of medicine and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Dr. Robert Reiter, Bing professor of urologic research; Dr. Donald Kohn professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the life sciences; and Dr. Gerald Lipshutz, associate professor-in-residence of surgery, urology and medicine each received grants that were announced at the meeting of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, CIRM’s governing body, in La Jolla, CA on August 28, 2013.

The grants are part of CIRM’s Early Translational Research Initiative, which aims to fund and advance promising, innovative discoveries using stem cells. In this “early translation” phase, scientists are expected to do research that will result in the development of drugs or cellular therapies to be used in FDA-approved clinical trials; translating discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

“Our CIRM grants highlight the excellence of the UCLA bench-to-bedside research program,” said Dr. Owen Witte, director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center.