Dr. Sophie Deng

  • Prominent UCLA clinician scientist Dr. Sophie Deng awarded $700k CIRM Bridging Supplement Award
  • Recognized for her project to treat blinding corneal disorder called limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD)
  • Award enables most promising CIRM-funded projects to achieve significant transformative results
  • Success of her project will provide the basis for new investigational drug applications to the FDA and the initiation of human clinical trials.

Dr. Sophie Deng, a prominent clinician scientist at UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, has been awarded a Bridging Supplement Award of $699,983 from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, recognizing her cutting-edge, innovative research.

Dr. Deng, noted by CIRM as a leader in the field, is a corneal specialist and associate professor of ophthalmology at UCLA. She was one of only two California investigators to receive CIRM Bridging Fund grants. She was awarded a CIRM Early Translational II grant in 2010, totaling $1.6 million, for her project to regenerate functional human corneal epithelial progenitor cells to treat a blinding corneal disorder called limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). The new Bridge grant acknowledges the critical success of her project to-date and will provide the basis for new investigational drug applications to the FDA that will combine biology and engineering tools to efficiently expand and regenerate patient–specific limbal stem cells for transplantation to treat blindness through the initiation of human clinical trials.