Dr. Brigitte Gomperts, a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and associate professor of pediatric hematology/oncology, received a Tissue Collection for Disease Modeling grant of over $900,000 from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The award will support the collection of blood from patients with a progressive and potentially fatal lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and the blood will be used to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). iPSC can become any cell in the body, similar to embryonic stem cells, but instead of coming from human embryos, scientists induce skin or blood cells back to a pluripotent state in the laboratory.

The new award is part of a larger CIRM collaborative initiative that will generate and ensure the availability of high-quality, disease-specific iPSC through a Stem Cell Repository, or bank. The CIRM Stem Cell Repository, will make the new disease-specific iPSC available to qualified and approved scientists to study and create disease-in-a-dish models, targets for therapy, and discover and develop new drugs to treat disease.

To date, UCLA and its stem cell scientists have received 60 grants from CIRM totaling more than $189 million.

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