Two UCLA scientists today received $5.45 million in grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to conduct leading-edge research that may shed light on the role of stem cells in the development of lung cancer and help to create a cancer-fighting immune system.

The scientists, Drs. Brigitte Gomperts and Antoni Ribas, are part of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. Also members of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UCLA scientists were among 23 researchers from throughout the state chosen to receive New Faculty Awards, designed to encourage and foster the next generation of stem cell researchers.

The awards are part of the second round of New Faculty Awards designed to support scientists establishing careers in stem cell research. In the first round, three UCLA stem cell scientists received $7.5 million in New Faculty Awards.

In all, more than $59 million was awarded today by CIRM to provide salary and research support to young scientists for up to five years.