UCLA center receives a $19.8 million state grant to build new facilities for stem cell research

Facilities to be built without federal funding, freeing researchers to conduct human embryonic stem cell research
By Kim Irwin | May 07, 2008 Awards & Funding Center News

UCLA’s stem cell center today received $19,854,900 from the state to build new facilities to conduct human embryonic stem cell research.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which administers Proposition 71 stem cell research funds, awarded the grant for UCLA to create a CIRM Institute, one of three types of facilities for which institutions statewide were allowed to submit grant applications. CIRM Institutes received the largest grants and will focus on basic and discovery stem cell research, preclinical translational research and preclinical development and clinical research.

UCLA officials will use the grant to create space that will include research labs, core facilities for such tasks as computational and bioinformatics analysis of stem cells and bioengineering for stem cell growth, and career development space for young clinical faculty.

"The new facilities are adjacent to biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and clinical/translational research programs, providing an opportunity for the kind of innovative, cross-disciplinary research that UCLA does so well," said Dr. Owen Witte, director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA.

The facilities will accommodate both senior and junior faculty members interested in a wide range of stem cell research problems.

The grant recommendations were made today at the meeting of the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, CIRM's governing board.

Witte said the grant will allow UCLA to expand its burgeoning stem cell research program.

"This will enable us to further add to our growing and already successful stem cell research program," said Witte, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Successful applicant institutions were required to provide a minimum of 20% in matching funds.

The stem cell center was launched in 2005 with a UCLA commitment of $20 million over five years. A $20 million gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in 2007 resulted in the renaming of the center.

With more than 150 members, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research is committed to a multi-disciplinary, integrated collaboration of scientific, academic and medical disciplines for the purpose of understanding adult and human embryonic stem cells.