Stem cell research

Scientists at the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center received the largest number of awards funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s governing Board on May 19, 2016, under the Discovery Inception program. This program provides seed funding to support the exploration of transformational ideas that hold the potential to greatly impact the field of human stem cell research.

Out of 19 awards funded, UCLA researchers received five; more than any other institution.

Research descriptions
1. Dr. Stanley Carmichael, Bill Lowry and Tatiana Segura will use pluripotent stem cells – which can become any cell type in the body – to see if they can help repair the damage caused by a stroke, which is the leading cause of adult disability.

2. Ben Novitch will create three-dimensional ‘mini brains’ from pluripotent stem cells to study brain function and test drugs for neurological diseases, which are among the most debilitating medical conditions.

3. Dr. Arjun Deb will work to identify special tissue-specific stem cells in the heart that are capable of regenerating healthy heart tissue in order to reduce or reverse scarring after a heart attack.

4. April Pyle will use pluripotent stem cells to create muscle stem cells, and study ways for delivering the muscle stem cells as future treatments for patients with muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophies.

5. Dr. Witte and Bryan Smith will work to identify proteins found on the surface of both human prostate stem cells and cancer cells, and study how those proteins could potentially be targeted with drugs, which could help patients with advanced prostate cancer.

These awards funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will help researchers conduct critical basic research in promising areas that may lead to future treatments and cures.

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Tiare Dunlap
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