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UCI receives $674,000 from state for stem cell training
First California grants for stem cell research will fund student training
Irvine, Calif., April 10, 2006
UC Irvine has received more than $674,000 in state funds from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for training students in the basic biology, ethics, policy and clinical applications of stem cell research. The funds are part of a $12.1 million disbursement to institutions across the state, the first to be awarded by CIRM for stem cell research.
The money is part of a $2 million grant over three years promised to UCI for educating new stem cell researchers. The university was one of 16 institutions approved to receive funding for these training grants in 2005. UCI will use the funds for the first-year training of eight predoctoral and four postdoctoral students, who will study stem cell biology, its clinical applications, and ethical and policy issues related to the use of stem cells.
“We’re pleased that these funds are now available and can be used to train the next generation of top researchers and clinicians in the field of stem cell research,” said Peter Donovan, interim co-director of UCI’s Stem Cell Research Center. “For this research to move forward and yield new therapies, we need our best and brightest young scientists to get the education they need in this emerging research area.”
The funding for this initial award of training grants comes from the sale of $14 million of Bond Anticipation Notes to six California philanthropic entities. The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Finance Committee approved the BANs last week.
In 2004, voters approved the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act (Proposition 71), which is to provide $3 billion in funding for stem cell research. The state’s ability to sell general obligation bonds to finance the act has been impeded by legal challenges to Prop. 71. The litigation is expected to conclude next spring. The BANs will be repaid when the general obligation bonds are issued.
With the training grants, UCI continues its development as one of the premier centers for stem cell research in California. The university plans to construct a $60 million Stem Cell Research Institute facility aimed at propelling stem cell technology from the research lab to the clinic.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
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