UC Davis Gets $2.8M Stem Cell Grant
Sacramento Business Journal - 1:39 PM PDT Thursday, June 7, 2007
by Celia Lamb
The University of California Davis has won a three-year, $2.8 million grant to build an embryonic stem cell research laboratory adjacent to its primate research center in Davis.
The grant is part of $50 million awarded Tuesday by the governing board of the state's stem cell agency to 17 academic and nonprofit institutions in the state.
The university's 2,500-square-foot Translational Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Facility will support studies on how stem cells become blood cells, whether they could be used to treat diseases such as sickle cell anemia and heart disease and the potential for regenerating damaged organs.
Other studies at the facility will focus on using biomedical imaging methods to monitor the movement of stem cells injected into non-human primates and eventually humans.
"The connection with our primate research center is what makes this facility so distinctive," said Alice Tarantal, a professor of pediatrics who will direct programs at the new facility, in a press release. "Studies with non-human primates are essential for addressing key questions that cannot be answered in other species. The safety data in such studies is vastly superior to other animal models, which is why this type of facility is absolutely needed for human embryonic stem cell research before any attempts are made in clinical trials for humans."
Embryonic stem cells can multiply indefinitely and differentiate into cells that build specific tissues such as blood, nerves and muscles. UC Davis has more than 20 scientists in Davis and Sacramento working on a variety of stem cell investigations.
The new facility will include studies for researchers at other institutions in the state, including UC Merced, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Stanford University.
UC Davis is also building a 100,000-square-foot stem cell research center in Sacramento for the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Research Center, which focuses on stem cell treatments for childhood diseases.
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