The institute's governing board announced a total of $50 million in grants on Tuesday, June 5. The grant to UC Santa Barbara is for $2.26 million over three years and will be used to support the design and development of a shared laboratory to expand existing stem cell studies and to stimulate new investigations of the biology and engineering of stems cells at UCSB and other nearby research institutions.
"The new shared stem cell lab will be a crucial cornerstone for stem cell research at UC Santa Barbara and at neighboring institutions on the Central Coast," said Dennis O. Clegg, a professor and chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. "Over 20 researchers from UCSB, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, and Cottage Hospital have plans to use the facility, and it will allow us to use newer human embryonic stem cell lines that are federally restricted."
The CIRM grants will help fund the design and renovation or construction of laboratory spaces as well as equipment for the new facilities and operating expenses.
UC Santa Barbara was also among the institutions to receive a grant from CIRM in 2006 for the training of pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and clinical fellows.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was approved by California voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities. The CIRM is the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world.
More information, including the CIRM press release announcing the new grants, is available on the institution's Web site, http://www.cirm.ca.gov