August 2012 Newsletter

CIRM August Newsletter

CIRM Governing Board Commits $150 Million To Develop New Therapies

UC Davis Disease Teams and patient advocates celebrate approval of grant applications

On July 26th, the CIRM governing board approved $150 million in new funding to help move promising stem cell-based therapies from the laboratory research phase to clinical trials in people. The grants, up to $20 million per applicant, go to teams of researchers in both academia and industry who have been working on projects that represent the best possible chances of producing therapies for deadly and disabling diseases and disorders which include Huntington’s disease, metastatic melanoma, osteoporosis, critical limb ischemia, spinal cord injury, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and cardiovascular disease. The funding is part of the Disease Team II awards which are designed to encourage multidisciplinary teams of researchers from academic institutions, medical centers and industry to work together and to develop new treatments for a broad range of therapies.

CIRM Releases New Funding Initiative to Speed Disease Research

On July 10th, CIRM released three new Requests for Applications (RFAs) as part of the human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) Initiative. The overall goal of the Initiative is to generate and ensure the availability of high quality disease-specific hiPSC resources for disease modeling, target discovery and drug discovery and development for prevalent, genetically complex diseases. The hiPSC Initiative consists of RFA 12-02: CIRM Tissue Collection for Disease Modeling Awards; RFA 12-03: CIRM hiPSC Derivation Award; and RFA 12-04: CIRM hPSC Repository Award

New Video: Alzheimer's Questions Answered by UCSD's Larry Goldstein

In this first installment of CIRM TV's "Ask the Expert" video series, CIRM grantee Larry Goldstein of the University of California, San Diego answers questions about finding stem cell-based therapies for Alzheimer's disease. The questions were sent in by followers of CIRM's Facebook, Twitter, and research blog. Dr. Goldstein is director of the UC San Diego stem cell program.

CIRM HIV/AIDS Disease Team Featured on Radio Program

In late July, CIRM grantee Paula Cannon of the University of Southern California was interviewed by National Public Radio's San Francisco affiliate for their Quest science program during the International AIDS conference held in Washington, D.C. Dr. Cannon is part of a CIRM Disease Team that is developing a stem cell-based treatment for HIV/AIDS. Cannon’s team expects to start testing their approach in clinical trials within the next few years.

CIRM Brings Together Future Stem Cell Scientists for Annual Meeting

Joy Arakaki of San Francisco State Univ. discusses her Stanford Univ. research internship at the 2012 Bridges Trainee Meeting

On July 16th and 17th, CIRM held its annual Bridges Trainee Meeting in downtown San Francisco. The conference brings together more than 150 of the Bridges to Stem Cell Research students along with some of the leading stem cell researchers from around California. It’s a chance for these undergraduate and master's level students to present research results from their internships. Over the past few years CIRM has invested more than $50 million in this program, helping more than 350 students to do great research at 57 different academic institutions and biotech companies around California.

1000 and Counting: The Latest Publications on CIRM-funded Research

With over 1000 publications and counting, CIRM grantees are making steady progress on understanding the molecular basis of stem cell biology and moving stem cell-based therapies toward clinical trials. Here is a partial list of science journals that published CIRM-funded research in July along with links to press releases or blog entries from the CIRM grantees' home institutions:

July 1st - Nature

July 9th - PLoS One

July 16th - Journal of Clinical Investigation

July 18th - Nature

Upcoming Events


ICOC Governing Board Meeting

Sept 5th & 6th: The CIRM governing board will hold its fifth meeting of 2012 at the Crown Plaza SFO-International Airport Hotel in Burlingame, CA. You can get location and agenda details by watching our meetings page. The agenda will be posted 10 days before the meeting. You can also sign up to receive announcements about CIRM meetings on our website.  

Upcoming Requests for Applications (RFAs) Schedule

RFA 12-02: CIRM Disease Modeling Awards - Letter of Intent (LOI) due 5:00 pm (PDT), August 14, 2012
RFA 12-03: CIRM hiPSC Derivation Award - Letter of Intent (LOI) due 5:00 pm (PDT), August 14, 2012
RFA 12-04: CIRM hPSC Bank Award- Letter of Intent (LOI) due 5:00 pm (PDT), August 14, 2012
RFA 12-06: CIRM Genomics Award - Anticipated release date: August 2012
RFA 12-07: CIRM Early Translational IV Research Awards - Anticipated release date: September 2012