December 2009 Digest

CIRM December Digest

At the December 10 meeting of the ICOC Governing Board, CIRM expanded its training program to include two additional grants in the Training II program and five additional grants in the Bridges program.

Robert Klein, chair of the Governing Board, said funding these additional programs is an important step in ensuring that California has a well-trained stem cell workforce. “Training is critical to our mission of developing new therapies,” he said. “During a time when the state is having to cut funding to higher education, our agency is bridging part of the gap, ensuring that highly qualified students receive the training they need to fill the high-tech stem cell research jobs of the future.”


In December the 400th research papers published with CIRM funding was published by researchers at the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco. This milestone marks how far the field has come in the five years since the organization’s first board meeting (December 17, 2004), and in the three years since the organization has been funding research. Congratulations to all CIRM grantees on the remarkable progress!


CIRM released the CIRM Research Leadership Awards, which will support robust and innovative stem cell research programs of the most promising researchers newly recruited to California. These awards will enable universities and research institutions to attract the very best stem cell scientists, with a focus on those who are early-to-mid career but have already established themselves as independent investigators and emerging national or international leaders in the stem cell field.

New Videos

The videos of a Spotlight on Basic Research, presented to the CIRM Governing Board in August, are now posted. This Spotlight, with talks by Irv Weissman from Stanford University and Arturo Alvarez-Buylla of UCSF, highlights the importance of funding basic science in the quest for new cures for disease.