March 2016 Newsletter
• CIRM 2.0 Funding Opportunities
• CIRM Invests $3.5M in Treatment Focused on High Risk Blood Cancers, Leukemia and Lymphoma
• New Video: Growing Stem Cell Research in California: Todd McDevitt Lab, Gladstone Institutes
• CIRM Holds Workshop to Review Policies on Human Gene Editing
• University of California, Irvine’s Dr. Howard Federoff Joins CIRM Board
• The Latest Publications by CIRM-Funded Researchers
• Upcoming CIRM Events
• CIRM Job Openings
- Apply for our current Infrastructure Projects
- Applications for the Partnering Opportunity to Create a CIRM Accelerating Center RFA (INFR1) are due April 15, 2016.
- Apply for our Partnering Opportunity for Discovery Stage Research Projects
- Applications for the current round of Inception Awards (DISC1) are due November, 2016.
- Applications for the current round of Quest Awards (DISC2) are due March 15, 2016.
- Applications for the current round of Challenge Awards (DISC3) are due March 30, 2016.
- Apply for our Partnering Opportunity for Translational Research Projects
- Applications for the current round of Translational Awards (TRAN1-4) are due July, 2016.
- Apply for our Clinical Trial Stage Projects Applications due on the last business day of each month
- Read about our Partnering Opportunity for Clinical Trial Stage Projects in this Brochure
- Apply for our Conference Grants funding opportunities
- Applications for conference grants are due 90 days prior to the first day of the proposed conference.
On February 18th, the CIRM governing Board awarded Angiocrine Bioscience, a San Diego-based company, almost $3.5 million to fund a program aiming to find a more effective, efficient and safer way to deliver cord blood transplants. While these transplants can be life saving for people battling deadly blood cancers, they can also cause complications that are life-threatening. So the company plans to develop a product called AB-110, which blends an expanded mix of stem cells from cord blood with genetically modified endothelial cells, the kind of cell that forms the lining of blood vessels, to improve the success rate of cord blood transplantation.
- Read our press release
- Read our blog, "New stem cell approach targeting deadly blood cancers"
California's Stem Cell Agency (CIRM) has catalyzed the growth of stem cell research by helping recruit scientists to the state. In February, we produced a video that features Dr. Todd McDevitt, a leading biomedical engineer in stem cell research who recently moved to California as a Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco.
Image: Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley
On February 4th, CIRM's Standards Working Group (SWG), met to review its policies governing the funding and oversight of research involving human genome editing. With new tools like CRISPR making gene editing of human germ cells and embryos possible, the SWG's main objective is to ensure CIRM-funded research continues to be conducted under the highest medical and ethical standards. The meeting included presentations by leading scientists, lawyers and bioethicists in this area.
- Listen to an audio transcript of the meeting
- Read our blog, "Timing is everything: could CRISPR gene editing push CIRM to change its rules on funding stem cell research?"
In February, Dr. Howard Federoff, the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and the CEO of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Health system, was appointed to the CIRM governing Board. Dr. Federoff is Board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology & metabolism. He also has advanced research in the areas of gene therapy and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and prion diseases. He replaces UCI’s Dr. Sue Bryant who stood down in November.
CIRM grantees are making steady progress on understanding the fundamentals of stem cell biology and moving stem cell-based therapies toward clinical trials. Here are examples of CIRM-funded research that were published in February along with press releases from the grantees' home institution and essays from The Stem Cellar, CIRM's official blog:
February 1st - Nature Biotechnology
- CalTech Release: Delivering Genes Across the Blood-Brain Barrier
- CIRM Blog: CREATE-ing tools that deliver genes past the blood-brain barrier
February 3rd - American Journal of Pathology
- UCLA Release: Protein combination improves bone regeneration, UCLA study shows
- CIRM Blog: A Tale of Two Stem Cell Treatments for Growing New Bones
February 8th - Cell Stem Cell
- UCLA Release: Standard method for deriving stem cells may be better for use in regenerative medicine
- CIRM Blog: How you derive embryonic stem cells matters
February 16th - Cell Stem Cell
- UCLA Release: Stem cell gene therapy could be key to treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- CIRM Blog: Family ties help drive UCLA’s search for a stem cell treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
February 22nd - Nature Communications
- The Scripps Research Institute Release: TSRI and JCVI Scientists Find Popular Stem Cell Techniques Safe
- CIRM Blog: CIRM-funded study suggests methods to make pluripotent stem cells are safe
March 16th: CIRM governing Board Meeting
The CIRM governing Board will hold its first in-person meeting of 2016 on Wednesday March 16th in the San Francisco Bay Area. Agendas and details will be posted to the meetings page 10 days before each event. A pdf list of all 2016 CIRM Board meeting dates are available for download.
March 17th: Alpha Clinics Network Symposium, 8am - 5pm
Join the CIRM Alpha Stem Cell Clinics Network for a symposium featuring keynote speakers who have made significant contributions and advancements in stem cell regeneration, repair, reprogramming and stem cell replacement. Meeting highlights include: Innovative basic science presentations, Translational research and clinical implementations, Patient advocate involvement and a stimulating panel discussion. Open to the public. Register on-line to attend. For more details, read the flyer.
The following positions are now open. Follow the links below to apply or go to our jobs page: