November 2009 Digest

CIRM November Digest

In this new video, Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Stem Cell Program and Institute for Regenerative Cures, describes how their new state-of-the-art facility will move researchers toward cures for Huntington's disease, hearing loss, heart disease, peripheral artery disease and others.

CIRM has the goal of both accelerating new therapies for debilitating diseases and also creating economic development in the state. The Major Facilities grants fulfill both promises: creating state of the art space for carrying out stem cell research and providing thousands of construction jobs throughout the state. The $272 million in funds from CIRM leveraged roughly $800 million in private investment and institutional commitments.

The University of California, Davis facility includes a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice lab, where the new stem cell therapies can be manufactured according to FDA standards.

New Feature Story: Macular Degeneration

Stem cell scientists in California and around the world are closing in on new therapies for macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the U.S.

The multimedia feature includes a story about progress toward a stem cell-based cure, a video featuring CIRM grantee Mark Humayun discussing his research and an interview with Virginia Knepper Doyle, an artist living with macular degeneration.


New Funding Opportunities

In November CIRM released a new request for applications (RFA): CIRM Stem Cell Transplantation Immunology Awards

The potential for stem cells to replace or restore tissues lost to injury or disease represents one of the most promising outcomes of regenerative medicine. However, rejection of stem cell grafts by the immune system remains a concern. The purpose of the CIRM Stem Cell Transplantation Immunology Awards is to fund transformative research leading to the development of immune tolerance of pluripotent stem cell derivatives and potential correction of autoimmunity.

The state of Victoria, Australia and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) are each participating as a Funding Partner.

November CIRMResearch Blog Entries

CIRM's blog at provides updates about exciting new developments by our grantees.