ICOC Approves New Request for Applications for 14 New Faculty Awards Alan O. Trounson Officially Welcomed as New CIRM President

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., January 17, 2008 The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) today announced that the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) approved a new Request for Application (RFA) concept for New Faculty Awards II. These awards will fund promising scientists and physician-scientists in the critical early stages of their careers as independent researchers.

  In December CIRM’s New Faculty Awards initiative (RFA 07-02) provided more than $54 million in grants to 22 young scientists and physician-scientists. Because CIRM is committed to supporting the recruitment of brilliant new faculty into the stem cell field to assure a broad, state-wide, intellectual foundation for this frontier of medical research, the ICOC has approved a new RFA for up to 14 additional New Faculty Awards.

The New Faculty Awards II will have an authorized budget of up to $41 million and will provide salary and research support for up to five years to help create a stable environment for building innovative and robust stem cell programs. The RFA is expected to be released by CIRM in February 2008, with applications reviewed by the Grants Working Group in June 2008 and the ICOC in August 2008.

  Designed to encourage and foster the next generation of clinical and scientific leaders in stem cell research, the New Faculty Awards support research across the full range of stem cell types human and animal, adult and embryonic. The combined funding for the New Faculty Awards I and II will total approximately $95 million.

  In other business, the ICOC officially welcomed Alan O. Trounson, Ph.D. as CIRM&rsqs new president. “We are extraordinarily fortunate to have such world-leading stem cell scientist as Dr. Trounson at the helm of CIRM,” stated Robert N. Klein, chairman of the governing board. “We are particularly excited about the bridges he will help us continue to build with the international research community. In February, Dr. Trounson will lead the agency as we host 21 nation participants in the International Stem Cell Forum. California, as a State, was admitted on an equal basis with other leading nations around the world conducting stem cell research. In California’s role as a global leader, Dr. Trounson has extraordinary credentials to provide the vision required to collaborate and move stem cell therapies closer toward the goal of reducing human suffering, and alleviating chronic disease and injury for California families and the citizens of the world.”

  Sam Hawgood, M.D., Interim Dean of the University of California San Francisco Medical School was also sworn in as a new member of the ICOC.

 About CIRM CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly approved by 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. To date, the CIRM governing board has approved 156 research grants totaling almost $260 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov. 


Contact: Ellen Rose