California’s state stem cell agency extends its collaborative research funding network to South America

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency created by Proposition 71, signed Memoranda of Understanding with state funding agencies in Brazil and Argentina that will foster collaborations between stem cell researchers in California and those in the two South American countries.

The agreement with Brazil was signed March 26 in Sao Paulo by CIRM President Alan Trounson and Glaucius Oliva, President of Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. Trounson signed the agreement with Argentina March 28 in Buenos Aires along with Lino Baranao, Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation of Argentina.

“Both Brazil and Argentina have strong and robust stem cell research communities in basic science and translational clinical science, which should create exciting synergies with many scientists and projects in California and help us further leverage California’s investment in the field for the good of patients in North and South America,” said Trounson.

Both agreements will facilitate funding collaborative research projects between California experts and experts in their respective countries. CIRM would fund the California portions of the work and the South American agencies would fund the portion performed in their jurisdictions. The agreements also call for exploring opportunities for exchange programs for active researchers and trainees, and for considering joint seminars, conferences and workshops to foster collaborations.

“This agreement goes in the same direction our Ministry works about stem cells research: we give funds to a critical mass of researchers in the area but we also work actively through our Assessment Committee in Stem Cells to inform the community about which are the authorized treatments with stem cells and what is the status of research in the field,” said Argentine Minister Baranao. “We intend to achieve indeed a complete approach of the issue.”

For CIRM this agreement builds on the largest and most active network of stem cell researchers in the world, which includes 17 other national and international Collaborative Funding Partner agreements the agency has developed in:

Europe—the MRC in the United Kingdom, BMBF in Germany, the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies in the Spanish state of Andalusia, the French National Research Agency, the MICINN in Spain and Scottish Enterprise in Scotland;

North America—the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium in Canada, the state of Maryland, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Keystone Symposia group.

Asia Pacific Region—the state of Victoria in Australia, JST in Japan, MOST in China, inSTEM in India, and the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia.

About CIRM: CIRM was established in November 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. A list of grants and loans awarded to date may be seen here: