ICOC APPROVES FIRST STEM CELL GRANTS IN CALIFORNIA CIRM Program Will Train Next Generation of Stem Cell Researchers

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) today approved the first grant proposals submitted to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The institutions named will create the CIRM Training Program in Stem Cell Research, a three-year program to train pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and clinical fellows at 16 institutions across the state.

The program will have an annual budget of approximately $12.5 million, and will train approximately 170 CIRM Scholars each year.

“This is an exciting moment for the CIRM and marks the first step in our scientific program of stem cell research—an accomplishment we have been able to achieve in less than one year as a state agency. The CIRM training program established today will be the most comprehensive training program to date in the field,” said CIRM President Zach Hall, Ph.D. “It will provide a pipeline of highly trained basic and clinical investigators for the research that CIRM will fund in California.”

“I would like to congratulate the ICOC and the Research Funding Working Group for a doing a remarkable job in such a short time-frame. This program is a model for training new investigators in an emerging field and creates the first beneficiaries of the CIRM in California’s universities and research institutions,” said ICOC Chairman Bob Klein. “We are thrilled to be a position to move ahead with this vital research.”

“The Research Funding Working Group was impressed by the quality of the training grant applications and the processes put in place by the administrative staff of the CIRM. The citizens of California should take pride in this first step and can be assured that the training of new researchers will benefit the field of stem cells.” said Stuart Orkin, M.D., Chair of the Research Funding Working Group and the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Institution   Approved
  1 Yr 3 Yr
  Pre Post Clinical Estimated Budget Estimated
Burnham Institute 0 6 0 $484,880 $1,489,640
California Institute of Technology 0 10 0 $772,860 $2,318,580
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 0 7 3 $796,942 $2,390,826
Scripps Research Institute 3 3 0 $349,800 $1,059,300
Stanford University 6 5 5 $1,234,621 $3,733,707
The J. Gladstone Institutes 0 7 3 $799,080 $2,397,240
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies 0 6 0 $498,960 $1,496,880
University of California, Berkeley 6 4 2 $843,270 $2,529,810
University of California, Davis 4 4 4 $894,300 $2,682,900
University of California, Irvine 8 4 0 $666,615 $2,039,845
University of California, Los Angeles 5 5 6 $1,250,000 $3,750,000
University of California, San Diego 6 4 6 $1,227,783 $3,683,349
University of California, San Francisco 6 6 4 $1,184,875 $3,620,652
University of California, Santa Barbara 2 4 0 $431,823 $1,343,859
University of California, Santa Cruz 3 3 0 $400,349 $1,217,132
University of Southern California 5 2 2 $706,143 $3,158,532
TOTAL 54 80 35 $12,542,301 $38,912,252

Background on the CIRM Training Program in Stem Cell Research

Three levels of approvals will accommodate training programs at small and large institutions throughout California:

  • Comprehensive training programs will educate scholars at the pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and clinical levels. A Type I institutional grant will support up to 16CIRM Scholars and operate on a total budget of up to $1.25 million per year.
  • Intermediate training programs will offer training at two of the three levels of education mentioned above. Type II grants may support up to ten CIRM Scholars at a given institution with a total budget of $800,000.
  • will fund up to six CIRM Scholars at a total budget of $500,000.

Designed to take advantage of the different strengths of California research institutions, the Training Program will educate fellows from a variety of scientific backgrounds, ranging from computation and molecular biology to nanotechnology to clinical medicine. All programs are required to offer at least one course in stem cell biology and disease as well as a course in the social, legal and ethical implications of stem cell research. Institutions were explicitly encouraged to promote interaction among trainees from different fields, especially those trained in basic science and clinical medicine. Because of the diversity of the California population, the CIRM also placed a premium on training a diverse pool of investigators.

The new program will be funded through bond anticipation notes (BANs), a form of bridge financing, which is designed to be purchased by philanthropic individuals and institutions. It is the goal of the ICOC’s financing team to proceed with the first BANs issuance in October 2005 for this program. The CIRM is currently prevented from issuing bonds by litigation brought by opponents of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

About CIRM

Governed by the ICOC, CIRM was established in 2004 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The statewide ballot measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions, was approved by California 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. For more information, please visit www.cirm.ca.gov.


CIRM Contact: Nicole Pagano
  (415) 396-9100