Basic Biology V

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RFA 13-02: CIRM Basic Biology Awards V

The goal of the CIRM Basic Biology Initiative is to foster cutting-edge research tackling significant, unresolved issues in human stem cell biology, with emphasis on unraveling the key cellular and molecular mechanisms that dictate cell fate. Due to the urgency and breadth of CIRM’s mission, the Basic Biology Awards V will support two categories of basic research, each with a unique potential to advance the stem cell field.

Track 1) The Fundamental Mechanisms Awards will target rigorous studies elucidating basic molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying key human stem cell properties and behaviors. These awards will also support studies utilizing human stem cell- or reprogrammed cell-based in vitro models to gain novel insights about disease mechanisms and other medically relevant processes.

Track 2) The Exploratory Concepts Awards will target stem cell or reprogrammed cell studies testing highly novel hypotheses that if proven, would challenge dogma and result in a transformative discovery for the stem cell field.

While both types of Basic Biology Awards support basic research into stem cell biology and related science, the scope and priorities differ between the tracks, as detailed in the RFA. The applicant Principal Investigator must choose which of the two tracks is most relevant for the proposed research, as only one Preliminary Application may be submitted per Principal Investigator.

This RFA includes participation by members of CIRM’s Collaborative Funding Partner (CFP) Program. Appendices A-C describe additional requirements and procedures for applicants whose proposals include a request for funding from a CFP.

Please see the full RFA for details.
RFA 13-02: CIRM Basic Biology Awards V [pdf] (GWG Review and ICOC dates amended as of 6.25.13)


Application Process

Submission of an application for the CIRM Basic Biology Awards V RFA involves a two-step process. An eligible PI may submit one Preliminary Application (PreApp), either through the Fundamental Mechanisms track or the Exploratory Concepts track, but not both. PreApps will be evaluated by scientific specialists from outside California who are experts in specific areas of research described in the PreApp and by CIRM scientific staff, based on the scientific review criteria described in section IX of this RFA. Applicants whose projects are judged as most promising, competitive, and responsive to the RFA will be invited to submit a full application. All other applicants will be deferred, with the opportunity to apply in response to a future RFA.

Preliminary Application (PreApp) Instructions

PreApps must be submitted online via the CIRM Grants Management Portal at

Each PI may submit only a single PreApp for this RFA.
The deadline for submission is 5:00 pm (PDT) on March 11, 2013. No exceptions to this deadline will be made.

To submit a Preliminary Application:
1. Go to the Grants Management Portal ( and log in with your existing CIRM Username and Password. If you do not have a Username, click on the “New User” link and follow the instructions to create a CIRM Username and Password.
2. After logging in, click on the “Open Programs” tab located at the far left on the menu bar, and look for the section labeled “RFAs and Programs Open for Applications“. Click on the “Start a Preliminary Application” link corresponding to the Basic Biology Awards V RFA and track (Fundamental Mechanisms or Exploratory Concepts). Although you will be able to start a Preliminary Application through either track, you will only be permitted to submit through one.
3. Complete each section by clicking on the appropriate link and following the posted instructions. Proposal and signature page template can be found in the “Upload Required Documents” section.
4. To submit your preliminary application, click on the “Done with Preliminary Application” button. The “Done with Preliminary Application” will be enabled when all required sections have been completed and the signature page uploaded. Please note that once “Done with Preliminary Application” has been selected, you will no longer be able to make changes to your PreApp.
5. To confirm submission of your Preliminary Application, go back to your home page and check the list under the section labeled “Your Submitted Applications“. You will see your Preliminary Application number and project title entered for RFA 13-02 Basic Biology Awards V once the submission process has been completed.

Full Application Process

Full Applications will only be accepted from applicants who 1) submitted a Preliminary Application and 2) are invited by CIRM to submit a full application.

The application for the CIRM Basic Biology V RFA consists of three parts:

  • Part A: Application Information Form (Web-based form)
  • Part B: Proposal (MS Word template)
  • Part C: Biographical Sketches and Letters of Support (MS Word template)


All three parts of the full Application for CIRM Basic Biology Awards V must be submitted together and received by CIRM no later than 5:00 pm (PDT) on June 27, 2013, via the CIRM Grants Management Portal. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet this deadline; no exceptions will be made.


Schedule of CIRM Deadlines and Reviews Date
Pre-Applications due 5:00 pm (PDT), March 11, 2013
Invitations for Full Applications sent out by CIRM May 24, 2013
Full Applications due 5:00 pm (PDT), June 27, 2013
Scientific Review of Applications by Grants Working Group (GWG)  October, 2013
Review and Approval by ICOC January, 2014 
Earliest Funding of Awards March, 2014

No exceptions will be made to the indicated deadlines.


For information about this RFA and the review process:

Gilberto R. Sambrano, Ph.D
Associate Director, Review
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Phone: (415) 396-9103


ICOC Approval:
January 29, 2014
Total Awards:
Award Value:


Institution Investigator Grant Title Award Value
University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Bennett G Novitch In vitro modeling of human motor neuron disease $1,148,758
Stanford University Dr. Helen M Blau Mass Cytometry to Delineate the Human Muscle Stem Cell Hierarchy and Dysfunction in Aging $1,175,357
Stanford University Dr. Marius Wernig MD, PhD Mechanisms of human induced neuronal cell reprogramming $1,178,370
University of California, Irvine Dr. Peter J Donovan Non-invasive live imaging of stem cell signature metabolic states $516,366
Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research Dr. Thomas A. Rando Molecular regulation of stem cell potency $966,510
University of California, Merced Dr. Kara E McCloskey Directed Differentiation of Specialized Endothelial Cells $475,686
University of California, San Francisco Dr. Valerie Marie Weaver Biophysical Determinants of Early Embryonic Stem Cell Fate Specification $1,186,500
California Institute of Technology Dr. David Anthony Tirrell Engineered matrices for control of lineage commitment in human pancreatic stem cells $526,896
Salk Institute for Biological Studies Ronald Mark Evans Metabolically-driven epigenetic changes in iPSC reprogramming $1,491,900
University of California, San Diego Dr. Dianne McKay Role of intracytoplasmic pattern recognition receptors in HSC engraftment $615,639
Stanford University Dr. Gary Steinberg Paracrine and synaptic mechanisms underlying neural stem cell-mediated stroke recovery $1,178,370
University of California, San Diego Christian Metallo Metabolic regulation of cardiac differentiation and maturation $1,124,834
University of California, Los Angeles Dr Samantha J Butler Ph.D. Assessing the mechanism by which the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins direct stem cell fate $515,730
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Paul W Noble Innate Immune Regulation of Lung Alveolar Stem Cell Renewal in Mouse and Man $617,662
Gladstone Institutes, J. David Sheng Ding PhD A novel druggable mechanism to safeguard stem cell genome $1,294,495
University of California, San Francisco Dr. Mark S. Anderson Generation of a functional thymus to induce immune tolerance to stem cell derivatives $1,191,000
University of California, Irvine Dr. Lisa A Flanagan Molecular basis of plasma membrane characteristics reflecting stem cell fate potential $994,108
University of California, San Diego Maike Sander Defining links between chromatin state and developmental competence $1,050,300
University of Southern California Dr. Denis A Evseenko Dr. Promoting survival and countering hypertrophy of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived chondrocytes $735,138
University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Denis A Evseenko Dr. Promoting survival and countering hypertrophy of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived chondrocytes $411,330
University of California, San Diego Miles F Wilkinson New Regulators of Spermatogonial Stem Cells: RHOX Homeobox Transcription Factors $552,811
University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Lili Yang Differentiation of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells into iNKT Cells $614,400
University of California, San Diego Dr. Cornelis Murre Epigenetic mechanisms that enforce pluripotency in embryonic stem cells $1,160,997
University of California, San Diego Dr. Wei Wang Systems-level discovery of the regulatory mechanisms directing differentiation of hESC $1,161,000
University of California, San Diego Dr. Lawrence S. B. Goldstein Elucidating pathways from hereditary Alzheimer mutations to pathological tau phenotypes $1,050,300
University of California, San Diego Dr. David A. Cheresh CD61-driven stemness program in epithelial cancer $1,161,000
University of California, Berkeley Dr. Andrew Dillin A Requirement for Protein Homeostasis in the Mediation of Stem Cell Health $1,034,100
Stanford University Xinnan Wang Misregulated Mitophagy in Parkinsonian Neurodegeneration $1,174,943