Genomics is the study of our DNA sequences, how certain genes become active and inactive during human development, how different cells express their unique identities. Dysfunction in genes causes inherited diseases and cancer. The goal of the Center for Advanced Stem Cell Genomics is to study the genomics of human stem cells, to understand how they develop into specific cell types that are valuable for cell therapy, drug development, and for study of human diseases. The Center is a partnership between an academic pioneer in stem cell genomics research and research scientists at the world's leading genomics tools and services company. Our primary mission is to vitalize the power of stem cells to improve human health by providing genomics tools, such as DNA sequencing, epigenetic analysis, and gene expression analysis, to the stem cell community in California and to CIRM's US and international funding partners. The Center will have tremendous impact on the field of stem cell research and clinical uses worldwide, greatly raising our level of understanding of stem cells and enabling their potential to cure human disease.
California has had remarkable success in spawning biotechnology companies. Since Genentech was founded in 1976, biotechnology has taken on a distinctly California flavor, and ingenuity and entrepreneurship have thrived in the state for the last 30 years. Currently there are more than 2,000 biomedical companies in California, employing more than 250,000 people, with estimated revenue of $115 billion. Salaries for biotechnology company employees total more than $20 billion each year. Biotechnology bridges the gap between basic and applied research, encouraging new inventions and inspiring a well-educated workforce. After CIRM was founded in 2004, their investments in human stem cell research have made California the most productive site for the stem cell research in the world. These two California-born ideas are brought together by CIRM's proposal for Stem Cell Genomics Centers of Excellence Awards. Only in California could stem cell researchers partner with the genomics industry to push forward the progress toward regenerative medicine and more efficient drug development. The Centers will spawn a new California specialty that will bring new jobs and improve human health - the best of both worlds.