CIRM Scholars Comprehensive Research Training Program

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CIRM Scholars Comprehensive Research Training Program

Statement of Benefit to California:
A primary goal of Proposition 14 is to continue to translate basic stem cell research to clinical applications. The disability and loss of personal freedom and earning power resulting from a disease or disorder are devastating and create a financial burden for California in addition to the suffering caused to patients and their families. Therapies using stem cells have the potential to change millions of lives. Using stem cells as models of disease will help us understand the underlying causes of disease and likely aid in the development of drugs to treat those diseases. For the potential of stem cells to be realized, California researchers need the personnel to develop them into viable treatments. Therefore, the raison d’etre for the proposed program is to provide training to the next generation of researchers in stem cell biology, gene therapy and regenerative medicine capable of advancing the development of new methods of treating human disease. The breadth and depth of the stem cell biology, gene therapy and regenerative medicine research programs, which have already made important advances and secured significant funding from CIRM, will act as the core around which all training will be organized. Anticipated benefits of our Training Program to the Citizens of California include: creation of a training program that will attract the best and brightest minds to the state; development of new cell-based treatments for a variety of diseases and disorders; generation of new techniques for using stem cells (and derived cells) to deliver drugs or other agents to tissues, thereby developing new treatment methods; development of methods of using gene therapy to treat human diseases; improved methods for understanding normal development and environmental risks to the early embryo; improved methods for detecting and understanding effects of toxicants in the environment and workplace; improved clinical trial methodology that will directly impact human testing of stem cell and gene therapies; development of new improved methods for developing and testing drugs for treating disease; transfer of new technologies and intellectual property to the public realm with resulting IP revenues coming into the state; creation of new biotechnology spin-off companies based on generated intellectual property; creating interdisciplinary research teams that will have a competitive edge for obtaining funding from out of state; development of researchers and clinicians that will establish clinical research programs in the state; and, creation of new jobs in the biotechnology sector. It is anticipated that the return to the State in terms of revenue, health benefits for its Citizens, job creation, and revenue, will be significant in the long term.