University of California San Francisco

CIRM grantee Robert Blelloch of the University of California, San Francisco won the 2011 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The society's annual meeting is taking place now in Toronto.

Blelloch presented his research June 15 at 6pm and will participate in a press briefing at noon June 16. His work focuses on the role of small molecules called microRNAs and their role in stem cell biology and cancer.

Yesterday CIRM grantee Bruce Conklin gave his top four reasons why embryonic stem cells are so valuable and why federal funding for the work needs to be able to continue. Conklin, who is Senior Investigator Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and professor at UCSF, studies heart rhythm defects by creating iPS cells from people genetically predisposed to have those defects, then maturing those into heart cells in a dish.

Nobel Prize winner Stanley Prusiner was one of the authors on a letter to the New York Times on October 27 advocating that congress pass legislation that "would raise the annual federal investment in Alzheimer's research to $2 billion, and require that the president designate an official whose sole job would be to develop and execute a strategy against Alzheimer's."