UC Davis' strength in collaborative research is most evident in our campuswide stem cell initiative. Since voters passed Proposition 71 in 2004, our entire university has mobilized to establish a comprehensive research program that promises significant advances in the development of cellular therapies for the treatment of human disease.
It is a natural extension of strong existing programs in life sciences. Two-thirds of our research funding is in life sciences, and we award more bachelor's and doctor's degrees in the biological sciences than any other U.S. institution.
Moreover, members of our faculty in the schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the colleges of Biological Sciences, and Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and at the California National Primate Research Center are already conducting research relevant to stem cell biology.
This initiative brings them together in a way that takes advantage of the synergies each has to offer and positions UC Davis as perhaps the best-situated California university to make significant contributions to the goals of the Proposition 71 initiative.
In a few short months, we have established an internal multidisciplinary advisory committee to oversee the development of the Center for Regenerative Science and Therapies which is focused on understanding the role of stem and progenitor cells in health and disease, and developing novel treatment strategies for humans and animals. We've received one of only two National Institutes of Health centers of excellence in translational human stem cell research grants, and we were one of the first institutions in California awarded a unique stem cell training grant. We also have begun work on needed infrastructure for the state-of-the-art research we will be conducting.
We have attracted key recruits, such as the new stem cell research program director Jan Nolta from Washington University and a stem cell ethicist from our School of Law, Lisa Ikemoto. Developing ethical procedures and ensuring adherence is critical to good clinical and scientific knowledge.
The potential of this research for human health is impressive – UC Davis will help make that potential a reality.
Virginia S. Hinshaw
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor