The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's Independent Citizens Oversight Committee has awarded UC Davis six grants totaling $11 million since it began funding research and related infrastructure in this promising area of medical research. The latest grant of $2.8 million is for construction of the Translational Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Facility, to be located near the university's California National Primate Research Center in Davis. It will provide stem cell laboratories for investigators performing regenerative medicine research in nonhuman primate models. Awards were made earlier this year to several UC Davis School of Medicine scientists conducting regenerative medicine research, including:
- Alice Tarantal, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Excellence in Translational Human Stem Cell Research at UC Davis, will receive an estimated $2,257,040 over a four-year period. Her research work focuses on how to differentiate human embryonic stem cells into becoming the type of cells needed to regenerate kidneys damaged by disease.
- Mark Zern, a professor of internal medicine and director of transplant research at UC Davis, will receive a four-year, $2,504,614 grant for his work with embryonic stem cells and two other cell types to determine which cells are best suited to becoming liver cells for the repair of damaged livers.
- UC Davis otolaryngology and neuroscience professor Ebenezer Yamoah will receive $469,327 over two years to study the differentiation of hair cells and spiral ganglion nerve cells, whose degeneration is responsible for more than 50 percent of hearing loss in humans.
- Hari Reddi, a UC Davis professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of the UC Davis Center for Tissue Regeneration and Repair will receive $367,650 over two years for research into how embryonic stem cells can be used to treat damaged cartilage.
"We are extremely proud of these outstanding investigators and the excellent research that has gone into the successful applications," said Jan Nolta, stem cell program director for the UC Davis School of Medicine. "These grants from CIRM will definitely enhance the field of regenerative medicine so that our patients and many others might be able to benefit from innovative new medical treatments and cures."