The stem cell center was launched in 2005 with a $20 million commitment over five years from UCLA. Since that time, institute officials have recruited some of the country's top stem cell scientists, including faculty members from renowned institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins. All were drawn to UCLA because of the highly collaborative research environment and the state's stem cell research-friendly atmosphere.
Stem cell center scientists have successfully competed for grants from CIRM. The center received the largest training grant awarded by the state, $3.75 million, to train the next generation of stem cell researchers, and UCLA scientists were awarded nine seed and comprehensive grants totaling more than $9 million. In June 2007, the stem cell center was awarded a $2.8 million grant from the state to construct lab space dedicated to the creation of new human embryonic stem cell lines and continued research on existing stem cell lines.
Additionally, a UCLA stem cell scientist was among a group of researchers that recently made a major scientific advance when they reprogrammed normal tissue cells from a mouse into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells. If this can be replicated in humans, the implications for disease treatment would be significant. Reprogramming adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation.
The 133,000-square-foot facility is designed with an open floor plan to facilitate collaborative research in state-of-the-art laboratories serving world-class researchers in basic cell and molecular biology, biochemistry,
immunology and other fields. UCLA faculty members who are part of the stem cell center have offices and laboratories both in the building and at other locations across campus.
The stem cell center is a collaboration of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the UCLA College. It also involves close collaborations with the UCLA schools of law, nursing, dentistry and public affairs, UCLA AIDS Institute, UCLA Center for Society and Genetics, Brian Research Institute and the California Nanosystems Institute.
The center is committed to a multi-disciplinary, integrated collaboration of scientific, academic and medical disciplines for the purpose of understanding adult and human embryonic stem cells. The center supports innovation, excellence and the highest ethical standards focused on stem cell research with the intent of facilitating basic scientific inquiry directed towards future clinical applications to treat disease.
For more information, visit: www.stemcell.ucla.edu.
Click here to learn about UC's systemwide efforts in stem cell research.