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C. UCLA Launches a New Stem Cell Institute

Narrator: This is Science Today. UCLA has launched a twenty million dollar stem cell institute that will draw together experts in fields as diverse as bioengineering, oncology, ethics, cellular biology and more. Dr. Judith Gasson, co-director of the new Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine, says the initial focus will be in the areas of cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Gasson: The reason for that is that adult stem cells are already being used to treat those diseases. So we think that those would be diseases in which stem cells might be used sooner rather than later.

Narrator: UCLA has the advantage of being the first public university in California to have an approved, up and running Good Manufacturing Practice suite, which is critical for the safe growth and manipulation of stem cell lines. These highly controlled, high-tech labs meet standards set by the federal government.

Gasson: We have very detailed protocols, we gave compliance officers, we have training programs nobody's allowed access to the suite unless they've passed three training classes and a written exam.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.