UCSD Gets $8 Million For Stem Cell Research
School of Medicine will create an 'alpha clinic' for human stem cell trials
UC San Diego has been named an "alpha clinic" for the clinical study of stem cells, and the distinction comes with $8 million in research grants.
Stem cell therapies represent a new way of treating disease by regenerating damaged tissues and organs. Spokesmen for the UCSD school of medicine say the alpha clinic will focus on clinical trials in humans, not just basic research based on animals.
The decision to make UCSD an alpha clinic was announced Friday by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which was created by California voters after they approved $3 billion for stem cell funding in 2004.
“Everything we do has one simple goal, to accelerate the development of successful treatments for people in need,” said C. Randal Mills, CIRM president and CEO.
Catriona Jamieson, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, is the alpha clinic grant’s principal investigator. She said the clinic will provide needed infrastructure for first-in-human stem cell-related clinical trials.
"It will attract patients, funding agencies and study sponsors to participate in, support and accelerate novel stem cell clinical trials and ancillary studies for a range of arduous diseases,” Jamieson said.
The university has already announced human stem cell trials, aimed at treating spinal chord injuries, leukemia and type-1 diabetes.
UCSD spokesmen said researchers are conducting those trials using fetal and embryonic stems cells, as well as stem cells made from reprogramming skin cells.