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CSUCI Receives $1.7 Million Grant for Stem Cell Research Program
Date:3/25/2009

CAMARILLO, Calif., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Ching-Hua Wang, Chair of Biology, Geology and Nursing, and Director of the MS Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Program at California State University Channel Islands, was recently awarded a grant of $1,733,406 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as a part of their Bridges to Stem Cell Research program. CSUCI was one of 11 universities statewide to receive funding from the program.

"We are thrilled to have been awarded one of the CIRM grants. These grants are critically important to the future of regenerative medicine in California. Without personnel trained to carry out this research, the stem cell research field would not move as quickly as we would like," stated Dr. Wang.

The grant will fund both comprehensive lecture and laboratory courses designed to train students in stem cell research, internship placement, and completion of a new Emphasis in Stem Cell Technology and Laboratory Management within the MS Biotechnology and Bioinformatics degree program at CSUCI. The new degree program will provide students with the necessary expertise to enter the workforce in a rapidly expanding and technologically advanced field. One of the courses funded by the grant is a general education course on stem cell technology to be developed by faculty at CSUCI in collaboration with faculty from community colleges in Ventura County.

Robert Klein, chairman of the CIRM governing board stated, "Training young people is critical to our mission of developing new therapies. As California's stem cell industry continues to grow, the state will face a critical shortage for biomedical laboratory workers trained in state-of-the-art techniques required by stem cell research labs." Klein goes on to say that the Bridges to Stem Cell Research program trains students to fill these necessary positions in the industry.

CIRM was established in 2005 with the passage of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The mission of CIRM is to support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine under the highest ethical and medical standards for the discovery and development of cures, therapies, diagnostics and research technologies to relieve human suffering from chronic disease and injury. The CIRM governing board has approved more than $693 million in grants, making it the largest source of funding for embryonic stem cell research in the world.

For further information about the CIRM grant or the MS Biotechnology and Bioinformatics degree program at CSUCI, contact Dr. Ching-Hua Wang at 805-437-8870 or ching-hua.wang@csuci.edu.

For media inquiries contact Nancy Covarrubias Gill, Director of Communication & Marketing at CSUCI, 805-437-8456 or nancy.gill@csuci.edu.

CSU Channel Islands is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

CSUCI Mission Statement

Placing students at the center of the educational experience, California State University Channel Islands provides undergraduate and graduate education that facilitates learning within and across disciplines through integrative approaches, emphasizes experiential and service learning, and graduates students with multicultural and international perspectives.

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