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USC receives nearly $27 million in funding for new stem cell research facility

LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2008 -- Noting the project as innovative in terms of energy efficiency and research collaboration, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awarded nearly $27 million in funding for a new stem cell facility at the University of Southern California (USC). USC was one of 12 California institutions considered for CIRM's Major Facilities Grants, which will provide $271 million to build stem cell research facilities throughout California. The new facility will be named the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC.

"We are honored to be selected for funding as a CIRM institute," says Martin Pera, Ph.D., director of the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. "The funding will provide a tremendous boost for USC's stem cell initiative."

The $26.9 million will be used to establish a five-story building that would allow USC to carry out stem cell research in three categories: basic and discovery stem cell research, preclinical research and preclinical development and clinical research. The new facility will include 53,000 assignable square feet.

"The new center at USC will be an important addition to our campus as we create new research space for discoveries that will eventually translate to patient care," says Carmen Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

USC's proposal received formal approval today by the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), the 29-member governing board for the institute. CIRM evaluated the technical aspects of an applicant's building program and how the scientific program aligns with its objective.

"These facilities will house basic and clinical researchers working collaboratively, with stem-cell-specific core labs literally 'down the hall' -- an arrangement that is critical to our ability to accelerate the pace of research toward clinical application," says Alan Trounson, president of CIRM. "Because of this, we believe these facilities will be an instrumental part of advancing one of CIRM's primary objectives of helping to speed the delivery of stem-cell based therapies and cures into the clinic and to patients."

The funding received today will supplement a $30 million gift made in 2006 by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation towards a stem cell facility.


Contact: Jennifer Chan
University of Southern California

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