California's stem cell research gets 75 mln dollars extra funding

California's stem cell research sector received a boost Friday after 11 non-profit and academic institutions were granted 75.7 million U.S. dollars to help fund their work.

The 29-member Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC), which governs the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, allocated 29 grants for the ongoing study of human embryo stem cells, state officials announced.

Among the recipients are the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

"With these new grants, California is continuing on the path of turning the hope and promise of stem cell research into the reality of therapies and cures for millions of Californians and people across the globe," said California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, who announced the grants at a news conference.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles will receive 2.5 million dollars over four years. Researchers at UCLA will receive a 2.5-million grant to study the impact of stem cells on neural repair and another 2.5-million grant to develop therapeutic strategies to target HIV.

The Los Angeles-based CHA Regenerative Medicine Institute will also receive 2.5 million over four years to establish various stem cell lines.

"As of today, California is the largest and most stable source of funding for human embryonic stem cell research in the world," said Robert N. Klein, chairman of the ICOC.

"The scientific projects proposed for our third set of grants are very strong, and it's clear that there is an abundance of scientific opportunities for the state's investments."

Voters approved a bill in 2004, which provides 3 billion dollars in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions.

Last month, the ICOC allocated 72 grants worth 45 million dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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