Things are looking up stem cell-wise in California, which has been stymied by lawsuits in its attempt to become a world stem cell power. Last week, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced that its first-ever grant checks were in the mail.
Although bond sales for the $3 billion stem cell initiative are stalled, CIRM's board chair Robert Klein has rounded up $14 million from buyers of “bond anticipation notes.” The first checks went out last week: $12.1 million for research training grants at 16 universities and research institutes. Klein said he had commitments for all but $4 million of the $50 million he is trying to raise. “We expect to have funds for a major new grant program later this year,” he said at a 10 April press conference in San Francisco.
The same day, the University of California, San Diego, formalized a research collaboration with Australia's main stem cell matrix: Monash University and the Australian Stem Cell Centre in Melbourne, Victoria. Victoria is putting $35 million into a new Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash.