June 2011 Digest

CIRM June Digest

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CIRM Governing Board Elects New Chair

At its June 22nd meeting, the Governing Board elected Jonathan Thomas to a six-year term as the new CIRM Chairman. Thomas replaces outgoing chair Robert Klein who has served in the position since the agency’s inception in 2004. Thomas was previously with Saybrook Capital, an investment banking and private equity firm, which he co-founded in 1990. While with Saybrook, Thomas assisted with an early round of financing for Advanced Cell Technology, which recently received FDA approval for two embryonic stem cell-based clinical trials.

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CIRM 2010 Annual Report Now Online

In June, CIRM released its 2010 Annual Report which reviews CIRM's latest efforts to support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine including new research funding, new global partnerships, and recent progress toward therapies. The report also features stories of hope from patients who could benefit from stem cell-based therapies.

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CIRM Board Approves Opportunity Fund and Extends Training Grants

The CIRM Governing Board approved the concept for a $30 million initiative that is intended to make the agency more nimble in seizing emerging opportunities in the rapidly evolving field of stem cell research. The board also chose to continue the highly successful 17 Training and 16 Bridges to Stem Cell Research programs for an additional three years each rather than issuing new requests for applications.

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CIRM Grantee Wins Outstanding Young Investigator Award

UCSF researcher Robert Blelloch, M.D., Ph.D. won the 2011 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The award was announced during the society's annual meeting which took place June 15-18 in Toronto. Blelloch has two CIRM grants; a SEED Award and a New Faculty II Award, both focus on the role of microRNAs in embryonic stem cell biology.

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CIRM Chair Receives Public Service Award

Robert Klein, outgoing CIRM chair, is the recipient of the 2011 inaugural ISSCR Public Service Award for his outstanding contribution of public service to the field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Klein received the award at the ISSCR's annual meeting in Toronto.

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