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Cellular Dynamics Launches Innovative Research Grant Program

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Cellular Dynamics International has announced the recent launch of its Innovative Research Grant Program. This grant program will advance researchers’ understanding of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the terminal cell types derived from them, and the role and applications of this new in vitro cellular model in basic research, drug discovery and development.

“The off-the-shelf availability of high quality human cell models for the study of human biology and drug discovery research is the core mission at CDI,” said Chris Parker, CDI vice president and chief commercial officer.

Parker continued, “We are able to provide human cardiomyocytes today, and human hepatocytes, neurons and endothelial cells in the near future, to biomedical scientists, including those researchers who have not yet had the opportunity to work with human stem cell-derived somatic cells because of their limited availability and unpredictable quality. We want to provide an opportunity for them to experience state-of-the-art iPS cell technology and devise experiments that will further our understanding of human biology. We look forward to seeing how this new human in vitro cellular model transforms and enables research and discovery.”

As part of an ongoing program, the first grant awards iCell® Cardiomyocytes, a population of terminally differentiated human atrial, ventricular, and nodal heart cells. Applications will be judged on the merit of the ideas as well as the resources and expertise the applicants can bring to the project.

The application deadline is September 12, 2011. See http://www.cellulardynamics.com/grant2001pr for more information on how to apply for the grant.

The Innovative Research Grant Program is part of iCell Institute, a CDI-sponsored resource that facilitates the sharing of iPSC knowledge through venues including the iCertification Training Program and seminar/webinar series. These and other outreach activities will provide an environment to establish and build a community where scientists can share experiences and best practices.

The iCell Institute will foster open discussion of new discoveries in cellular research, in vitro applications and predictivity, and how human iPSC-derived models differ from animal or cadaveric models.

iPSCs are created from adult cells, such as blood or skin, which are reprogrammed to a stem cell state. From this state they can be differentiated into any cell type in the body.

iPSCs can be made from any individual and avoid the political and ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells. They also have the advantage that the phenotypes and genotypes of the donors are known, enabling in vitro studies on targeted human populations and disease states.