The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced the award of $3.79 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) for development of a collaborative shared laboratory and expansion of the Institute’s training courses in stem cell research. Burnham was one of 17 institutions receiving grants from CIRM for a total of more than $50 million.
CIRM’s competitive research grants have significantly expedited human embryonic stem cell research activity at Burnham through the award of eight SEED grants (totaling $5.9 million) and two comprehensive grants (totaling $6 million) earlier this year.
The funding will make it possible to develop a shared laboratory providing cell culture and core services to accommodate Burnham’s increased demand. This shared laboratory will also support Burnham’s partner institutes collaborating as the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine (SDCRM), eliminating overlap in strategic technological areas and maximizing CIRM’s investment in San Diego’s stem cell research community.
The funding will also allow Burnham to expand its training program, offering a series of basic and advanced courses on stem cell techniques for colleagues at SDCRM, the San Diego research community at-large and throughout California. Since 2004, the Institute has organized an annual intensive two-week training course attracting scientists worldwide.
The shared laboratory and CIRM stem cell training program will be directed by Dr. Jeanne Loring, Co-Director of Burnham’s Stem Cell Center. Loring, an embryologist and pioneer in stem cell culture techniques is editor of the first authoritative source in this field, “Human Stem Cell Manual: A Laboratory Guide”, published this month by Academic Press.
“My colleagues and I at Burnham were among the first to share knowledge through training courses in stem cell biology,” said Dr. Loring. “Our efforts to date have been supported through private donations and, as permitted, public grants. This award from CIRM will significantly advance the Institute’s standing as a global leader for research and training in stem cell research.”