March 2005 - Then Chancellor Carnesale commits $20 million over five years to deepen UCLA’s impact on the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine.
August 9, 2001 - President Bush limits federal funding for stem cell research to the existing 21 human embryonic stem cell lines and prohibits funding for research on stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001.
October 2006 - The Stem Cell Institute faculty members are Amander Clark formerly of UCSF; William Lowry formerly of Rockefeller University; Hanna Mikkola formerly of Harvard; Kathrin Plath, formerly of the Whitehead Institute at MIT; April Pyle formerly of Johns Hopkins University.
November 2004 - Proposition 71, establishes the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and authorizes the issuance of $3 billion in state general obligation bonds to provide funding for stem cell research and facilities in California.
February 2008 - Led by Kathrin Plath and William Lowry researchers use genetic alteration to turn back the clock on human skin cells and create cells that are nearly identical to human embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to become every cell type found in the human body. Previously, only two teams of scientists from Kyoto University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison had reported the creation of iPS cells from human cells.
March 9, 2009 - President Obama signs an executive order to lift the restriction imposed by President Bush wherein funding is prohibited for human embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created after August 9, 2001.
July 2009 - The STM Program awards young clinician scientists the extraordinary opportunity to pursue translational endeavors that will drive their basic scientific discoveries to clinical application and ultimately impact patient care.
May 2010 - hESC lines, UCLA 1, 2, and 3, derived by Drs. Amander Clark and Rachel Kim are available for use in federally funded research projects, increasing the diversity of cell lines available for study. UCLA is one of only nine institutions in the world with stem cell lines admitted to the NIH registry.
photo credit: Human Embryonic Stem Cells PLoS Biology via Wikimedia Commons
October 2010 - The state stem cell agency today awarded four grants totaling $12 million to researchers with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA to translate basic science into new and more effective therapies to regenerate bone and treat deadly brain cancers, spinal cord injuries and cornea disorders that result in blindness.
June 2010 - Using stem cells to replace or restore tissues lost to injury or disease represents an area of great promise in regenerative medicine. However, immune rejection of stem cell transplants remains a challenge to translating science from the lab into the clinic. Gay Crooks will use her grant funding to develop “tolerant” T cells, cells that have been engineered to not react against, or reject, transplanted cells.
November 1998 - James Thomson (University of Wisconsin) successfully removes cells from the inner cell mass of embryos and develops the first human embryonic stem cell lines; scientists still utilize these lines to further their research.
September 2007 - The Institute is renamed Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. This generous gift enables UCLA to purchase specialized, high-tech laboratory equipment, support faculty recruitment through research grants and continue its leadership in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary scientific and medical research.
October 2010- The CIRM - BSCRC Laboratory is a state-of-the-art stem cell research facility that fosters scientific collaboration across disciplines in the pursuit of advancing stem cell and regenerative medicine. The CIRM-BSCRC Laboratory is housed in the Terasaki Life Sciences Building. In May 2010, UCLA professor emeritus of surgery and pioneer in organ transplant medicine, Dr. Paul Terasaki, donated $50 million to UCLA Life Sciences; the building was named in recognition of his visionary philanthropy.
January 2011 - Three BSCRC researchers, Dr. Richard Gatti, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Dr. Thomas Carmichael, an associate professor of neurology, and Dr. Martin Martin a professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology, were awarded more than $5.3 million in state grants to develop innovative tools and technologies that will help overcome the technical hurdles in advancing basic, translational and clinical stem cell research.
May 2011 - Six BSCRC researchers, Drs. Gay Crooks, Shuo Lin, William Lowry, W. Robb MacLellan, Kathrin Plath, and Yi Sun were awarded more than $8 million in grants from the state stem cell agency on May 3 to investigate basic mechanisms underlying stem cell biology and differentiation. The studies supported by these awards will form the foundation for future translational and clinical advances, enabling the realization of the full potential of human stem cells and reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells for therapies and as tools for biomedical innovation.
September 2011 - Two BSCRC scientists have received prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizing their leading-edge, innovative research. Researchers Utpal Banerjee, the Irving and Jean Stone Professor and chairman of the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department and Heather Christofk, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, received the NIH Pioneer Award and New Innovator Award, respectively. Banerjee was awarded $2.5 million over five years, Christofk will receive $1.5 million over five years
June 2007 - Researchers at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at UCLA were able to take normal tissue cells and reprogram them into cells with the same unlimited properties as embryonic stem cells, the cells that are able to give rise to every cell type found in the body. The implications for disease treatment could be staggering. Reprogramming adult stem cells into embryonic stem cells could generate a potentially limitless source of immune-compatible cells for tissue engineering and transplantation medicine.
November 29, 2011 - Dr. Owen Witte, founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA and a renowned cancer researcher, was selected today by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Cancer Panel, which monitors the development and execution of the National Cancer Program. The members of the panel are selected based on their training, experience and background as exceptionally qualified to appraise the National Cancer Program.
February 10, 2012 - The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA received a $1 million gift today for its annual stem cell symposium that draws top scientists from around the world. The Bloomfield Family Foundation, headed by Margaret “Peggy” Bloomfield of Pacific Palisades, made the gift. Bloomfield is a long-time supporter of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center. The gift was announced by Witte Friday morning at the start of the eighth annual stem cell symposium, “Stem Cells and Cancer: Shared Paths, Different Destinations”
July 26, 2012 - A team of scientists led by Dr. Antoni Ribas, a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA and a professor of medicine, were awarded a $20 million grant today to take leading-edge stem cell science from the laboratory and translate it into a new treatment for metastatic melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
December 14, 2012 - Two cardiology investigators from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, Drs. Reza Ardehali and Ali Nsair, received grants totaling over $6 million from CIRM, the state stem cell agency. They will use their clinical and scientific training to conduct leading-edge research on the developmental and molecular biology of stem cells to advance regenerative medicine for heart disease. The studies supported by these awards will help form the foundation for translational and clinical advances, enabling realization of the potential of human stem cells for therapies and as tools for biomedical innovation.
Researchers at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute and colleagues who successfully transplanted specialized retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into the eyes of two legally blind patients report that the transplants appear safe and that both patients have experienced modest improvement in their vision. The patients are part of two separate clinical trials, each of which will eventually include 12 patients. The trials will aim to determine the safety of this particular use of stem cell therapy, as well as the patients' ability to tolerate the treatment. UCLA Newsroom Full Story
More Information on the Clinical Trial at UCLA
Photo: UCLA's Dr. Steven Schwartz performs stem cell transplant. (Source: UCLA Newsroom)
February 20, 2013 - Five outstanding young professors from UCLA are among 126 scientists and scholars to receive Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Two of the five UCLA recipients, Drs. Jason Ernst and Yi Xing, are members of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research Center. Ernst conducts research in computational biology and bioinformatics, developing and applying computational methods to better analyze and model high-throughput experimental data, while Xing's laboratory studies gene regulation at the RNA level using computational and experimental approaches and develop novel methods for the analysis of massive genomic data. The fellowships are awarded to exceptional young researchers who "represent the very best that science has to offer" and are "the next generation of leaders in the natural sciences, economics, and mathematics," according to the New York–based foundation.
March 28, 2013 - Dr. Brigitte Gomperts,, a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and associate professor of pediatric hematology/oncology, received a Tissue Collection for Disease Modeling grant of over $900,000 from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The award will support the collection of blood from patients with a progressive and potentially fatal lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and the blood will be used to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). iPSC can become any cell in the body, similar to embryonic stem cells, but instead of coming from human embryos, scientists induce skin or blood cells back to a pluripotent state in the laboratory. To date, UCLA and its stem cell scientists have received 60 grants from CIRM totaling more than $189 million.
August 28, 2013 - Four prominent UCLA stem cell researchers have received Early Translational research awards totaling approximately $13 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) the state stem cell agency. The UCLA researchers received four of the 12 total awards; no other applicant institution received more than one award. The awardees are Dr. Jerome Zack professor of medicine and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Dr. Robert Reiter, Bing professor of urologic research; Dr. Donald Kohn professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the life sciences; and Dr. Gerald Lipshutz, associate professor-in-residence of surgery, urology and medicine. The grants are part of CIRM’s Early Translational Research Initiative, which aims to fund and advance promising, innovative discoveries using stem cells. In this “early translation” phase, scientists are expected to do research that will result in the development of drugs or cellular therapies to be used in FDA-approved clinical trials; translating discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.
January 29, 2014 - Recipients of the four Basic Biology V awards from the state stem cell agency, CIRM, included Dr. Lili Yang,who received $614,400 for her project to develop a novel system for studying how stem cells become rare immune cells; Dr. Denis Evseenko,who received $1,146,468 for his project to identify the elements of the biological niche in which stem cells grow most efficiently into articular cartilage cells; Dr. Thomas Otis and Dr. Ben Novitch, who received $1,148,758 for their project using new light-based optigenetic techniques to study the communication between nerve and muscle cells in spinal muscular atrophy, an inherited degenerative neuromuscular disease in children; and Dr. Samantha Butler who received $598,367 for her project on discovering which molecular elements drive stem cells to become the neurons, or nerve cells in charge of our sense of touch.
December 12, 2013 - Scientists from UCLA’s Broad Stem Cell Research Center are bringing stem cell science funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency, directly to patients in two exciting new clinical trials scheduled to begin in early 2014. The recipients of the Disease Team Therapy Development III awards were Dr. Dennis Slamon and Dr. Zev Wainberg, whose phase I clinical trial will test a new drug that targets cancer stem cells and has been approved to begin enrolling patients in the US and Canada, and Dr. Donald Kohn, whose first-in-human trial is on stem cell gene therapy for sickle cell disease(SCD).This will be the first-in-human testing of stem cell gene therapy for sickle cell disease that allows patients to be their
own bone marrow donors.
May 16, 2014 - UCLA has kicked off its $4.2 billion Centennial Campaign, the largest fundraising effort ever undertaken by a public university. Launched as UCLA counts down to 2019, the 100th anniversary of its founding, the campaign celebrates a century of growth and achievement as a top-tier university and seeks to secure the institution's future as a center for higher education where innovative teaching, groundbreaking research and dedicated service advance the public good. Learn more about giving opportunities for UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center's Centennial Campaign and pledge your support today.
May 8, 2014 - The Broad Foundation's $2 million gift to the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center (BSCRC) adds to the 2007 gift of $20 million for which the Center is named. The 2007 gift has supported faculty and research and launched the Innovation Award program, which furthers cutting-edge research at the Center by giving UCLA stem cell scientists "seed funding" for their research projects. The new gift will enable the continuation of the Innovation Award program, which has yielded a 10-to-1 return on investment with grantees securing additional funding from other agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and more than $200 million in total grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell agency.
April 14, 2014 - Dr. Owen Witte, director of UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research is a 2014 inductee into the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy. The Academy was created to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose important research has significantly advanced the fight against cancer. Dr. Witte’s research laid the foundation for the development of the drug Imatinib (Gleevec®), the first targeted therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia.
May 29, 2014 Dr. John Chute has been awarded a Research Leadership Award of $5.1 million from CIRM, the state’s stem cell agency. This is intended to bolster California’s efforts in stem cell research and further its mission to advance novel treatments and cures into medical practice. Dr. Chute’s groundbreaking research focuses on the study of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC, the cells that become blood cells) and how they grow. Specifically, he and his colleagues are defining the mechanisms through which the bone marrow microenvironment cells regulate HSC self-renewal, repair and regeneration. Among his multiple discoveries are two novel proteins that are essential to the growth of blood cells. With this knowledge, Dr. Chute and his team can also understand how leukemia stem cells use the same mechanisms in their growth, and target those growth factors with cellular therapies. Dr. Chute is the only clinician scientist to receive a CIRM Leadership Award.
March 2, 2015 - Dr. Donald Kohn and colleagues show that a novel stem cell gene therapy method could one day provide a one-time, lasting treatment for the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States – sickle cell disease. The stem cell research published today in the journal Blood, outlines a method that corrects the mutated gene that causes sickle cell disease and shows, for the first time, the gene correction method leads to the production of normal red blood cells that do not sickle. The fascinating gene correction technique used specially engineered enzymes, called zinc-finger nucleases, to ‘cut’ out the mutated genetic code and replace it with a corrected version that repairs the beta-globin mutation.
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April 7, 2015 -The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced today that Dr. Owen Witte, the founding director of the Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research at UCLA, will receive the prestigious G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award. Witte is being recognized for his many contributions to the understanding of human leukemias, immune disorders and the stem cells involved in the formation of epithelial cancers (cancers of the lining of glands or organs such as the prostate or ovaries). His pioneering work laid the foundation for several approved targeted cancer therapies, transforming the lives of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemias and B-Cell malignancies. Witte’s research was key to the development of the drug Imatinib (Gleevec®), the first targeted therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia.
July 23, 2015 - The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine voted unanimously to award UCLA with $7.4 million to lead a phase I/II clinical trial for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease, an immunodeficiency disorder commonly referred to as X-linked CGD. The trial, which will use stem cell gene therapy to correct the genetic defect associated with the disorder, is led by renowned stem cell researcher and UCLA Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research member, Dr. Donald Kohn.
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