Friday, 14 December 2012

UCLA stem cell researchers receive fund of $6 million

The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), recently awarded funds of almost 6 million dollars to two cardiology  stem cell researchers. These funds will be used to monetise further research for the discovery of new treatments for common heart conditions and problems.

Dr. Reza Ardehali, M.D., Ph.D is the first receiver, and was funded $3 million for his research on isolating and using human embryonic stem cells. His goal is to find out if these cells, can spur the growth of new heart cells, repair heart damage and examine how well they can integrate with the native heart cells.

“The performance of a symphony can go into chaos if one member plays in isolation from all surrounding cues”, “Therefore, it is important to determine if the transplanted cells can beat in harmony with the rest of the heart and if these cells will provide functional benefit to the injured heart.” says Dr. Ardehali.

He plans to experiment on an animal model, in which heart stem cells will be integrated to damaged hearts. Hopefully the transplanted cells will improve heart function and regenerate damaged tissue. If everything goes well, he believes that his animal trial will soon lead to human stem cell clinical trials.

Receiver of the second $3 million fund was Dr. Nsair for his research on induced pluripotent stem cells. He is an assistant professor of medicine, and a member of the stem cell research centre. His research  is focused on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells, developed by somatic blood or skin cells, for the repair of cardiac damages induced after a heart attack.

As of today, CIRM has awarded more than $1.5 billion worth of funds to various organisations and scientists for research and therapeutic purposes.

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