by Buck Institute

Buck Institute Awarded $1.5 Million for Stem Cell Training

The Buck Institute for Age Research has been awarded $1,571,229 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for a research training program in stems cells and aging.  Approval of the training program came at today’s CIRM meeting. The program, which will bring new six postdoctoral PhD or MD scientists to the Buck, will focus on stem cells and aging and age-related disease, with a particular concentration in neurodegenerative disorders.

CIRM’s decision to fund the program follows a positive reassessment of CIRM finances. The Buck Institute’s proposed program was deemed scientifically meritorious by CIRM in January 2009, but monies were not available to fund the program.  Today CIRM officials said an improvement in the state’s bond situation made capital available to add the Buck’s request to $58 million CIRM approved for training programs in January. “We want to thank you for the excellent program that you are running at the Buck,” said Robert Klein, Chair of the Governing Board of CIRM, just prior to today’s unanimous vote approving the funding.

Buck faculty Xianmin Zeng, PhD is Associate Program Director of the training program. “Our focus on aging and its diseases will provide stem cell scientists who will devote their careers to developing practical clinical applications of this technology,” said Zeng, who testified at today’s meeting.  “We provide a very unique environment for postdoctoral fellows,” said James Kovach, MD, JD, COO and President of the Buck Institute, who mentioned the Institute’s collaborative research environment. “This program will amplify stem cell training by including the focus on aging.”   Recruitment for the six new postdoctoral fellows will begin immediately.

Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.

Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO

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