State advised to grant UCSF $38M

The University of California, San Francisco, has been recommended to receive $38 million from the state’s stem cell institute to fund a new research facility — the third highest grant amount from a pool of $262 million the agency is expected to award to 12 agencies statewide.

Stanford University is in line to receive the highest amount, $50 million, according to the recommendations, which were released by the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, on Saturday.

The grants, combined with matching money and leveraged funds from donors and the institutions, is expected to result in $750 million in new research laboratories for stem cell work, including human embryonic stem cell research that is not funded through the federal government, according to the CIRM officials.

Federally maintained human embryonic stem cell lines have declined in quality and number, and federal dollars can only be used on studies using those lines.

Funds from CIRM can push the science further, and the new facilities may bring fresh lines to the study of stem cells, said Marie Csete, chief scientific officer of CIRM.

UCSF will use its $38 million toward a planned $95 million stem cell research building behind its current hospital on Parnassus Avenue in the Inner Sunset.

The new building would offer researchers 45,000 square feet of space while having a “garden-like roof” over the entire building to make it environmentally friendly, said Dr. Arnold Kriegstein, director of the Institute for Regeneration Medicine at UCSF.

In 2001, the federal government’s National Institute of Health limited human embryonic stem cell research to less than 20 lines of cells, which has been a “hindrance” and “slowed down progress considerably,” Kriegstein said.

Federal grant money paying for supplies and research can only go toward materials and researchers working on federally approved lines, but UCSF officials hope to utilize state and private funding to build the facility, which is intended to become the “center of gravity” for stem cell research completed at USCF, the director said.

The building, planned for completion in 2010, would aid the campus in recruiting more scientists to The City, Kriegstein added.

The final approval for the $262 million in grants is scheduled to be made by the CIRM board in May; the recommendations were made by the agency’s Scientific and Medical Facilities Working Group.

State voters established CIRM, with Proposition 71 in 2004 providing $3 billion in bond funding for the research.

dsmith@examiner.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City has struggled to conduct outreach in some neighborhoods as it works to expand Slow Streets — such as this section of Page Street in the Lower Haight — to underserved neighborhoods. <ins>(Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SFMTA delays vote on Bayview Slow Streets, approves five others in ‘underserved’ areas

SFMTA struggles to conduct outreach in neighborhoods with lower internet access

Stern Grove Festival organizers are planning to bring back the popular summer concert series — The Isley Brothers show in 2019 is pictured — with limited audience capacity. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Indoor shows won’t be flooding SF stages soon but Stern Grove might be back in June

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that live performances may resume… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto  (47) started on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 9, 2021. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants welcome fans back with strong performance by Cueto

By Ethan Kassel Special to S.F. Examiner ORACLE PARK — The first… Continue reading

James Harbor appears in court after he was arrested on charges in the July 4th shooting death of 6-year-old Jace Young on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Murder case heads to trial over killing of 6-year-old Jace Young

Hearing reveals new details in ‘horrific’ Fourth of July shooting

BART passengers may see more frequent service by this fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART service increases possible as soon as September

Proposal would double weekday, daytime trains and extend system operating hours

Most Read