President Barack Obama has said that he intends to lift a ban of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that has been in place since August, 2001. Researchers in California have had a head
start on this critical area of medical research with funding through CIRM. When Obama lifts that ban, researchers across the US will be able to join California in an area of research that could lead
to new treatments for more than 70 diseases.
All embryonic stem cell lines in use in labs around the world come from embryos that were donated by people who had gone through in vitro fertilization. Amander Clark has a CIRM grant to develop new
lines that are suitable for transplantation therapies. She also uses the lines to study infertility. Clark is an assistant professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology and is a scientist
with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA.
Stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases, but developing those cures is a process that has many hurdles. Dr. Hans Kierstead has a CIRM grant to develop a treatment for spinal
cord injury. He is co-director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine.
One method of creating new embryonic stem cell lines involves placing the nucleus from an adult cell into an egg and allow that egg to divide. This process, called nuclear transfer, has worked in many
animals but hasn\'t yet been successful in humans. Dr. Robert Blelloch has worked on nuclear transfer in mice and other animals. He is assistant professor of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology,
and Pathology and a member of the UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine.