University of California, San Diego


March 9, 2006


SUBJECT:    The Regents to Discuss Potential For Stem Cell Research

At their meeting in Los Angeles next week, the University of California Regents will discuss the potential for UCSD and other San Diego research leaders to establish collaborations in the area of stem cell research. The Regents item, which has already generated media attention, involves four of the region's preeminent research institutions that are in serious discussions toward forming a consortium. UCSD has been working with the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and The Scripps Research Institute to explore the establishment and operation of a non-profit entity, to be called the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, in order to expand and strengthen collaborations in the field of human stem cell research.

The goals of this Consortium include bringing scientists together from each institution to develop joint research and training programs, planning and building a facility for Consortium scientists, and pursuing funding to support these collaborative projects.

During the upcoming University of California Regents meeting on March 15 and and 16, the Regents will discuss the potential role of UCSD in this Consortium. Following UC Regents discussion, UCSD will join the partners as they continue to work through details about organizational structure and the research programs to be developed by the Consortium.

This Consortium has the potential to unite our institutions in developing programs that build on all of our strengths in a promising area of research that holds the promise of leading to greater understanding of disease, and ultimately to new therapies.

This coordinated effort is a result of the 2004 passage of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (Proposition 71) which led to the formation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The initiative allocated $3 billion in state funds to be managed by CIRM to support human embryonic stem cell research in California. Up to $300 million of this funding can be allocated to build or lease facilities to house this research. Dissemination of funds has been prevented by lawsuits challenging the initiative, but major research centers throughout the state are gearing up to participate in this endeavor when the legal issues have been resolved.

Following the Board of Regents meeting, further announcements and updates will be provided.

Marye Anne Fox