Institute also approved another Early Translation application, bringing the total up to $71.5 million.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is making available 15 grants worth $40.6 million to advance stem cell research starting July 1. The money was approved in January but has been on standby due to financial uncertainties of the state.

CIRM’s 29-member Governing Board voted to fund the Research Training Program II grants, which will be given to graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and clinical fellows working in stem cell research labs. They follow the 16 grants given out in the first round of CIRM stem cell funding in 2006.

The board also voted to approve funding for one additional Early Translational application with $3.8 million. Recipients will work to create disease model mice for use by researchers studying stem cell-based therapies for disease. In April CIRM reported that it was giving out $67.7 million in Early Translation grants to 15 organizations. These grants are intended to either lead to a drug candidate for an unmet medical need or address a bottleneck in the development of new therapies.

Additionally, the board voted to approve the 2009–2010 budget, which is 3% under that proposed for 2008–2009. “As with previous years, this budget is considerably under CIRM’s required cap at six percent of research costs, which is already well below the national average for a funding agency,” notes Robert Klein, chair of the governing board.

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