HSCI’s junior faculty started off this academic year with a symposium with their California colleagues to foster idea sharing. Millipore and Cell Press (Cambridge, Mass.) were financial sponsors of this meeting that was convened by HSCI with the purpose of developing collaborations among the leading young scientists in the country. Coordinated by HSCI principal faculty member, Niels Geijsen, the two-day program was jammed with presentations by HSCI investigators as well as 14 scientists associated with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Discussion focused on the major scientific questions in topics such s pluripotency, epigenetics and reprogramming, neural systems, and a variety of special topics. Due to its tremendous value this year, participants are planning a second meeting next year in California.
CIRM was established in early 2005 with the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. California’s statewide ballot measure provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions. CIRM is the state-level agency that provides grants and loans for stem cell research, research facilities, and other vital research opportunities.