August 14, 2008
August 14, 2008 – Dr. Bing Ren, Associate Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) San Diego Branch, was granted a $1.73 million New Faculty II Award by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency. Dr. Ren was one of 23 young scientists and physician-researchers to receive part of a $59 million boost to stem cell research in California that was announced yesterday.
The announcement of this prestigious award brings the total amount of CIRM funding received by the LICR San Diego Branch to $2,473,053. This amount includes a $55,000 Disease Team Planning Award in June 2008 to Dr. Webster Cavenee, Director of the LICR San Diego Branch, seed funding previously granted to Dr. Ren, and a facility grant.
The 5-year CIRM grant will support Dr. Ren’s research into molecular factors that regulate gene activity that ultimately determines the fate of embryonic stem cells. These studies are expected to shed light on the mechanisms that control pluripotency – the cells’ ability to differentiate into many different cell types – and contribute to the understanding of how to manipulate human embryonic stem cells for regenerative medicine.
“We are extremely pleased that CIRM is actively supporting the development of up and coming superstars in the scientific community, such as Dr. Ren. His research has already led to new thinking in the understanding of gene regulation, and we are certain his work will continue to impact the next generation of therapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancer and other human diseases,” remarked Dr. Andrew Simpson, Scientific Director of the LICR.