Connecticut awards $9.8 million in grants for stem cells

Yesterday,  Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell announced that the state will be awarding $9.8 million in grants to support stem cell research projects at the University of Connecticut and Yale.  The money comes from the state’s Stem Cell Research Fund, created in 2005 to support research in this area.  Connecticut is only the third state in the nation to offer public funding for human stem cell research.

The Governor hopes that by offering the awards through the fund, that the bioscience industry will continue to grow in Connecticut. The Bioscience industry employs more than 18,000 people state-wide and adds more than $6 billion to the state’s economy through operations spending.

The Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee is chaired by the state’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin and reviews researchers’ applications annually.  The Committee received 89 applications this cycle and awarded nearly two dozen with grants.  Applications are considered against guidelines provided by the National Institutes of Health.

The grants are expected to fund the following projects:

  • Reconstitution of human hematopoietic system by HSCs derived from human embryonic stem cells in humanized mice, Yale University, New Haven, Richard A. Flavell, Principal Investigator, $1,000,000.00
  • Use of human embryonic stem cells and inducible pluripotent stem cells to study megakaryoblastic leukemia, Yale University, New Haven, Diane Krause, Principal Investigator, $1,000,000.00.
  • Generation of hematopoietic stem cells and T-cell progenitors from human ESCs, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Laijun Lai, $1,000,000.00.
  • Modeling Parkinson’s disease using human embryonic stem cells and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, James Yuanhao Li, Principal Investigator, $992,500.00.
  • Mechanical control of neural stem cell fate, Yale University, New Haven, Angelique Bordey, Principal Investigator, $947,975.00.
  • Co-differentiation of hESC-derived retinal and retinal pigment epithelial progenitors, Yale University, New Haven, Lawrence J. Rizzolo, Principal Investigator, $832,608.00.
  • Regulations of Lin28 in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Self-renewal And Differentiation, Yale University, New Haven, Caihong Qiu, Principal Investigator, $750,000.00
  • Stem Cell Physiology and Chemistry Core, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Srdjan D. Antic, M.D., Principal Investigator, $500,000.00
  • Maturation of human embryonic stem (hES) cell-derived cardiomyocytes in vitro using 3D engineered tissue model system, Yale University, New Haven, Lee, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • The Role of Dormant Replication Origins in Ensuring Genome Integrity in Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Yale University, New Haven, XinQuan Ge, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00
  • Regulating Caspase Activity to Enhance Differentiation Efficiency of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Xiaofang Wang, Ph.D., M.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Novel roles of long non-coding RNAs in human embryonic stem cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Li Yang, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Molecular mechanisms of germ layer induction in human embryonic stem cells, Yale University, New Haven, Efrat Oron, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Identification and characterization of multipotent cell populations from human adipose tissue for application in regenerative thereapies, Yale University, New Haven, Matthew S. Rodeheffer, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Efficient Gene Targeting in Human Embryonic Stem Cell via Recombineering Based Long Arm Targeting Vector, Yale University, New Haven, Chunsheng Dong, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • The role of epigenetic factor-HP1 in regulating human embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation, Yale University, New Haven, Ee-Chun Cheng, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • In vivo Evaluation of Humans ES, IPS and Adult Brain Derived Neural Progenitor Cell Tranplantation and Migration Using MRI, Yale University, New Haven, Erik M. Shapiro, PhD, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Discovering treatments to prevent neurodegeneration in Huntington’s Disease using hESCs and patient-derived iPSCs, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Carolyn Drazinic, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Generation of a novel source of iPS cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Rosa M. Guzzo, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • To develop efficient methodologies to generate customized anti-tumor effecter T cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) by TCRengineering approach, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Arvind Chhabra, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Generation of layer V pyramidal neurons from human embryonic stem cells, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Radmila Filipovic, Principal Investigator, $199,945.00.
  • Nuclear Receptor Control of Human Epidermal Stem Cells, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Brian J. Aneskievich, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $199,894.00.