California's Stem Cell Initiative: Mapping the New Frontier of Medicine
DescriptionIn 2004, California voters approved billions of dollars in funding for stem cell research.
Four years later, are we moving closer to unlocking the secrets of new cures and therapies that can reduce human suffering?
Dr. Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), addressed that question in a Milken Institute Forum. His appearance highlights the state's leadership in a cutting-edge field of research that holds the promise of generating major breakthroughs for everything from Parkinson's disease to diabetes to spinal cord injuries.
In addition to describing the latest scientific advances, Dr. Trounson discussed CIRM's innovative model for financing medical research, using long-term state bonds and a revolving loan fund. California's grant approvals in 2007 alone were approximately seven times larger than the funding provided by the National Institutes of Health for embryonic stem cell research.
Before joining CIRM in January 2008, Dr. Trounson was professor of stem cell sciences and director of the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He previously founded the National Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, the "Australian Stem Cell Centre." He is a pioneer in human in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and associated reproductive technologies.