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Berkeley City College Receives $1.08 Million Stem Cell Research Grant for Its “Bridges to Stem Cell Research” Program

8 April 2011

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) recently awarded a $1.08 million grant to the Berkeley City College Biotechnology Department, chaired by Dr. Barbara Des Rochers, for its “Bridges to Stem Cell Program”. The grant title is “Speciality in Stem Cell Research” and its status and funding level can be found on this website: http://cirm.ca.gov/for-researchers/researchfunding?Institution[]=854.

BCC’s Biotechnology Department grant is part of $3 billion approved by California voters in 2004 for the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (Prop 71) for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions. CIRM was created as a new state agency to administer this funding. CIRM’s mandate is to support and advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine under the highest ethical and medical standards for the discovery and development of cures, therapies, diagnostics and research technologies to relieve human suffering from chronic disease and injury.

BCC’s Bridges to Stem Cell Program prepares community college students, particularly members of racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented in the health sciences, to obtain positions in the field of stem cell research by providing them with hands-on laboratory experience as well as academic instruction. A second purpose is to encourage students to pursue careers as stem cell scientists and thus, continue their education until they have obtained the required advanced degree. Selected students will serve an internship in a collaborating laboratory and will have the opportunity to work alongside scientists and technicians as they proceed through their experiments. For a full description of the proposal, please visit this website: http://cirm.ca.gov/content/specialty-stem-cell-biology.

Dr. Barbara Des Rochers is chair of the Biotechnology Department at Berkeley City College, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704. For further information, she can be reached by email at: bsdesroch@hotmail.com.

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