Vol 10. Issue 34 / November 8, 2010


Peter Schultz Wins $6.8 Million CIRM Grant
Scripps Research Institute Professor Peter Schultz has won a $6.8 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency created by proposition 71. The grant will enable the Schultz lab to focus on developing a stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis, which currently affects more than 40 million Americans and costs the country more than $100 billion per year.

According to CIRM, the latest round of awards is designed to move good ideas out of the lab and into the clinic, funding research considered critical to its mission of translating basic discoveries into clinical cures. The funded projects are expected to either result in a candidate drug or cell therapy or make significant strides toward such a candidate, which can then be developed for submission to the FDA for clinical trials.

For more information on the Schultz lab project, see http://www.cirm.ca.gov/ReviewSummary_TR2-01829

Susana Valente Awarded Grant from Landenberger Foundation to Study HIV
Susana T. Valente, an assistant professor in the Department of Infectology, has received a two-year $240,000 grant from the Philadelphia-based Margaret Q. Landenberger Research Foundation. The grant will fund the expansion of her study of the many genes and protein products that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, uses to live inside human cells. These unique molecular interactions between retrovirus and host cell are potential therapeutic targets that might be exploited to disarm the virus without endangering the viability of the cell.

"I'm honored to receive this award from the Landenberger Foundation," Valente said. "This award will help me continue to focus on understanding how viruses like HIV use the machinery of host cells to replicate, as well as to explore some novel ways to prevent that from happening. The foundation has been very supportive of the work of Scripps Florida scientists, and I'm pleased that they selected our laboratory for this latest award."

Valente is the fifth Scripps Florida scientist to receive an award from the foundation in the last four years, an exceptional showing in a highly competitive environment. In the future, all awards will likely be restricted to a single grant per year per institution, according to a Landenberger spokesman. Previous grantees include Assistant Professor Nagi Ayad, Associate Professor Paul Kenney, Assistant Professor Michael Conkright, and Professor Donny Strosberg.






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