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Schaffer wins $2.1 million stem cell research grant

Professor David Schaffer

July 27, 2007

Chemical engineering professor David Schaffer has won a $2.1 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to expand the research program of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center.

In July, Schaffer was appointed the associate director of the center, while Robert Tjian, professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, became the new director, replacing departmental colleague and founding director, Randy Schekman.

The stem cell center was created in November 2004, when Chancellor Robert Birgeneau asked Schekman to coordinate stem cell research already underway on campus and to reach out to other researchers. The center includes faculty, students and staff from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

The center offers laboratory research opportunities in basic cell biology, chemistry, bioengineering and chemical engineering. In addition to funding from CIRM, research activities are supported by individual grants from the NIH, private foundations, and private philanthropic donations.

Schaffer also holds a faculty appointment at Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Along with colleagues Sanjay Kumar (Bioengineering) and Kevin Healy (Biomaterials Engineering), Schaffer has been awarded a $70,000 grant from the Chancellor's Faculty Partnership Fund to enhance stem cell research.

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