MERCED — Stem cell research at UC Merced is taking a step forward with the opening of its state-of-the-art Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry, made possible through the support of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and Ed and Jeanne Kashian of Fresno.
The foundry, housed on the first floor of the Science and Engineering Building, will expand the research capabilities of UC Merced's stem cell faculty members and serve as a resource for researchers throughout the state.
The foundry will allow them to manipulate and study individual stem cells with highly-specialized instruments. This kind of analysis helps researchers better understand how stem cells make decisions — the goal being to use the cells for regenerative medicine, which could combat diseases such as cancer, heart disease, heart disease and neural degeneration.
UC Merced's Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry will allow campus researchers to conduct single cell analysis with highly-specialized tools.
"This facility is a testament to the caliber of the campus' research and is also an investment in the state's economy," Vice Chancellor for Research Sam Traina said. "The stem cell advancements, coupled with entrepreneurs ready to take the new knowledge to market, will contribute to developing a biotech industry in the region."
A $4.36 million grant from CIRM in 2008 funded construction, and the generous support of the community equipped the 3,905-square-foot facility, which includes two ultra-clean rooms that prevent dust and other particles from interfering with the research.
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