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State stem cell agency awards Stanford researchers

Albert Wong receives $2.9 million to develop vaccine for glioblastoma; four others awarded $240,000 each to study bladder, heart and eye conditions.

Albert Wong, MD, professor of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine, was awarded $2.9 million today by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study the use of a vaccine to treat glioblastoma, a common and often-deadly brain tumor.

The vaccine is meant to stimulate a patient’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. The award was made through the state stem cell agency’s Partnering Opportunity for Translational Research Projects program.

In addition, four School of Medicine researchers received Inception Awards of about $240,000 each through the agency’s Partnering Opportunity for Discovery Stage Research Projects program. 

 These awards provide seed funding to support the exploration of transformational ideas that hold the potential to greatly impact the field of human stem cell research.

Recipients include professor of obstetrics and gynecology Bertha Chen, MD, to investigate ways to treat radiation-induced bladder injury; professor of ophthalmology Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, to explore the use of embryonic stem cells to treat corneal endothelial degeneration; associate professor of medicine Phillip Yang, MD, to study how to activate patient-specific endogenous myocardial repair; and professor of developmental biology Philip Beachy, PhD, to learn whether bladder cancer can be treated by replacing the corrupted urothelial lining.

In total, 19 Discovery Stage Research awards and one Translational Research award were granted for a total of $7 million. With these awards, Stanford has received roughly $307 million from CIRM.

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