UW School of Medicine Online News

Vol. 7, No. 36
September 19, 2003

Human embryonic stem cell exploratory center funded

The UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will establish a federally funded Exploratory Center for Human Embryonic Cell Research.

The center will acquire, characterize, and in some cases, distribute, National Institutes of Health-approved human embryonic stem cell lines.

Federally funded research on embryonic stem cells is limited to existing cell lines, which are available from only a few private companies and academic institutions. The center will improve scientists’ access to these costly cell lines, and train them in methods for their use.

Research staff at a central laboratory, directed by Carol Ware, will become expert in cultivating the cells.

Tony Blau, associate professor of medicine, Division of Hematology, is the principal investigator for the $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of General Medicine.

The grant includes three pilot projects. Blau and Randall Moon, professor of pharmacology, will study cell line self-renewal. David Russell, associate professor of medicine, Division of Hematology, will develop genetic techniques, and Charles Murry, associate professor of pathology, and Thomas Reh, professor of biological structure, will work on differentiating embryonic cells into cardiomyocytes or retinal cells.

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