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Will Benefit Nearly Two Dozen Studies At UConn and Yale


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT: Donna Tommelleo, 860-524-7313

June 10, 2010                                           



Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state has awarded $9.8 million in grants to support nearly two dozen stem cell research projects by scientists at the University of Connecticut and at Yale.


The grants are part of the $100 million Stem Cell Research Fund, which was created by legislation that Governor Rell signed into law in 2005 making Connecticut just the third state in the nation to offer public funding for human stem cell research. The program was created to support the growing bioscience industry and the jobs it creates in Connecticut.


“The bioscience industry has a solid home here in Connecticut. Cutting-edge research is being done by some of the finest scientists in the world and can lead to vital medical breakthroughs,” the Governor said. “This funding and our commitment to bioscience will continue to enhance Connecticut’s reputation as an international center of excellence in stem cell research.”


The Connecticut bioscience industry employs more than 18,000 people and spends more than $6 billion on operations annually within the state. The industry is a significant source of high-paying jobs.


The Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee, which is chaired by Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin, reviews researchers’ applications and annually awards the funding. The committee received 89 applications in December 2009. In May 2010, Connecticut’s Stem Cell Peer Review Committee considered these applications in accordance with National Institutes of Health guidelines and provided to the full Advisory Committee its recommendations for the awards, which will be allocated based upon available funding.


The grants are expected to fund the following projects:

  • Reconstitution of human hematopoietic system by HSCs derived from human embryonic stem cells in humanized mice, Yale University, New Haven, Richard A. Flavell, Principal Investigator, $1,000,000.00.
  • Use of human embryonic stem cells and inducible pluripotent stem cells to study megakaryoblastic leukemia, Yale University, New Haven, Diane Krause, Principal Investigator, $1,000,000.00.
  • Generation of hematopoietic stem cells and T-cell progenitors from human ESCs, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Laijun Lai, $1,000,000.00.
  • Modeling Parkinson’s disease using human embryonic stem cells and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, James Yuanhao Li, Principal Investigator, $992,500.00.
  • Mechanical control of neural stem cell fate, Yale University, New Haven, Angelique Bordey, Principal Investigator, $947,975.00.
  • Co-differentiation of hESC-derived retinal and retinal pigment epithelial progenitors, Yale University, New Haven, Lawrence J. Rizzolo, Principal Investigator, $832,608.00.
  • Regulations of Lin28 in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Self-renewal And Differentiation, Yale University, New Haven, Caihong Qiu, Principal Investigator, $750,000.00.
  • Stem Cell Physiology and Chemistry Core, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Srdjan D. Antic, M.D., Principal Investigator, $500,000.00.
  • Maturation of human embryonic stem (hES) cell-derived cardiomyocytes in vitro using 3D engineered tissue model system, Yale University, New Haven, Lee, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • The Role of Dormant Replication Origins in Ensuring Genome Integrity in Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Yale University, New Haven, XinQuan Ge, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Regulating Caspase Activity to Enhance Differentiation Efficiency of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Xiaofang Wang, Ph.D., M.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Novel roles of long non-coding RNAs in human embryonic stem cells, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Li Yang, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Molecular mechanisms of germ layer induction in human embryonic stem cells, Yale University, New Haven, Efrat Oron, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Identification and characterization of multipotent cell populations from human adipose tissue for application in regenerative thereapies, Yale University, New Haven, Matthew S. Rodeheffer, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Efficient Gene Targeting in Human Embryonic Stem Cell via Recombineering Based Long Arm Targeting Vector, Yale University, New Haven, Chunsheng Dong, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • The role of epigenetic factor-HP1 in regulating human embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation, Yale University, New Haven, Ee-Chun Cheng, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • In vivo Evaluation of Humans ES, IPS and Adult Brain Derived Neural Progenitor Cell Tranplantation and Migration Using MRI, Yale University, New Haven, Erik M.  Shapiro, PhD, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Discovering treatments to prevent neurodegeneration in Huntington’s Disease using hESCs and patient-derived iPSCs, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Carolyn Drazinic, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Generation of a novel source of iPS cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Rosa M. Guzzo, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • To develop efficient methodologies to generate customized anti-tumor effecter T cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) by TCRengineering approach, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Arvind Chhabra, Principal Investigator, $200,000.00.
  • Generation of layer V pyramidal neurons from human embryonic stem cells, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Radmila Filipovic, Principal Investigator, $199,945.00.
  • Nuclear Receptor Control of Human Epidermal Stem Cells, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Brian J. Aneskievich, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, $199,894.00.

For more information on the stem cell research grant program: or call (860) 509-7270.