May 23, 2024
Cedars Leads Latest Round Of Funding
Cedars Leads Latest Round Of FundingCedars Leads Latest Round Of Funding
Hospital: Cedars-Sinai is based in Beverly Grove.

L.A. County health care research institutions were awarded approximately $12.5 million in the latest round of grants from California’s stem cell research institute, led by a $6 million grant to a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researcher to advance a cell-based therapy for an irregular heart rhythm condition.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was created by the passage of Proposition 71 in 2004 that allocated $3 billion in funding for stem cell research. Voters approved an initiative in 2020 that authorized another $5.5 billion in bond financing.

On March 29, the institute announced a total of $31 million in grant funding. Cedars-Sinai researchers nabbed two of the grants: the aforementioned $6 million grant and another $1.3 million to research neurodevelopmental disorders. Other grants – each about $1.5 million -went to researchers at UCLA, City of Hope in Duarte and the Lundquist Institute in unincorporated territory near Torrance.


The $6 million grant went to Eugenio Cingolani, director of cardiogenetics at Cedars-Sinai and director of preclinical research at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars. The grant will be used to further his research to advance a non-invasive cell-derived therapy for ventricular tachycardia, a condition in which the heart rhythm is irregular.

Cingolani said this condition is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death and that the most effective therapy currently in use involves the destruction of healthy heart tissue. He said the therapy his team is exploring holds the promise of treating the heart rhythm disorder without destroying healthy heart tissue.

With this grant funding, he said, “We’re now able to perform all the necessary efficacy and safety studies prior to moving this therapy into a clinical trial for patients.”

The other grant to a Cedars-Sinai researcher went to Tyler Mark Pierson; his research team is focused on the study of rare neurogenetic disorders, particularly for patients of Cedars-Sinai’s pediatric neurogenetics clinic.

“This grant will allow us to continue to research neurodevelopmental disorders and their effect on how the brain develops,” Pierson said.


The UCLA grant recipient was Michael Wells; his team is researching the genetic and molecular risk factors underlying disease-causing viral infections in multiple diverse ancestral populations.

The Lundquist Institute grant recipient was Denise Al Alam, for her team’s research into lung disease in individuals with Down syndrome.

And the City of Hope grant recipient was Qiong Annabel Wang; her team is researching a type of tissue-generated stem cells for cell therapies in older patients.

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