When vascular biologist linkurl:John Cooke;http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/gcrc/faculty/John_Cooke/ of Stanford University received a grant in 2007 from the linkurl:California Institute for Regenerative Medicine;http://www.cirm.ca.gov/ (CIRM) to launch stem cell research in his lab, he never expected the agency to linkurl:take back the money;http://www.cirm.ca.gov/node/428 -- especially not when his research was just starting to take him in some exciting new directions.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Nissim Benvenisty
Within a year of starting the experiments on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) he had outlined in his grant application, Cooke's group developed a protein-based strategy for generating induced pluripotent stem cells that they hope "will be a paradigm-shifting approach to vascular regeneration." The problem was that this was not what he had originally proposed to do. Cooke's award was a SEED grant -- Scientific Excellence through Exploration and Development -- CIRM's attempt to jump start research in hESCs, and by nature, fund exploratory basic...

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