UCSB will receive $3.2 million in state funding for the construction of a state-of-the-art stem cell research laboratory to be housed in the campus Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering.

The grant, awarded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will fund the complete renovation of the 10,337-square-foot facility located at Biological Sciences 2 according to a UCSB press release. The full budget for the project is set for $6.3 million.

Completion of the facility will allow for further research in the field of stem cell biology – the potential capability of stem cells to transform into the other types of cells that make up the human body.

According to the press release, the long-term goal of the center is the development of stem cell-based therapeutics for a range of human diseases.

Funding from CIRM resulted from the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, in 2004. The measure provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research and development at California universities and research institutions.

Nine other UC campuses received grants from CIRM yesterday in order to develop stem cell research facilities, the combined funding equating to $180 million. According to the CIRM public release, $43 million was allocated to UC San Diego’s future Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, $34.9 million to UC San Francisco, $27.2 million to UC Irvine, $20.1 million to UC Davis, $19.9 million to UCLA, $20.2 million to UC Berkeley, $7.2 million to UC Santa Cruz and $4.4 million to UC Merced.

Meanwhile, UCSB recently joined forces with five other institutions to form the Southern California Stem Cell Scientific Collaboration, an organization designed to spread knowledge pertaining to the field of study.