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News in Brief

Stem Cell Research Expands at UCI

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded grants of more than $2.6 million to UC Irvine scientists Marian Waterman and Aileen Anderson.

With these grants, Waterman and Anderson will be studying stem cells and their potential to treat spinal cord injury, cancer and other disorders; specifically, the fundamental properties and mechanisms of stem cells.

Of the total amount allocated to UCI, $1.3 million will be utilized by Waterman to study how human embryonic stem cells survive and remain pluripotent. Withthis knowledge, they hope to learn how to create pluripotent cells in patients. Working with Waterman will be Peter Donovan, Robert Sierra and Leslie Lock from the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.

The other $1.3 million will be used by Anderson to study the properties of induced pluripotent cells and how they can be used to treat injuries and diseases in the central nervous system. For this project, Anderson will be working with Brian Cummings and Hal Nguyen from the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.

The team will also be working with Japanese researchers Masaya Nakamura, Yohei Okada and Hideyuki Okano.

Overall, the CIRM has awarded UCI about a total of $62.5 million in grants through the years to conduct research.

UCI Researches Nerve Injuries

UC Irvine’s Dr. Ranjan Gupta, chair of the department of orthopedic surgery, along  with his team were awarded a five-year $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for his work investigating chronic nerve injury and Schwann cells.

Schwann cells support nerve cells and researchers examine how these cells can protect nerves by forming a sheath around them. The study examines whether these cells reduce the effects of nerve compression injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome and spinal nerve root stenosis. Results from this study could lead to new therapies for patients suffering from chronic nerve injuries.

ASUCI Spring Election Results Released

The ASUCI Spring election results were released on Sunday, May 2, ushering in a new year in student government:

President Sitara Nayudu, Executive Vice President Andres Gonzalez, Vice President of Administrative Affairs Logan Frick, Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Scifo, Humanities Representative Charlyn Joy Arellano, ISC Representative Johnson Liu, Social Science Representatives James Shen and Andrea Gaspar, Biological Sciences Representative Eric Saidi, Health Sciences Representative Omendi Heidari,  Sustainability Commissioner Kevin Schlunegger, Engineering Representative Rachel Baker, Social Ecology Representative Christian Medero and At-Large Representatives Neal Catig, Charlene Ip and Toni Rose Reyes.
Of the 14 positions voted on in this election, the candidates for Executive Vice President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Sustainability Commissioner, Engineering Representative and Social Ecology Representative ran unopposed.

The Constitutional Amendments for the ASUCI Constitution and the New University Fund did not receive enough votes to take effect, regardless of outcome.
The results for Vice President of Student Services are being contested.