$4 Million from Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation Will Support UCLA Research

Posted: May 9, 2014 at 7:41 am

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Newswise Two new gifts from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to UCLA totaling $4 million will fund research in stem cell science and digestive diseases and support the recruitment of key faculty at two renowned research centers.

The gifts bring to $30 million The Broad Foundation's total support of faculty recruitment and basic and translational research at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA and at the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at UCLA's Division of Digestive Diseases.

A $2 million gift to the Broad Stem Cell Research Center adds to The Broad Foundation's original 2007 gift of $20 million, which has supported faculty and research and launched the Innovation Award program, which furthers cutting-edge research at the center by giving UCLA stem cell scientists "seed funding" for their research projects. The new gift will enable the continuation of the award program, which has yielded a 10-to-1 return on investment with grantees securing additional funding from other agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and more than $200 million in total grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell agency.

"The Broads' generous support has been essential to the development of new therapies that are currently in, or very near, clinical trials for treating blindness, sickle cell disease and cancer," said Dr. Owen Witte, director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center. "The Broad Stem Cell Research Center's work, supported by critical philanthropic and other resources, is quickly being translated from basic scientific discoveries into new cellular therapies that will change the practice of medicine and offer future treatment options for diseases thought to be incurable, such as muscular dystrophy, autism and AIDS."

The $2 million gift to the Division of Digestive Diseases builds on nearly $6 million in previous commitments from The Broad Foundation since 2003.

The gifts have enabled the division to develop a comprehensive research and clinical enterprise focused on inflammatory bowel disease, one of only a few such centers in the world. Earning a multifold return for The Broad Foundation's initial investments, these grants have enabled investigators to secure $11 million in funding from pharmaceutical companies, the National Institutes of Health and nonprofit foundations.

In addition, The Broad Foundation's Broad Medical Research Program has provided more than $600,000 in grants to UCLA researchers over the past decade for the study of inflammatory bowel disease.

The new gift will support the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and research led by Dr. Charalabos "Harry" Pothoulakis, the center's director. Pothoulakis' team conducts research aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of this group of chronic debilitating diseases, for which there is no cure.

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$4 Million from Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation Will Support UCLA Research

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