News

Near-infrared light is used to precisely engineer stem cells into tissue. Photo Credit: PETER ALLEN ILLUSTRATION
May 15, 2017

UCSB researchers develop a more precise and controlled method of engineering tissues from stem cells.

Researchers in UC Santa Barbara’s departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biologyhave gotten a step closer to unlocking the secrets of tissue morphology with a method of three-dimensional culturing of embryonic stem cells using light.

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April 24, 2017

Leah Foltz, a graduate student in the lab of MCDB professor Dennis Clegg, delivered an engaging summary of recent strides in stem cell research and how her lab uses this biological material to study blinding diseases. Her research explores whether scientists will one day be able to use someone’s own cells to cure their blindness. Foltz’s lively delivery earned her a first-place finish in the campuswide competition. Now she’s headed to San Francisco to test her mettle Thursday, May 4, against participants from the nine other University of California campuses.

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March 20, 2017

Three Solvang School students won awards and earned cash at the recent Santa Barbara County Science Fair, and one was chosen to represent the county at the California State Science Fair.

Five Solvang middle school students — Fernanda Barbosa, Andrew Bunke, Audrey Fuette, Tessa Haws and Harry Mullin — presented their work March 10 at the County Science Fair in Corwin Pavilion at UC Santa Barbara.

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October 20, 2016

The cover story of the September issue of National Geographic on treating blindness featured two research projects underway at the UCSB Stem Cell Center. First mentioned was the California Project to Cure Blindness, a joint effort between USC, UCSB, Caltech, City of Hope, University College London and Regenerative Patch Technologies, where researchers are using embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells on a scaffold to treat the dry form of age-related macular degeneration (Clegg and Coffey labs). Second, the article described work led by Henry Klassen at UC Irvine to treat retinitis pigmentosa with retinal stem cells. Both of these stem cell therapies are currently in clinical trials for ocular disease.

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April 15, 2016

“Anti-Aging Medicine” Sounds Vaguely Disreputable, So Serious Scientists Prefer to Speak of “Regenerative Medicine”.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and genome-editing techniques have facilitated manipulation of living organisms in innumerable ways at the cellular and genetic levels, respectively, and will underpin many aspects of regenerative medicine as it continues to evolve. An attitudinal change is also occurring. Experts in regenerative medicine have increasingly begun to embrace the view that comprehensively repairing the damage of aging is a practical and feasible goal.

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Researchers — such as Dr. Kathryn Blaschke (pictured), an alumni of the Clegg Lab — involved in the California Project to Cure Blindness at UCSB are developing stem cell therapies for blinding diseases. (Clegg Lab photo)
April 13, 2016

Eye & Vision Care of Santa Barbara will host its fifth annual folf tournament Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Glen Annie Golf Course with proceeds benefiting The California Project to Cure Blindness at UC Santa Barbara, raising awareness and critical funding for stem cell research.  

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Dr. Dennis Clegg (l) was welcomed by NEI director Dr. Paul Sieving.
April 08, 2016

Dr. Dennis Clegg recently visited NIH and gave a summary of his efforts with the California Project to Cure Blindness to develop a stem cell-based therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness in the U.S. His talk was the second installment in the National Eye Institute Audacious Goals Initiative Seminar Series in Neuroregeneration.

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January 12, 2016

President Barack Obama will bestow the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to USC Professor Mark Humayun, who is the director of the California Project to Cure Blindness (CPCB). The CPCB is a collaboration between USC, UC Santa Barbara, Caltech, and The City of Hope to develop a stem cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration. 

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November 24, 2015

More than seven million people in the US struggle to see. While most are not completely blind they have difficulty with, or simply can’t do, daily tasks most of us take for granted. CIRM has committed more than $100 million to 17 projects trying to solve this unmet medical need. Two of those projects have begun clinical trials testing cell therapies in patients.

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November 18, 2015

An award-winning essay by Dr. Sherry Hikita, former director of the Stem Cell Core at UC Santa Barbara, and now a research scientist at Asterias Biotherapeutics, describes her motivation to do stem cell research.

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