The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state’s stem cell agency, has awarded a five-year, $8 million grant to the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The funding helped to launch the USC+CHLA Alpha Clinic, which will expand personnel dedicated to advancing clinical trials of new cell and gene therapies; engaging underserved communities in such studies; and training the workforce that conducts them. It will also create opportunities to collaborate and exchange expertise with a network of CIRM-funded Alpha Clinics at eight other top biomedical research institutions statewide.

The new CIRM-supported program capitalizes on distinctive strengths and capabilities at the Keck School and CHLA. The institutions have cultivated a large slate of cell and gene therapy research projects ranging from basic studies to investigational treatments poised to enter patient testing, as well as a track record of success engaging people from local underserved communities in research to improve their health.

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