France and California in partnership for research on stem cells

Publié le : 5 December 2012
The French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) "issued a joint call for proposals to finance projects in fundamental research aimed at a better understanding of the biology of stem cells." Whereas the CIRM has already set up international partnerships with a dozen countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, a partnership agreement with France was signed for the first time in March 2011 by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR). 
In concrete terms, this agreement "concentrates on research issues linked to the understanding of the biology of human stem cells and the monitoring of stem cell fate." The article points out that "numerous questions about the fundamental mechanisms of the biology of stem cells remain unanswered, and their resolution is indispensable for envisaging the use of these cells for clinical or industrial purposes.
The results of the call for proposals, called "Basic Biology Awards IV 2012," were revealed in the autumn, and "$38 million were distributed among 28 international projects. Concerning the Franco-American projects, the CIRM and ANR have allocated two grants," one to an American researcher, David Traver, and the other one to two French researchers, Thierry Jaffredo and Pierre Chabord, "for their research work on hematopoietic stem cells [HSC]and their microenvironments or niches." The laboratory of the American Professor David Traver "is interested in genes and the signalling route involved in the emergence of HSCs in the embryos of vertebrates (study on fish and zebra). Understanding this process could make it possible to identify and develop new therapeutic solutions for serious diseases such as leukaemia or congenital blood diseases. Medical treatments involving HSCs are limited for the moment, due to the low availability of these cells and the potential problems linked to the lack of compatibility between the donors and receivers of HSCs." The French researcher Thierry Jaffredo has "received financial backing from the ANR to discover the new regulators involved in the emergence of hematopoietic stem cells and new mechanisms enabling their amplification."  

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