California Stem Cell Initiative Wins Decisive Victory

On Election Day, California voters approved Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, by a margin of 59% to 41%. In passing Prop 71, voters agreed to fund stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities to help develop potentially lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that affect the lives of over 128 million Americans.

Scientists believe that human stem cells may hold the potential for providing breakthrough treatments for some of the most common, intractable diseases, as well as some injuries.  Stem cells are "specialized" cells that have the ability to generate healthy new cells, tissues and organs.  They may have the potential to provide cures for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, ALS, osteoporosis, spinal cord injuries and many other conditions.

UCSF has taken a lead in understanding the therapeutic value of stem cell research.  UCSF researchers co-discovered embryonic stem cells and have been researching this area of medical science for over 15 years.  UCSF recently recruited a Stem Cell Biology Program Director, Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD from Columbia University, to develop a comprehensive and collaborative campus-wide effort to continue our cutting-edge work in this important area of medical science.  In our Diabetes Center, Drs. Michael German and Matthias Hebrok are leaders in the field of developmental biology/stem cell regeneration of both islets and beta cells.