Alpern Fund Stem Cell Research Grants

The A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute’s Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies (CSCT) seeks proposals for innovative research at the University of Michigan that utilize either human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines or human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines derived by the CSCT. These grants are made possible from the generous contribution of Robert and Marge Alpern to a capital Fund for Stem Cell Research.

Two grants of $15,000 each will be available to support the transfer, directed differentiation, and phenotypic analysis of existing CSCT-produced disease-specific hESC lines. These lines are unique in that several represent the only existing line(s) for specific single-gene defects available worldwide. These funds can also support basic training, if needed, in pluripotent stem cell maintenance, growth, and characterization.

A list of CSCT-derived hESC lines can be found at and currently consists of hESC lines with mutations that give rise to 1) Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type IA, 2) Hemophilia B, 3) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (MYBPC3), 4) Huntington's Disease, 5) Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase 4 Deficiency, 6) Aniridia (PAX6), 7) Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia-2A (in process of NIH registry approval). 

Two grants of $50,000 each will be available for the derivation of new lines (either hESC or hiPSC). Successful projects might include, but are not limited to:

  • Derivation of a disease-specific hESC line. Funds will support acquisition of disease tested and affected human embryos (examples listed here) under an IRB-approved study.  Click here for a list of examples. Funds will support the production, expansion, and characterization of the disease-specific hESC line with submission and acceptance on the NIH hESC registry.
  • Derivation of novel disease-specific hiPSC lines. Funds will support the derivation of fibroblast cell lines from a tissue biopsy (or cell bank), derivation, and characterization of at least four iPSC lines.

Proposals will be judged for scientific merit by the CSCT Scientific Advisory Board. Successful applicants will be notified by December 1, 2012 with funds available January 1, 2013.

For additional information, contact:

  • Gary D. Smith, Ph.D., at 734-764-4134 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Sue O’Shea, Ph.D., at 734-763-2550 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Robert and Marge Alpern Stem Cell Research Fund was established at the University of Michigan in 2008 to support stem cell research with the greatest potential for increasing an understanding of fundamental stem cell biology as well as the potential for treating human disease.

Contributors to the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute's Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies include the Taubman Institute; the Office of the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs; the Office of the Medical School Dean; the Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases; the Office of the Vice President for Research; the School of Dentistry; the Department of Pathology; the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology; the College of Engineering; the Life Sciences Institute; the Department of Neurology; and U-M's Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research.

Applications should include a two-page research proposal (not including references), along with a brief budget summary (no PI salary support) and an NIH-format biosketch. They must be submitted electronically by November 1, 2012.

Alpern Fund Grant Application

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