July 14, 2005
La Jolla, CA – Over the next five years, the Salk Institute will be a training ground for a total of 30 selected post-doctoral researchers from Spain, in the science of stem cell biology.
After completing their two-year research rotations in the laboratories of Salk faculty, the researchers are expected to return to Spain to continue studies there.
Spanish officials and the Salk Institute this week finalized the plans for the training program.
Salk professor Dr. Juan Carlos Belmonte, an international leader in research on how genes and molecules orchestrate embryonic development, organized the new program between Salk and Spain.
“Spain, as one of the leading countries worldwide in the field of tissue and organ transplantation, is firmly committed to support efforts in the field of regenerative medicine,” said Dr. Belmonte. “This agreement is designed to develop and enhance research opportunities for Spanish postdoctoral fellows training for careers in the field of human stem cell biology, while at the same time establishing close scientific relationships between the Salk Institute and overseas institutions that are going to play a leading role in the next decade in the field of regenerative medicine.”
“Spain is making a major commitment to becoming a European center for life sciences research, and creating expertise in stem cell research and regenerative medicine is a centerpiece of that effort. Professor Belmonte has been a key figure in bringing this joint program together, and we at Salk are delighted to participate in it,” said Dr. Richard Murphy, president and CEO of the Salk Institute.
The six individuals who will train each year at the Salk will be selected jointly by Salk Institute faculty and program officials in Spain, most of whom come from Spain’s academic sector. The students will be based on a competitive application program that evaluates their academic training, publishing success and research interests. Spanish agencies will fund the awardees’ fellowships including salary, supplies, indirect costs, health care and travel expenses, a total of approximately $3.5 million over the five-year life of the program.
In addition, an annual international meeting on stem cell science will occur in Spain under the scientific direction of Salk researchers and with the assistance of scientists appointed by the two Spanish agencies sponsoring the training program at Salk.
The two agencies are the Instituo de Salud Carlos III and the Scientific Research Council. The institute, which is the technical and scientific agency of the Spanish government’s ministry of health, has embarked on several programs to strengthen that country’s stem cell research.
The council, a public, multi-sector, multi-discipline research institution, is engaged in scientific research and technological development.