UCSB has received a $3 million donation from William K. Bowes, Jr. to establish an endowed chair for the director of the planned Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. The chair, entitled the Ruth Garland chair in memory of Bowes’ mother, will aid the university enormously in attracting a talented and distinguished researcher to lead the new center, according to Vice Chancellor of Research Michael Witherell.
The research center will focus largely on stem cell research, which deals with the embryonic stem cells that form just after an egg is fertilized and exist for just a few days. This stage of cell development has the ability to become any type of tissue in the body, endowing stem cells with huge potential for advancing medical research, including as “replacements” for damaged cells in the body.
The center, which is expected to open within a year’s time, will help the university’s current research in this innovative field to expand, in addition to providing the means for researchers from UCSB, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, and Cottage Hospital to initiate new stem cell projects.