NOVATO -- The Buck Institute for Age research was awarded $1,571,229 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for research training in stem cells and aging, it was announced today.

The training program will bring six new postdoctoral Ph.D or MD scientists to the Institute. It'll focus on stem cells and aging and age-related disease, with a particular concentration in neurodegenerative disorders.

The funding was part of $11 million approved for additional grants for two training programs. The Buck's proposed program was deemed scientifically meritorious in January, but a downturn in the bond market make the funds unavailable. With improvements in the state's bond situation, CIRM chose to reconsider a second tier of grants to smaller institutions such as the Buck.

Buck faculty member Xianmin Zeng, associate director of the training program, testified at the CIRM meeting today when the grants were approved.

"Our focus on aging and its diseases will provide stem cell scientists who will devote their careers to developing practical applications of this technology," he said.

According to Buck president and COO James Kovach, the program will "amplify stem cell training by including the focus on aging."

Recruitment for the six new postdoctoral fellows will begin immediately.