California awarded its first grants for stem cell research Monday, in an effort to restart the state's stalled research program. About $12 million raised by state business leaders including venture capitalist L. John Doerr and the Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs has been distributed to researchers and projects around the state. The program, known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has been slowed by a series of legal challenges filed by opponents of stem cell research. The problems have prevented officials from releasing any of the $3 billion in funding for stem cell research authorized by California voters in 2004. Recipients of the first grants supported by private money included Stanford University, the Salk Institute and a number of schools in the UC system.
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