At least three Los Angeles-area academic institutions said they have begun receiving their first stem cell research-related funding from Proposition 71.

In all, 16 California non-profit institutions have received $12.1 million in training grants for stem cell researchers from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, whose $3 billion in voter-approved bond sales so far have been blocked by opponents. In the interim the institute's board last week approved the sale of $14 million of bond anticipation notes to six California philanthropic entities.

The UCLA Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine received $1.23 million, the first installment of a $3.75 million training grant approved last September. The grant will train at least 16 pre-doctoral, post-doctoral and clinical research scholars.

USC's Keck School of Medicine, in combination with USC-affiliated Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, received the largest portion of the new funds, totaling $1.38 million, as part of its three-year, $3.16 million training grant for graduate students, post-doctoral and clinical fellows across 27 university departments.

The California Institute of Technology said it also has received a portion of its $2.3 million grant to support 10 postdoctoral scholars in the Caltech Stem Cell Biology Training Program.

The philanthropic groups that agreed to purchase the bond anticipation notes are the Broad Foundation, $2 million; Beneficus Foundation, $2 million; Blum Capital Partners LP, $1 million; William K. Bowes Foundation, $2 million; the Broad Foundation, $2 million; Jacobs Family Trust, $5 million; and the Moores Foundation, $2 million.

The notes reduce taxpayer liability, but are riskier for investors because they must agree that their loans would be converted to grants or donations if bond opponents prevail.

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