In 2010, the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) established OCASCR to promote research in the emerging field of adult stem cell biology in Oklahoma. Since then, adult stem cell research has flourished in our state, and Oklahoma universities, research foundations, and biotechnology companies are now fortunate to employee many world-recognized investigators who conduct research in this area. In 2019, OCASCR expanded its focus to include research in regenerative medicine—a field that is closely related to adult stem cell biology and that strives to restore the normal functions of cells, tissues, and organs that have been damaged by disease. OCASCR joins TSET in acknowledging that smoking- and obesity-related diseases are particularly deadly in Oklahoma and is therefore keen on promoting regenerative medicine research that is relevant to these diseases. The overall goal of OCASCR is to help adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research thrive in Oklahoma and to serve as a trusted resource for public information on these topics.
Award Mechanisms:
OCASCR supports five different grant categories:
1. Research Grants: Research Grants should be focused on adult stem cells and/or regenerative medicine. For applications focused on adult human stem cells, OCASCR defines adult human stem cells as those obtained from umbilical cord blood or other adult samples. For applications focused on regenerative medicine, those projects related to diseases caused by smoking or obesity (i.e. cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.) will be prioritized, since OCASCR funding comes from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), which is dedicated to reducing these leading causes of death in Oklahoma. Studies involving experimental animals and model systems will be considered. Reprogramming of adult cells for use in tissue regeneration and stem cell-based reconstruction are of interest, as are studies devoted to a better understanding of tissue-specific stem cells, development, and regeneration. These are not inclusive examples, and exciting advances are possible in many areas of adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research.
2. Shared Equipment Grants: Requests for shared equipment should include a manufacturer’s quote and information about users. The instrumentation should be part of a core facility and available to investigators in other institutions. The budget should only include the cost of the equipment. It is assumed that personnel or supply costs will be absorbed by the institution or charged to users.
3. Education and Travel Grants: Requests can be made for support to attend educational opportunities regarding stem cells and/or regenerative medicine, participate in courses, or train in other laboratories. Support will also be considered for “mini-sabbaticals” to learn stem cell and regenerative medicine-related technology.
4. Enabling Technology Grants: Investigators with current OCASCR funding or federal funding for stem cell and/or regenerative medicine research may apply for help in obtaining enabling technology, such as commercially available animal models, monoclonal antibody preparation, or genetic assays. The enabling technology should have the potential to make the investigator’s stem cell and/or regenerative medicine research more competitive for subsequent or additional federal funding.
5. Other: OCASCR is aware that there may be other valuable ways to support adult stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and inquiries are welcome. For example, partial salary support might be requested for personnel in core facilities that are heavily used by OCASCR grantees. A successful proposal would have to document need and show how this funding mechanism would be uniquely valuable.

Click here to be directed to grant application forms and instructions.