The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a state-funded stem cell agency, has granted $40 million to create a new center that bridges the field of genomics with stem cell research.

Though the Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Genomics will be based at Stanford University, San Diego’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies will be a principal investigator. Other key participants will be University of California, San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute, the J. Craig Venter Institute and Illumina Inc.

The center’s aim is to learn more about the disease processes in cancer, diabetes, heart research and mental health.

“Bringing together this team, to do this kind of work means we will be better able to understand how stem cells change as they grow and become different kinds of cells,” said Alan Trounson, president of the stem cell agency. “That deeper knowledge, that you can only get through a genomic analysis of the cells, will help us develop better ways of using these cells to come up with new treatments for deadly diseases.”