The state is preparing to invest up to $40 million in a new field that supporters say has the potential to lead to personalized medical treatments.

Two years ago the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine decided to move ahead with the plan to fund research into stem-cell genomics and began accepting applications for research money.

So now scientists and businesses in the San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, and various other places are competing for the award money.

If successful the new center, or centers, will be a big stepping stone in the field of stem-cell research.