Stem cell research in the US state of Connecticut has been given a major boost through an award of research grants totalling $5.6 million. The Connecticut Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee has granted awards to twelve stem cell projects at Yale University, as part of the state's ten-year commitment of $100 million in the Stem Cell Research Program. The fund is targeted towards research that is ineligible for federal funding, namely human embryonic stem cell research (ES cell), which was high on the Committee's priority list.
'The new grants that Yale investigators will receive are essential for furthering human embryonic stem cell research in the State of Connecticut', said Haifan Lin, Professor of Cell Biology at Yale, adding 'we will try our best to utilise this key resource to achieve the goal'.
The projects funded by the Committee include research exploring the use of ES cells in treatments for Parkinson's disease, involving the transplantation of human stem cells into the brains of monkeys. The Yale Stem Cell Center also received $1.8 million towards expanding its capabilities.
The Stem Cell Research Program was established in 2005 in an attempt to counter the lack of federal funding for creating new human ES cell lines. Previously, in 2006, $19.7 million was split between researchers at Yale, the University of Connecticut, and Wesleyan University and this year's research grants are the second time the Committee has made such awards.
'We've got two major research institutions, and we want to be able to support them and their efforts in this new and burgeoning field', said Lynn Townshend, executive aide to the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. 'As a state we want those lines here and we want to keep them here'.
Sources and References
State Stem Cell Grants Awarded
Univ. researchers win $5.6M for stem-cell projects
Yale Receives More than $5 Million in Stem Cell Funding