Research scientists from Bristol University have received funding from Catholic parishioners, to use adult stem cells for therapeutic applications, reports the BBC.
Professor Neil Scolding’s group at the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences were given £25,000 on the 'Day of Life', an annual event that 'celebrates the dignity of life’ on 25 July 2010.
Human stem cells are often derived from embryos left over from IVF treatment. But the Catholic Church opposes the use of embryos in research, and supports research that uses stem cells derived from adults or from umbilical cords.
Father Michael McAndrew said 'These grants are the result of generous donations given on the annual Day for Life - £500,000 worth of grants has been distributed nationwide’.
Professor Scolding, whose team uses stem cells for treating Multiple Sclerosis, said 'We are absolutely delighted with this splendid contribution to our bone marrow stem cell research programme relating to MS’.
‘Both our clinical trial work and our laboratory research are geared towards exploring, developing and maximising this effect - which we hope in the future will also apply to other neurodegenerative diseases'.