New York's Stem Cell Research Initiative Provides $2.1 Million to Support Undergraduate Study

Students Will Gain Learning Opportunities in Science, Ethics, Legal and Societal Implications of Stem Cell Research

NEW YORK (Nov. 3, 2009) - New York's stem cell research initiative has approved $2.1 million in new funding that will offer college students in New York State the opportunity to learn about stem cell science and experience first-hand the specialized techniques required for pursuing a stem cell research career.

Governor David A. Paterson said, "The scientific and technological research being conducted in New York State will ensure a brighter future, not only for New York's economy but for the thousands of New Yorkers who potentially will benefit from stem cell therapies. But the vitality of our biomedical and biotechnology enterprises is only as strong as the foundation that we provide to the next generation."

Governor Paterson has led the effort to commit $600 million over the next decade to advance stem cell science in New York State as part of a New Economy based on knowledge, technology and innovation. Since the beginning of 2008, the State has allocated more than $165 million through the Empire State Stem Cell Board to support promising stem cell scientists in the development of new research, training, collaboration and infrastructure.

"No area of science better exemplifies New York's New Economy than does stem cell research and its potential for creating meaningful, high-paying jobs while exploring potential therapies for some of the most devastating diseases," Governor Paterson said.

The awards to eight New York institutions of higher education are in response to a Request for Applications (RFA) seeking the development of undergraduate curricula on stem cell science and related ethical, legal and societal implications, and an RFA to support summer undergraduate experiences in stem cell research.

The awards for stem cell research education were approved at the Oct. 26 meeting of the Funding Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board. The board is chaired by State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D.

"The college courses to be developed with these funds will target both science majors and non-science majors, ensuring that regardless of what career path students pursue, they have a better understanding of the complexities of stem cell science and its ethical, legal and societal implications," said Commissioner Daines.

Curricula developed with State support will be posted online (www.stemcell.ny.gov), making the course material available beyond a single campus. Recipients of awards for Undergraduate Curricula on Stem Cell Science and Related Ethical, Legal and Societal Implications are:

John Russell, Ph.D.
Syracuse University
$324,000
Robert Van Buskirk
SUNY Binghamton
$287,823
Katayoun Chamany, Ph.D.
Eugene Lang College
The New School for Liberal Arts
$212,914
David Kalderon, Ph.D.
Columbia University – Morningside
$336,998
Dina Markowitz, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
$272,448

Undergraduates interested in conducting stem cell research will have the opportunity to work with an experienced investigator, develop an independent research project, learn about career opportunities, and appreciate the broader context of stem cell research during a paid, 10-week internship. Recipients of awards for the Summer Undergraduate Experience in Stem Cell Research are:

Laurel Southard, M.S.
Cornell University
$234,576
David Bynum, Ph.D.
SUNY Stony Brook
$229,471
Alice Heicklen, Ph.D.
Columbia University
$243,000

More information on New York's stem cell research initiative can be found on the program website: www.stemcell.ny.gov.