Empire State Stem Cell Board Awards $30.5 Million for Stem Cell Facilities and Research Faculty Training

Albany, N.Y. (May 21, 2010) – The Empire State Stem Cell Board today voted to award $30.5 million in State funding to support biomedical research infrastructure and stem cell research training in New York State.

The investment underscores New York's commitment to build a strong biomedical industry and to create unique training opportunities for stem cell investigators within the State.

The awards to 10 research institutions across New York State were approved at a meeting of the Empire State Stem Cell Board's Funding Committee in New York City.

"Investment in stem cell research facilities stimulates our biomedical industry, creates job opportunities, and develops a competitive research pipeline," said Governor David. A. Paterson. "Enhancing our research capacity and supporting an environment that motivates investigators and entrepreneurs will continue to strengthen our reputation as a leader in biomedical research, making New York more attractive to top researchers and private investment."

The awards approved today follow an independent evaluation of proposals submitted in response to two separate Requests for Applications (RFAs) to establish and operate specialized resources and research facilities and to recruit and retain exceptionally talented postdoctoral fellows.

Awards for Shared Facilities for Stem Cell Research, totaling $27.3 million, will support the establishment and operation of multi-institutional core research facilities to maximize the expertise, efficiency and quality of stem cell research in New York State. Awards of up to four years will fund specialized resources and facilities to be operated on a shared-use basis in support of basic, applied, translational, pre-clinical or clinical stem cell-related research.

The Fellow to Faculty Awards, totaling $3.2 million, will support Empire State Stem Cell Scholars eligible for up to two years of continued postdoctoral training in stem cell-relevant research, followed by up to three years of funding for independent stem cell research at the faculty level.

State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., chair of the Empire State Stem Cell Board, said: "These grants will not only help New York retain its scientific talent but will facilitate multi-institutional collaboration and sharing of knowledge and technology. These are critical steps in developing strategies to guide decisions about stem cell research and regenerative medicine."

Governor Paterson has spearheaded a multi-year initiative to advance stem cell science in New York. To date the New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM) program has allocated approximately $303 million from the Empire State Stem Cell Trust Fund to support promising stem cell scientists through the development of new infrastructure, research and training.

Additionally, on May 26 and May 27, the 2nd Annual NYSTEM 2010 Awardees Meeting will take place in New York City at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The meeting, entitled "Building the New York Stem Cell Community," will feature plenary talks, a poster session, and a half-day Shared Equipment and Facilities Workshop.

Topics for the plenary sessions will include: neural stem cells; cancer stem cells; stem cells in cardiovascular, liver and other diseases; pluripotency and reprogramming; stem cell biology; and tissue engineering and technology. The Workshop will inform stem cell scientists across the State about the capabilities of NYSTEM-funded resources to identify new collaborative opportunities, as well as enhance cooperation among these resources to better serve the stem cell science community.

More information about the NYSTEM program is available at: http://stemcell.ny.gov.

Shared Facilty Awards

Institution Principal Investigator Award
Columbia University Medical Center Christopher Henderson, Ph.D. $5,874,675
Cornell University Andrew Yen, Ph.D. $1,102,829
New York University School of Medicine Ramanuj DasGupta, Ph.D. $5,436,929
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Glenn Monastersky, Ph.D. $2,450,561
Stony Brook University, Research Foundation of SUNY Wadie Bahou, Ph.D. $5,503,554
University at Buffalo, Research Foundation of SUNY Richard Gronostajski, Ph.D. $3,564,599
University of Rochester Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D. $3,331,362
    $27,264,509

Fellow To Faculty Awards

Institution Principal Investigator Award
Columbia University Donald Freytes, Ph.D. $1,076,799
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Lan Wang, Ph.D. $1,078,500
The Rockefeller University Ting Chen, Ph.D. $1,078,500