Governor Doyle Pushes for Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research
MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today announced that the State will be joining national efforts to ensure that federal funding is available for stem cell researchers in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted an injunction barring federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.
"Wisconsin is home to over 600 biotechnology companies and 11 stem cell companies," Governor Doyle said. "In total, there are more than 34,000 people working in bioscience research and industry in Wisconsin. These fields contribute almost $9 billion to Wisconsin's economy. But all of that is at risk today. Make no mistake; losing the millions of dollars in federal grants that our top researchers have earned will be detrimental to this state."
The federal government is appealing Judge Lamberth's decision and seeking immediate relief from the order barring federal funding. Governor Doyle has offered to assist the U.S. Department of Justice in their efforts and to provide them with evidence on how the ruling impacts the State of Wisconsin. The State will also participate as an amicus in the appeal for the appellate court to understand the dramatic impact of Judge Lamberth's ruling on the State of Wisconsin.
In addition, Governor Doyle is asking Congress to repeal to Dickey-Wicker amendment and is working to ensure that members of Congress know what is at stake for Wisconsin. A change in federal law to modify or repeal the Dickey-Wicker amendment would definitively allow for federal funding of stem cell research.
Since taking office, Governor Doyle has vastly expanded Wisconsin's investment in stem cell research. In addition to being home to world renowned stem cell companies that leverage millions of dollars in investment, Wisconsin is home to:
The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery - Researchers are working in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technologies to develop new biomedical treatments.
The UW-Madison Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center - Researchers at UW-Madison are the most frequently cited in scientific journals regarding stem cell research.
The Waisman Center - Researchers are combining stem cell research with gene therapies.
The Medical College of Wisconsin - Ranks in the top third of all U.S. medical schools in life science research funding and houses one of the largest bioinformatics research centers in the country.
The Blood Center of Wisconsin - Has the third-largest biomedical research institution in the state. It is one of only four blood centers in the world with a significant blood research program and it receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other blood center in the country.
WiCell - Selected as the nation's first and only National Stem Cell Bank by the National Institutes of Health in 2005 and today continues as the Wisconsin International Stem Cell Bank.
In 2008, Governor Doyle received the Genetics Policy Institute's National Leadership Award in recognition of his support of stem cell research and his strategic goal to invest $750 million in biotechnology and stem cell research.
Governor Doyle was joined at the event today by Dr. Timothy Kamp, Director, UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center and Dr. Stephen A. Duncan, Director, Medical College of Wisconsin Program in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology. Also attending the event were Michelle Alswager, whose son Jesse passed away from complications of juvenile diabetes and Jody Montgomery and her daughter Maddi who has had juvenile diabetes since she was two.