GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES LANDMARK GATHERING OF STEM CELL RESEARCHERS IN ALBANY

GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES LANDMARK GATHERING OF STEM CELL RESEARCHERS IN ALBANY

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that more than 100 of the New York's preeminent scientists are gathering in Albany today to discuss progress made in stem cell research. The meeting is the first under the banner of the New York State Stem Cell Science (NYSTEM) program, which was established in 2007 in the first year of the State's historic 11-year, $600 million initiative to support stem cell research.

(Media-Newswire.com) - Governor David A. Paterson today announced that more than 100 of the New York's preeminent scientists are gathering in Albany today to discuss progress made in stem cell research. The meeting is the first under the banner of the New York State Stem Cell Science ( NYSTEM ) program, which was established in 2007 in the first year of the State's historic 11-year, $600 million initiative to support stem cell research.

"New York is home to the brightest scientific minds working at the finest research institutions and universities. Bringing all of this talent together is one of the first steps in establishing New York as the global leader in vital stem cell research," said Governor Paterson. "Innovation in science will also help put New Yorkers to work, and position our State to lead the New Economy for years to come."

"Stem Cell Science in New York State: Emerging Opportunities" highlights the work of 25 research institutions that were the first recipients of $14.5 million in NYSTEM funding. The grants were targeted to supplement existing stem cell research projects, support the purchase of research equipment and core research facilities and support training to increase the capacity of New York institutions to engage in stem cell research.

The one-day, intensive scientific meeting brings together stem cell researchers responsible for a wide array of stem cell biology-related research topics under investigation at diverse institutions across the State, including academic medical centers, freestanding biomedical research centers, and public and private universities and colleges.

"As a result of Governor Paterson's strong leadership and support for stem cell research, this state funding is providing an economic boost by invigorating New York's biotechnology industry and will ultimately translate into potential new treatments and cures for devastating diseases," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "The sharing of information at this scientific meeting will help foster a strong stem cell research community in New York State and advance the field of stem cell science."

Commissioner Daines will address the scientific meeting in his role as Chair of the Empire State Stem Cell Board, which recommends grant awards for research, infrastructure development, training, and ethical, legal and social implications, as well as education related to stem cell research. To date, the Board has committed $166 million in all funding categories. Funds are administered by NYSTEM staff in the State Health Department's Wadsworth Center laboratories.

Following Dr. Daines' opening remarks, Susan Solomon, chief executive officer of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a Manhattan-based private philanthropy organization that supports stem cell research through research grants, training opportunities, and infrastructure support, will deliver a keynote address. Ms. Solomon will speak on Opportunity for Excellence: The Critical Role of State Programs in the New Federal Landscape.

Plenary talks will focus on several research topics, including: tissue engineering; stem cells in their natural environment in model organisms such as plants, fruit flies and mice; and stem cells of the nervous system and their potential use in disease treatments. In addition, Dr. Allen Spiegel, dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will moderate a panel discussion about the opportunities and challenges of translating basic science discoveries into clinically useful applications.

The meeting was planned by the NYSTEM science team at Wadsworth in conjunction with a planning committee of representatives from funded institutions chaired by Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D., the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at Rockefeller University. The event is the first of what is expected to be annual scientific meetings conducted for the State's stem cell science community.

The scientists will discuss their research on Friday, June 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, 660 Albany Shaker Road, in Colonie. The full meeting agenda is available at: www.stemcell.ny.gov/grantee_conference.html.

For more information on Governor Paterson's New Economy initiative, please visit: http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/pdf/press_0608091.pdf.

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