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For Immediate Release
Monday, December 18, 2006
For More Information:
Edye Fineman
(609) 984-1671

Awards to enable a greater range of human embryonic stem cell research

TRENTON - The Commission on Science and Technology today launched the $10 million New Jersey Stem Cell Research Grant Program announced by Governor Corzine. The Stem Cell Research Grant program builds on Governor Corzine’s goal to establish New Jersey as a leader in Stem Cell Research and enable groundbreaking human embryonic stem cell research to be conducted throughout the state.

The Stem Cell Research Grant program will provide $7 million for core facilities grants in amounts between $1 million and $3 million to support human embryonic stem cell research and $3 million for individual research grants in amounts up to $300,000.

Recognizing the limitations placed on researchers by strict federal stem cell research guidelines, new core facilities grants will facilitate a full-range of human embryonic stem cell research that is not supported by federal funds.  These grants will enable researchers to propose several related projects and have common research equipment and tools that are financially separate from their federally financed work.

Core facilities grant proposals must enable human embryonic stem cell research not supported by federal funds, be multi-institutional, provide resources to researchers throughout New Jersey and demonstrate a coordinated New Jersey stem cell research program.

In order to meet the goals of both patient treatment and economic development, the Commission will seek to fund proposals that demonstrate means for translation to patient treatment. The Stem Cell Research Grant program will support the full range of stem cell research, including basic research to determine the properties of stem cells and their process of change, translational research to turn promising research into potential therapies and clinical research involving patients.

Proposals will undergo both scientific and ethics reviews before facing discussion and vote during an open, public meeting of the Commission. The scientific review will be performed by an independent external body of national stem cell experts. The panel will utilize the national standard of the National Institutes of Health peer review system for its review process. Only proposals which meet the highest scientific standards, as established by the federal government’s Public Health Service, will be funded.

The ethics review will be accomplished by a panel led by Dr. Harold Shapiro, President Emeritus of Princeton University and past Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics for President Clinton. Only proposals which meet the standards set forth in the 2005 Guidelines from Stem Cell Research by the National Academy of Science and the New Jersey Human Stem Cell Research Act will be funded.

Entities eligible to apply for the Stem Cell Research Grant program include all New Jersey academic and non-profit institutions, as well as for-profit companies collaborating with non-profit organizations.

The Commission is currently accepting proposals for the New Jersey Stem Cell Research Grant program. Guidelines, applications and details of the Stem Cell Research Grant Program can be viewed and downloaded at the Commission’s website www.nj.gov/scitech/stemcell/grants. Researchers must submit Letters of Intent by February 13, 2007 and full applications by March 8, 2007. Decisions are expected mid-June.

About The Commission
NJCST, established in 1985, is responsible for the development and oversight of policies and programs promoting science and technology research and entrepreneurship in New Jersey. Commission members include business leaders, university leaders, scientists, the Secretary of Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, the Commissioner of Education, a representative of the Governor and four legislators.