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For Immediate Release

Monday, June 9, 2008

For More Information:

Arti Sahni: (609) 984-1671

Awards to enable a greater range of 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 stem cell research to be conducted throughout the state.

The New Jersey Stem Cell Research Grant Program will disburse grants for Stem Cell Research under three programs; $6 million allocated for Core Facilities awards, $3.9 million allocated for Individual Stem Cell Research Grants, and $600,000 allocated for a new Exploratory Research Grant award.  Core Facilities awards will provide between $1 million and $3 million to facilities that will create capacity for multi-institute and large scale research.  Individual Stem Cell Research Grants will provide between $100,000 and $300,000 to individual researchers conducting advanced Stem Cell research.  Exploratory Research Grants will provide up to $100,000 and will target junior researchers or faculty members who are at the start of their independent Careers.

Recognizing the limitations placed on researchers by strict federal stem cell research guidelines, new core facilities grants will facilitate a full-range of 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 stem cell research not supported by federal funds, can 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 stimulating both patient treatment and economic development, the Commission will give preference to proposals that demonstrate a means for translation to patient treatment. However, the Stem Cell Research Grant program will also support basic stem cell research.  

Proposals will undergo both scientific and ethics reviews before facing discussion and vote during an open, public meeting of the Commission. Scientific review will be performed by an independent external body of national stem cell experts. The panel will utilize review standards used by the National Institutes of Health peer review system. 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 Researchers must submit a full application by 3.00pm of July 7, 2008. Decisions are expected mid-October.

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.