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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005  
For More Information:
Michelle Ruess
(609) 984-1671

Stem Cell Research Funding Draws Proposals
Private life sciences firms, nonprofit institutions to seek state grants

Trenton – The Commission on Science and Technology received 96 “Letters of Intent” from private life sciences companies and nonprofit research institutions by the Sept. 19 deadline for the new $5 million New Jersey Stem Cell Research Grant Program.

“I am proud that so many New Jersey researchers are ready to tackle the challenge of stem cell research,” said Gov. Richard J. Codey. “This grant program will solidify New Jersey’s place at the forefront of medical technology, provide hope to people who suffer and create an opportunity to save lives. I can think of no better investment than that.”

The deadline for filing a Letter of Intent was 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2005. At that time, the Commission had received letters from several private life sciences companies as well as dozens from New Jersey’s research universities.

“We are pleased – but not surprised – by the amount of interest in stem cell research,” said Sherrie Preische, executive director of the Commission on Science and Technology. “New Jersey is the best place for this research to flourish and the Stem Cell Research Grant Program will help our life sciences community maintain its leadership position.”

A letter of intent is the first step toward applying for funding under the New Jersey Stem Cell Research Grant Program. Grant applications will only be accepted from researchers who have filed letters of intent. The deadline for filing a Stem Cell Research Grant application is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, 2005.

The Stem Cell Research Grant program offers grants up to $300,000 over two years. The Commission, which administers the program, expects to announce grant awards before the end of the year. Proposals will undergo both scientific and ethics reviews before facing discussion and vote during an open, public meeting of the Commission.

The ethics review will be led by Dr. Harold Shapiro, chairman of the state Ethics Review Panel for stem cell research. Dr. Shapiro is President Emeritus of Princeton University and past chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics for President Clinton.

The Stem Cell Research Grant program, announced August 2 by Governor Richard J. Codey, will support the full range of stem cell research, including basic research to determine the properties of stem cells, translational research to turn promising research into potential therapies and clinical research involving patients.