Jan 16, 2008 — Albert Einstein College of Medicine recently received a $1 million grant for stem cell research from the Empire State Stem Cell Board. This is one of the largest of the $14.5 million in initial grants allocated from the $600-million multi-year stem cell research program announced this afternoon by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson. The funding affirms the Spitzer administration’s support of stem cell research and training in New York State and positions New York as a leader in the field.
Since its founding in 1955, Einstein has become widely known for its innovative medical research programs. Recently, Einstein opened its Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. In addition, stem cell and related research have been ongoing within the multidisciplinary Einstein Centers in Liver Diseases, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Sickle Cell Disease, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Developmental Disabilities.
“We are extremely pleased to receive one of the initial major grants for stem cell research from New York State. In view of recent advances in stem cell science, the funding could not have come at a better time,” said Allen M. Spiegel, MD, The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean. “At Einstein, we will use this opportunity to further our efforts in translational medicine, taking discoveries in our laboratories and applying them toward developing cures for a wide range of devastating diseases.”
Einstein’s Research Strategic Plan, developed under the guidance of Dean Spiegel, emphasizes significantly expanding the college’s capacity to carry out stem cell and regenerative medicine research. Dr. Spiegel has sought substantial funding to expand both faculty recruitment and resources in stem cell research.
Furthermore, Einstein investigators have been instrumental in establishing the experimental basis for liver-directed cell and gene therapy. The earliest studies of such therapies in humans, targeting high cholesterol, were based on translational work in animals performed at Einstein.
More recently, the institution’s investments in stem cell research resulted in the award of an NIH-supported Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in 2005, one of the first such centers in the US. In addition, the college’s faculty includes members renowned internationally for their work in the bioethics of stem cell research.
Einstein’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine will provide a central “home” for stem cell research that supports individual investigators, facilitates the assembly of multi-disciplinary teams through increased communication and collaboration, provides shared resources and technologies, and develops educational and training opportunities.
It will be located in the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion, which will offer 201,000 square feet of total research space when it opens later this month, thus positioning the Einstein at the forefront of 21st century regenerative medicine.
In addition to the grant received by the college, Einstein investigators conducting stem cell research will benefit from collaborations with colleagues at the medical school’s university hospital, Montefiore Medical Center, which will be supported through a $160,000 grant.