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Initial One-year Institutional Development Grant Lays Foundation for Additional Funding

The State University of New York at Stony Brook has been awarded a one-year $871,000 development grant for stem cell research. The funding is part of New York State’s new $600 million, multi-year stem cell research initiative. A total of $14.5 million in grants was approved for 2008, announced Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David A. Peterson. SUNY Stony Brook is one of 25 institutions in New York State that is receiving a development grant approved by the Funding Committee of the Empire State Stem Cell Board.

"Stony Brook University Medical Center has a history of support of stem cell research, and we believe it is in the public interest to conduct deeper exploration into this field," says Richard N. Fine, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine. "This grant offers us the opportunity to further delve into the origins of certain diseases and ailments and perhaps discover how to treat them."

"Not only does the planning grant lay the foundation of stem cell research in many areas of medical science, it helps to bring in essential instrumentation, the development of a common stem cell research facility, and provides us with the opportunity to create an infrastructure that we expect will lead to additional funding," adds Peter Brink, Ph.D, Principal Investigator and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

A portion of the seed grant will be used to fund a confocal microscope, a key device allowing stem cell researchers to perform live imaging studies. In-kind matching funds from the School of Medicine and several Stony Brook University Departments will bring the total funding to approximately $1.1 million.

"The total grant and matching support from the University represents a significant enhancement for the existing Stony Brook stem cell biologists and investigators from various disciplines to participate and contribute to stem cell research," emphasizes Dr. Brink.

The stem cell investigators cited on the grant application come from the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Arts and Sciences. In addition to Dr. Brink, the investigators include Professors Ira Cohen, Soosan Ghazizadeh, Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, Marcia Simon, Gerald Thomsen, and Hsien-yu Wang.

Stony Brook University is one of only four SUNY research facilities that is receiving this first round of awards for stem cell research. The University is the recipient of the largest SUNY grant.

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